Trent Jones Golf Courses
The Firestone South Course, Akron
Established in 1929 by Harvey Firestone and later acquired by ClubCorp in 1981, Firestone Country Club remains a one of a kind golf facility. It is the only course in the world to have held three televised golf events in one calendar year, -The American Golf Classic, The CBS Golf Classic, and The World Series of Golf. With its three championship level courses, Firestone Country Club is as unique today as it has ever been.
The words Firestone South can conjure up fond memories for many golf
fans. Few will forget Jack Nicklaus’s magnificent comeback in the
1975 PGA Championship. Down by 5 strokes to Bruce Crampton, Nicklaus made
an unbelievable par on the Monster 16th hole. He continued his comeback
to win by four strokes, collecting his 4th PGA Championship. A more recent
memory might be from the 2000 World Golf Championships-NEC Invitational,
where Tiger Woods hit the now famous shot in the dark on the 18th hole
to secure his victory in the event.
The tournaments at Firestone Country Club began in 1954 with the Rubber City Open and continued through 1959. Firestone was chosen as the site of the 1960 PGA Championship and during that memorable championship, Arnold Palmer triple-bogeyed the 625-yard, par five 16th hole, calling it a Monster. The nickname proved popular, and in time, the entire course became known as The Monster.
The American Golf Classic, initiated in 1961, began a new era of golf at Firestone. In 1962 The World Series of Golf began under its original format, and in succeeding years the course played host to many other competitions, including the CBS Golf Classic and Big Three Golf, the forerunner of The World Series of Golf.
In 1973, Firestone Country Club was the only course in the world on which three televised golf events- The American Golf Classic, The World Series of Golf and The CBS Golf Classic- were conducted in one calendar year. In 1969, the North Course, designed by Robert Trent Jones was opened. This scenic challenge was to become the site of the 1976 American Golf Classic and 1994 NEC World Series of Golf.
The PGA Championship returned to the South Course in 1966, and again in 1975, making Firestone the first club to host this prestigious championship three times.
In 1985, the South Course was again redesigned. Golforce, a Jack Nicklaus company, did the work and started a new era of golf at the club. In 1976, the World Series of Golf was restructured into an international championship and in 1984 became the NEC World Series of Golf ending in 1998. In 1999, Firestone once again hosted the best players in the world and added yet another page to its legacy with the NEC Invitational, one of the inaugural World Golf Championships.
The South Course is an 18-hole championship course designed by Bert Way and redesigned by Robert Trent Jones in 1960. Over the years the South Course has held 5 Rubber City Opens, 8 CBS Golf Classics, 14 American Golf Classics, and 3 PGA Championships. Firestone Country Club has also hosted 22 World Series of Golf, 14 NEC World Series of Golf, 4 World Golf Championships- NEC Invitational, and 1 Senior PGA Championship.
In 1994 Firestone opened its public driving range. Although the country club functions as a private club, this driving range serves as a year round public facility with heated stalls, both grass and mat tees, and a pro shop. In 1999, with the backing of ClubCorp, Firestone added a 9-hole par 35 golf course. It was named the Raymond C. Firestone Golf Course in honor of another member of the Firestone family who helped keep the golf traditions alive at the club.