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By Scott A. Sumner




   After watching the 2008 Ryder Cup in which the US Team took  back the cup it a real treat to be able to play the  Valhalla Golf Club course on a  beautiful sunny afternoon November 7th, 2008.
    The process of developing the course  was started in 1978 by the   Dwight Gahn family who owned the land and were all avid golfers.  Including in the Gahn family were three sons- Walt, Gordie and Phil,  all avid golfers. There was 400 acres of land available with the golf  course  ending up on 265 acres with some additional land around it.“ Walt played football at Purdue with Bob Griese and they met Jack Nicklaus who they wanted to have design Valhalla. The mid 80’s was  the second golden age of golf with so many great courses built then.  The course opened for play in 1986. Jack won the Masters in April of  that year  and opened Valhalla in June 1986,” stated Mike Montague,  GM of Valhalla Golf Club.  “ We held the 2008 Ryder Cup and  previously the 1996 PGA, 2000 PGA and the Senior PGA in 2004. Today  Valhalla is a private club with 265 local members.  You can play the course by applying through a PGA professional if you live outside of  a 100 mile radius of Louisville. The PGA pro will call us  and go  through a written procedure. It is on a limited basis but we can make most requests. We do about 18,000 rounds a year.”
    “ The best months for play are April through October. December, January and February are for the hardy souls  but we play all year.  The PGA of America owns the course. We  also own PGA Golf Course and  PGA Country club in St. Lucia Florida and the PGA Learning Centre 
there as well. The PGA also have involvement in Nevada in a project  called Coyote Springs which is a huge real estate and golf project NW  of Las Vegas,” said Montague. “The PGA of America were responsible  for the Ryder Cup. This years event was fabulous. It couldn’t have 
gone any better. We had Hurricane Ike hit the tournament area and the  golf course the Sunday before rather than in the middle of the event  so all things considered it was great.  On the golf course from  Sunday evening to Monday morning we had over 2000 man hours cleaning 
up, a fair amount the work. Ticket sales were 40,000 a day and  totally sold out. There were 5 or 6 requests for every ticket so it  was a lottery. It was great for everyone. The European team, the  American team, the Valhalla club, the city, the state. Everyone had a  great time.”
     “ I love the variety of the course with  the front nine being  more Scottish links in style  and the back nine  a more traditional  wooded course. There are great elevation changes. It is just a lot of  fun to play. You have different skill levels and everyone can enjoy  it from the different tees. We were one of the best new courses when  we opened and are best in state each year. At the end of the day the  best accolades are from the guys who  have played the course a lot.” 
said Montague.
   The Valhalla Golf Club proved to be a great course for me to play.  My caddie Barry and I had the course almost to ourselves and I  particularly liked the back nine where I got a birdie and several  pars. It was fun to see the holes I had watched the pros play on TV  during the Ryder Cup. I have always been a Jack Nicklaus design fan  and find his courses a great test of your game. After a slow start  this 12 handicap golfer shot 95, which I was happy to achieve on one 
of Jacks courses! You really must play Valhalla, so ask your PGA  professional to apply and you will have a great day of golf!

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