Cog Hill owns the honor of hosting the most BMW Championships/Western Opens of any course on the list. That doesn’t mean it’s wiggled its way out of some criticism.
In efforts to try to land the U.S. Open, Cog Hill’s Dubsdread course underwent a drastic $5.2 million renovation in 2008 under Rees Jones.
Bunkers grew deeper, fairways were tightened, greens were raised and tempers flared with the new setup in Lamont, Illinois. Players can appreciate a U.S. Open-like test, but the ends don’t always justify the means.
“I know we all wish it had turned out differently,” Mickelson told Golf.com in 2009. “But there was a lot of other guys to choose from that probably could do the job, and maybe if they just start over, it could turn into something special.
“But tee to green and the property, it’s got really great potential. I’d love to see Gil Hanse or a Crenshaw-Coore or Kyle Phillips or David Kidd – or guys that really know what they’re doing – come in and create something special here because I think that’s what the family and this facility deserves.”
Shots fired, Philip!
Other players, like Steve Stricker, soured on the course he won 15 years before his last stop at Cog Hill.
“Visually, it looks much better than what it did,” Stricker told Madison.com. “But, from the playability standpoint, I’ve got to believe for the average golfer it is very difficult. And the players on a whole don’t really care for the re-do. To see a tournament that’s been here for so long sound like it’s going to leave is disappointing.”
This is not a public flogging of Cog Hill, however. Its courses compose one of the best public golf systems in the country and Dubsdread pulled off 16 Western Opens, a U.S. Amateur and other USGA events in its past without much of a hitch.
Cog Hill has hosted four BMW Championships, but none since 2011. Its run in the foreseeable future looks to be over.