09 November 2010

Picturesque and challenging

This week, the PGA Tour will play the Children’s Miracle Network Classic at Walt Disney World on the Palm and Magnolia courses. While the event has been at other venues throughout the years, including the Lake Buena Vista and Eagle Pines grounds, this will be the 32nd event for both courses since 1971, giving the Magnolia and Palm trails a storied history.

Both Bermudagrass courses were designed by Joe Lee and opened in the Vacation Kingdom in 1971. Scott Welder has been the course superintendent for the pair of golf grounds since the first golfers teed off on the Palm and Magnolia in 1971. While the two are often times referred to in tandem, each course is unique. Magnolia, given the name by the trees that line its holes, has the distinction of being the longest of the Disney golf grounds and home to the world famous “Mouse Trap” sand bunker. Palm, also named for the trees surrounding the course, is widely considered the most challenging of the Disney courses.

In the first three years of the tournament, then known as the PGA Walt Disney World Open, Jack Nicklaus could be found standing alone atop the leaderboard from 1971 through 1973. Other past champions of the event include Vijay Singh, Payne Stewart, David Duvall, Hal Sutton, Lucas Glover, and Tiger Woods, among others.

The Children’s Miracle Network Classic, the final event of the PGA Tour’s Fall Series, always brings attention to the world of golf at Walt Disney World. Yet, since 1971, the Magnolia and Palm courses have been hosting golfers daily. Need proof? Just take a look at these stylish ladies hitting the links in 1971!

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