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The Wonder of Winged Foot

The Wonder of Winged Foot

Wayward and Wiley – Can EAL break 90?

Erik Most

Playing a round of golf is a lot like creating the perfect pot of chili. There are lots of ingredients to the perfect round that all need to blend together. Yet the most important part is that they are all perfectly proportional to one another. Every aspect of your swing needs to get to know each other in the pot. You get one little ingredient off, and, well, you can really make a mess of things. Perhaps on the floor near reception. That’s why there’s no one more perfect to narrate the potential mess than chili expert and avid golfer, Brian Baumgartner.

Winged Foot Back 9. Can he do it!?

If a round of golf is like creating a perfect pot of chili, then a round of golf under U.S. Open conditions at Winged Foot is like using peppers and onions that chop you as opposed to you chopping them. The greens are tough. The fairways are narrow. The rough is thick. 7400 yards are waiting to eat you for lunch. Let’s just say the winning score was over par in all but one of the U.S. Opens at Winged Foot. Four out of the six men’s majors at Winged Foot are hall of famers. The invention of the mulligan occurred at this very course! Sounds like an ideal set up to break 90 right?

EAL looking to drain one from about 20 feet.
Watch EAL’s front 9 as he tries to break 90 at Winged Foot.

This begs the question: What makes Winged Foot so hard? Its difficulty isn’t inherent to its topography. Nor are there abundant water hazards. Yet, A.W. Tillinghast managed to carve out 18 challenging holes on a fairly unassuming patch of land. Perhaps you’ve heard of courses where a well-placed tee ball is of utmost importance. Or you’ve heard the latter–a “second shot” golf course. Winged Foot is both. If you had to pick one? The approach shots. Elevated greens and dubiously placed bunkers will make you regret even the slightest of misses. Even if you’re lucky enough to find a GIR, a three-putt giggles mischievously as your optimism lips out alongside your 4 footer.

What does this have to do with that iconic logo? Perhaps you wish for a pair of those winged sandals to take you as far away as possible from the mess you just made on the course. Or perhaps like Perseus, you need to don Mercury’s sandals to slay your long roughed foe lest your clubs turn to stone. Though your round may take on the aura of ancient mythology, there’s a more simple explanation behind the famous logo. The club was founded in 1921 by a group from the New York Athletic Club in Manhattan. They simply took the image from a sculpture in the lobby and repurposed it for their newly founded golf course. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less.

The goods.

So if you find yourself drawn in by the mythic allure of this storied spot, check out EAL plod his way around this terror of a course. And for sure kick back and listen to Brian take jabs at his more unfortunate swings. And when you’re done, head over and pick up our exclusive Winged Paw merch. Because let’s be honest you need all the help you can get, even if it means harnessing the mythological.

See Also
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Part three of four of the Iceland Vlog series

View Comments (5)
  • The logo being a reference to Perseus sandals had me going. Awesome stuff. That rough looks so bad and I can’t wait for the course to destroy these guys this weekend.

  • So hyped for this one. I’m a huge Tillinghast fan. There’s an awesome muni where I live in San Antonio called Brackenridge Park that was designed by him and it’s got a similar vibe, except it’s much much easier and it’s public. Can’t wait to watch this one…

  • This magic only happens every 4 majors of the year, granted the courses have few variations, Yet the pure raw beauty of the hardest 4 tournaments to win, Is what compels Us into the arms of golf’s hug…Her warmth has been what has been chased since the 1850’s & isn’t going anywhere, As is that magic, it’s been a vice of man since the games birth & truly has only been in hand for a mere few mortals, As well it should be, For what fun would it be if that wasn’t the case 🧐

  • As someone who only recently caught the golf bug this has me FIRED up to watch the US Open. This is so well written, and it was awesome to watch EAL play the course! Thanks for all you do, and please bring RGC to Omaha, NE!

  • Random Golf Club is everything I love about golf culture , and that member that “jokingly” said membership wasn’t for you is everything I hate about golf culture. Thanks for a great video!

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