Merion Golf Club
is a private golf
club located near Ardmore, Pennsylvania
that is consistently rated by Golf Digest, among America's greatest golf courses, and will host the U.S. Open
in 2013. The club contains two courses: The West course, and the East Course, which is the more highly regarded.
The Merion Golf Club dates from 1896, when members of the Merion Cricket Club
(founded in 1865) opened a golf course in Haverford, Pennsylvania
. In 1910, the membership decided to build a new course and chose 32-year-old club member Hugh Wilson
, a Scottish immigrant, to design it. Merion East opened in September 1912, and the original course was closed. The West Course, also designed by Wilson, opened in May 1914. The Merion Golf Club did not officially separate from the Merion Cricket Club until 1941.
Hugh Wilson had never designed a golf course, so he went on a seven-month trip to Scotland and England to study British courses. Several features of Merion East are derived from famous British courses, not the least of which are Merion's distinctive Scottish-style bunkers, which are now known as the "white faces of Merion". Wilson's layout covers only of land, a very small area for a golf course. It was ranked seventh in Golf Digest'
s "America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses" in 2005, and Jack Nicklaus
has said of Merion East, "Acre for acre, it may be the best test of golf in the world."
Merion has held 17 United States Golf Association
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