GolfTales RJSmiley Billy Horschel

Billy Horschel’s 60 in USGA Event

This week is the USGA Amateur Championship at Bandon Dunes in Oregon. Read the details of Billy Horschel's amazing 60 at Chaska Town Course. Billy's 60 is the lowest score ever for a USGA event.

That’s right!  You may play a golf course that has hosted a USGA Championship, for a moderate price.  

The City of Chaska’s goal was to have BEST OF BOTH: The best private course in Minnesota, Hazeltine National, and the best public course in Minnesota, Chaska Town Course.  The City envisioned a top ranked golf course capable of hosting a national tournament as well as a place for community gatherings.  City fathers brought in renowned golf course architect, Arthur Hills, who transformed 285 acres, of open prairie, oak groves and marshlands into truly a world class golf course.  In 1997 Chaska Town Course was open for play.  The Town Course has received numerous awards including, Fourth Best New Public Golf Course in the Country – Golf Digest 1998.  But the real plum came when the United States Golf Associations selected Town Course to co-host the 2006 U.S. Amateur Championship along with its private club big brother, Hazeltine National Golf Club.  

As you drive, chip, lay-up, hit fairway metals to 4 pars, three putt and blast your way around this wonderful course that rewards great shots and severely penalizes poor shots, imagine any golfer shooting “60”.  Especially, when the USGA has slicks-up the greens, narrowed-down the fairways and converts a par 5 into a par 4.  Billy Horschel, now on the PGA tour, at age 19 with his dad on his bag, shot that magic number “60” to beat the previous low round in USGA history (any event) by 2 shots.  This happened on a day when the best amateur players in the world, had an average score of 74.6.  Billy’s round included thirteen 3’s, four 4’s and just one 5.

The next time your foursome is looking for a real competitive round, go the Town Course and go to the back tees and play a round against Billy.  Except your foursome play scramble from the tips.

Billy started with a simple par 4 on the first.  No big deal.  A lot of people par the first.  But the second, the par 4 with cross bunkers that plays to almost 460 yards from the Championship tee, was his first birdie.  Then, birdie, par, birdie, par on the easy stretch of holes three through six.   Then he had another birdie 3 at seven (normally an eagle on the par 5 converted to a par 4) followed by another birdie 3 on the eighth.  Standing on the tee of the par 5 ninth, after seven straight 3, Billy has a chance for 28 with another 3.  His very average par 5 gave him a 30 on the front nine…  Yea! You had a chance to win a hole…. And all the presses!  

He walked to the tenth tee 5 under and quickly made easy birdie 3 with a wedge for his second.  At the long, tough, water guarded eleventh he scored   another birdie 3, followed by a par 3 on the twelfth.   That is TEN 3’s in the first twelve holes!! Thirteen & fourteen were a routine par 4 and another par 3 (the start of another three straight 3’s).  His driver – 7 iron, eagle on the shortish and very tight, fifteen was followed by a two putt birdie at the short 16th.   Now, with thirteen 3’s in the first sixteen holes and the USGA scoring in sight, Billy faced the monster par 4 seventeenth, measuring 481 yards.  Could he finish off this once-in-a-lifetime round and become a part of golf history.  The answer was yes.  A not-so-routine par 4 at seventeen left Billy needing only a par 5 at the eighteenth for the USGA record, but an eagle would give him an unthinkable, when the round began, major place in golf history, 59.  Standing on the eighteenth, the 547 yard dogleg left par 5 guarded by water left the entire way, Billy went for the eagle.    Knowing that the 3 would give him the magic 59, he drove down the left hugging the water to shorten the second shot.  On the last bounce his ball splashed to a watery grave.  Seemingly unfazed, Billy took his drop immediately hit his third shot (including the penalty stroke) onto the green for a putt for a final birdie.  Any doubt?? None….. Dead center!!   Birdie 4 and a USGA record 60.  Billy’s comment, “Pops was happier than I am.”

When you complete this memorable scramble round against Billy, it will give you a better perspective of what a great golf course the Town Course is and what an amazing round Billy had. 

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