This will be the last year that the World Challenge will be played at the Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, and I thought a little history of the tournament, and golf course would be in order. Next year, this tournament which is hosted by Tiger Woods will move east to the Orlando area, and the Isleworth Golf & Country Club.
The World Challenge started in 1999 as the Williams World Challenge, and it was played at the Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona. Tom Lehman defeated David Duval for the inaugural event, and pocketed $1 million dollars for his effort. That first year, Tiger Woods, and David Duval played at Sherwood Forest in the “Showdown at Sherwood.” In 2000 the events were combined as one, and the event was moved to Southern California.
In the early days, the field consisted of 16 players. The defending champion, the top 11 players available from the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR), and 4 sponsors exemptions. The field was increased to 18 in 2008 to include the defending champions, winners of the years majors, 11 top ranked players, and 2 sponsor exemptions.
Through the years, the name changed based on the sponsors, and in 2008, started benefiting the Tiger Woods Foundation, and in 2012 became sponsored by Northwestern Mutual. Tiger has won this tournament 5 times in his career, and did not play in 2008 while recovering from knee surgery.
The Sherwood Country Club is a private golf course located in the Santa Monica mountains in Thousand Oaks, and was designed by Jack Nicklaus. The golf course was built on the original site of Potrero Lake, which is a 165 acre man-made lake and is one of the largest man-made lakes in California. The name was changed to Sherwood Forrest after being used to film Robin Hood, starring Douglas Fairbanks Sr. in 1921.
The 375 member golf club includes such names as Tom Selleck, Kevin James, Sylvester Stallone and Mel Gibson.
Sherwood Forrest is 7,052 yards from the tips, and is rated at 74.7 with a slope rating of 143. It has Bentgrass fairways with Poa annu greens. The rough is rye grass. In 2009, the course underwent a bunker restoration.
Tiger holds the course record with a 62 which he shot during the 2007 Target World Challenge. Graeme McDowell won here last year, beating Keegan Bradley in the final round.