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A Look Back at the 2018 US Women’s Open Championship at Shoal Creek in Birmingham, Alabama

A Look Back to the 2018 U.S. Women’s Open at Shoal Creek in Birmingham, Alabama

 

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It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year ago today since last year’s 2018 U.S. Women’s Open Championship final round!

As we reflect back, the planning and preparation for the Championship began YEARS before by the USGA and Shoal Creek. The Community of Shoal Creek was honored to be a partner with Shoal Creek Club to host the Championship, and it was so exciting and gratifying to see all the planning and work of so many come together to show the world how special and beautiful Shoal Creek is!

A few reflections about the the Championship and the events leading up to the big event:

The USGA staff was on-site at Shoal Creek well over a year before the actual event

A new golf superintendent was hired during course renovations after Shoal Creek having only one man in the job for 40 years, Jim Simmons, and the biggest women’s golf event in the world was coming…

A 9 month course shut-down and course renovations recommended by original designer, Jack Nicklaus, completed…

The committees, the meetings, the maps, the sponsors, the volunteers, the events and advertising, the logistics and infrastructure, the excitement, the anticipation of all eyes on us…

The staging and set up of a small city within Shoal Creek that was the massive entrance with retail, food, and interactive entertainment for the “fan experience,” not to mention the nicest “tents” and grandstands you’ve ever seen….

The unavoidable “curveball” that Mother Nature kept throwing in the form of Sub-Tropical Depression Alberto that dumped 4.7 inches of rain and closing the course for a day and a half…

The grit and focus of the players to perform after what little practice rounds they could get…

The core d’espirit that everyone had after the rain stopped and cleanup started–every staff member, volunteer, club membership–working tirelessly around the clock picking up debris from the course, moving generators and blowers working and anything that could be done…

┬áThe course was miraculously again beautiful and green, the sky blue, and the sun was shining on Sunday, June 3, 2018 for Ariya Jutanugarn to win the U.S. Women’s Open Championship…

Then the immediate “tear-down” and cleanup like it never even happened…WOW!!

The updated 6,689 yard, par 72 course was ready for 156 top women golfers in the world with televised coverage to over 100 countries.

Se Ri Pak, 1998 US Women's Open Champion, holding the winner's trophy with Shoal Creek Resident/Member/Board of Directors and USWO Executive Commitee Member, Martha Lang, in the Shoal Creek Properties' office

(Pictured above) Se Ri Pak, 1998 US Women’s Open Champion and World Golf Hall of Famer, holding the winner’s trophy with Shoal Creek Resident/Member/Board of Directors and USWO Executive Committee Member, Martha Lang, in the Shoal Creek Properties’ office.

The natural flora and fauna surrounding the course at Shoal Creek add to the beauty with the backdrop of Double Oak Mountain in every vista.

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Ariya Jutanugarn claims the 2018 U.S. Women’s Open title after a four-hole playoff over Kim Hoo-joo and is presented with the winner’s trophy by Martha Lang, surrounded by fellow Club Executives, golfers, caddies, fans and journalists. Jim Simmons (in his red cap) looks on as well.

 

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