Inbee Park, History and Hallowed Ground

No spot in American golf is more historic than the east end of Long Island. The roster of clubs is indeed the history of the game in this country: C.B. Macdonald’s National Golf Links, William Flynn’s Shinnecock Hills, Willie Park, Jr.’s Maidstone Club.

More than a few old-school denizens of the Hamptons raised their manicured eyebrows when brash, brawling Sebonack Golf Club, designed by the unlikely pair of Tom Doak and Jack Nicklaus, rose from the landscape on the spectacular property adjacent to the storied National Golf Links.

First came the astronomical price tag: $650,000 to join. Then an unprecedented PR blitz – complete with Matt Lauer doing a live remote with the Golden Bear on the Today Show. And last, but certainly not least, came the announcement that Sebonack would host the U.S. Women’s Open in 2013.

For the first time, Sebonack would stand not on its “demographics” but on its merits as a championship test (and TV venue). And guess what? Sebonack has joined its neighbors in the golf history books.

At Sebonack South Korea’s Inbee Park, she of the impossibly slow swing and seemingly impervious to the lethal combination of nerves and expectations, won the season’s third major—just as she had won the first two. She joins Babe Zaharias as the only woman ever to win the season’s first three majors, and is the fourth to win three in a calendar year. And she’s not done.

Park figured out the heaving greens at Sebonack and stamped her mark at the newest championship venue on America’s most hallowed golf ground. Now it’s on to St. Andrews and a chance at the Grand Slam of women’s golf. From Long Island’s new course to Scotland’s Old Course—Inbee Park is putting together a season for the ages.


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