The U.S. Golf Association and Country Club of Charleston are negotiating to bring the 2019 U.S. Women’s Open to the historic course.
Multiple sources with the Country Club of Charleston confirmed that a contract is being negotiated to bring the top event in women’s professional golf to the Seth Raynor-designed course built in 1925.
Sources at the Country Club of Charleston said a contract has not been signed, but negotiations are underway and an announcement could be coming soon.
The club hosted the U.S. Women’s Amateur in 2013, and USGA officials liked what they saw. At the awards ceremony, a USGA staff member commented that the organization would love to return.
The Country Club of Charleston annually hosts three top amateur events — the men’s Azalea Invitational which dates to 1946, the men’s Senior Azalea and the Beth Daniel Junior Azalea. It was a founding member of the Carolinas Golf Association and also hosted a men’s professional tournament in the 1930s and ‘40s.
If the deal is signed, it would mean another major golf championship for Charleston. Kiawah Island Golf Resort’s Ocean Course recently landed the 2021 PGA Championship. The Ocean Course also has hosted the 1991 Ryder Cup, 2007 Senior PGA and 2012 PGA Championship.
In contemplating a potential Women’s Open, there have been suggestions that at 6,776 yards and par-71, the course may be too short to host the professionals. But Daniel, a World Golf Hall of Fame member who learned the game at the Country Club of Charleston, said that isn’t the case.
“The Azalea (men’s amateur tournament) every year, that’s a good indication of how good the golf course is,” Daniel said at the 2013 Women’s Amateur. “The greens are what make it tough. It’s a second-shot golf course. It’s the greens, putting and chipping around the greens.”
Lancaster (Pa.) Country Club, which will be the site of the 2015 Women’s Open, measures 6,406 yards and is a par-70. Pinehurst No. 2, where Michelle Wie won in 2014, was set up at approximately 6,700 yards.
Shannon Rouillard, the USGA’s director of the Women’s Amateur, said in 2013 that the Country Club of Charleston “definitely would be another wonderful venue for a USGA Championship, which one I’m not so sure” and praised the club’s efforts and hospitality.
“The bottom line is that the USGA does not go anywhere we are not invited, so to speak,” Rouillard said. “We get letters from clubs every year that are interested in hosting a USGA championship, and then we go through a very well thought-out procedure in learning and finding out more about the club and determining what is the best championship for that club to host. That’s not to say every club that expresses an interest gets an invitation, but a lot of them do.”
In addition to Lancaster Country Club, future Women’s Open sites have been announced through 2018: CordeValle Golf Club, San Martin, Calif. in 2016; Trump National, Bedminster, N.J., in 2017; and Shoal Creek, Birmingham, Ala., in 2018.