The Unversity of Texas paid homage to their most impressive graduate in recent history, as they named their new par-three course after Jordan Spieth.
‘The Spieth Lower 40′ will feature six holes on the four and a half acres between the members’ range and the first hole at the University of Texas Golf Club.
.@JordanSpieth's ranks this season:
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) September 2, 2017
You’re probably wondering about the name ‘Spieth Lower 40′, because the term lower 40 doesn’t carry any meaning for someone who didn’t grow up on a ranch, or was at least around one for part of their life.
Texas’ golf coach John Fields cleared up the confusion for the name’s significance.
“If you were to pull up to a ranch house and say you were looking for the rancher, they might say ‘They’re down on the lower 40.”
The UT Golf Club was built on Steiner Ranch, while ‘The Spieth Lower 40’ sits on the lower level of the property. In addition to the location of the course, the number 40 holds meaning to it as well. Forty acres is a term that people from the university use when referring to the campus as a whole.
There was also 40 years between the last time Texas golf won a National Championship, their latest title came in 2012. A group that Spieth was a part of.
Spieth was asked by his coach and course designer Roy Bechtol to give his input on how they should design the course, what types of grass they should use, and placement of green complexes.
“Most of the people that have gone down and seen it are over-the-top excited about it. I know that Jordan has been enamored with it.” – John Fields
The former Longhorn paid close attention when working with the design of the greens. Fields talked about how Spieth has played on a few short courses where it was almost impossible to land a good shot on the greens in certain winds, and he wanted to make certain that wouldn’t be the case with this course.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) September 3, 2017
Holes on the course range between 80-125 yards, and even with Spieth’s guidance these greens will still be challenging. Fields noted that even though the greens are tough, they reward a good tee shot.
In fact, one of the greens on this course has a bunker in the middle of the green – and it’s not because Spieth wanted to make the course more difficult.
The hole model’s the par-3 sixth at Riviera Country Club which was the site of the 2012 National Championship victory. Then-sophomore, Toni Hakula, drained a hole-in-one with a seven iron during the second round of stroke play. That ace played a pivotal role in Texas’ victory that week according to Fields.
“We feel like we paid homage by putting a bunker in the middle of the green there,” said Fields, “to make sure that people get the story and the historic value of Texas golf.”
The Spieth Lower 40 will unofficially open this month, but the grand opening will take place later on in the fall when Spieth is available to come. Although that may take a while as Spieth is deep in the hunt for the FedEx Cup.
.@JordanSpieth is determined.
Tough not to get pumped for the final round. pic.twitter.com/B4U9TwiFgY
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) September 4, 2017