Congressional (Blue)

congressional (blue)
Devereaux Emmet, 1924/Andrew Green, 2020,

Great things were always intended for this course, given its location just outside our nation’s capital. But after 100 years of existence, too many architects had had a hand in its evolution, and this Devereux Emmet design lost its Golden Age ethos. What to do? The club pivoted to Andrew Green and gave him carte blanche to wholly reimagine the course and unify it under one hand. Green delivered with the revamped design now looking like it has been there for more than a century. The alternating asks are excellent and every aspect of your game is tested. Take the stretch of 7 thru 9: the uphill par-3 7th requires a carry over the course’s deepest greenside bunker; the 8th is a teaser of a short par-4 with par amply defended at the angled green; and the 9th is a 600-plus yard rollercoaster that follows the heaving land back to the majestic clubhouse. Pete Wendt is one of the country’s finest greenkeepers and his layering of native grasses across the rollicking landscape lends the course a sumptuous texture that had long been absent. With trees removed and the wind blowing through, the days of a soft course — like the one Rory McIlroy encountered when he won the 2011 U.S. Open here — are a distant memory at the “new old” Congressional. (Photo: James Lewis)