Spitfisher, cheers, that's the sort of info I wanted to know. I think many think the pros score their 6 and 7 under rounds on courses set up like you have described Bethpage Black to be when it's set up for the US Open - they don't, they struggle (if close to par is struggling :) ) When they tear the place up it's generally far from set up like this, the rough is shallower and the fairways are wider 25 to 30 yards is the PGA Tour stated width in the landing zone.
Wansteadimp, you're absolutely right, the Hotchkin has been used for those events quite regularly. The only reason it can't be used for Tour events is it's deemed that there isn't enough room for the crowds - too much rough and trees in the way :) If you're ever over this way and want to go play it, just ring them and book a tee time - that easy, if a tad expensive.
Regarding playing it, I'm normally about 7 or so over my handicap although that's from a few yards forward of the champ tees - in theory that would add a couple of shots. Setup wise the rough is the same - it's all bracken and heather so can't be grown in for a tournament and the bunkers are just as fearsome. Anywhere that routinely has steps to get down into the bunkers is going to be interesting. They do speed the greens up though.
Bob, I'll take your word for the elevation changes but the tree density isn't close to some courses and certainly not a patch on the Hotchkin. Here's another course in my neck of the woods - Forest Pines. Compare this to the aerial shot of Riviera I posted earlier, there is a world of difference. That said Forest pines is a tad shorter at 6900 yards...
What got me to thinking about all this was Justin Rose's first round this week. I like Justin as both a golfer and he seems to be a level headed, nice bloke. Have followed him his whole career and think he's a top chap.
Anyway, on round one he missed the fairway 5 out of 14 times, at times by a country mile (as did many of the players at times, a few of Dustin Johnson's would have been lost ball, no question yet he lead after round one) and on either of the courses local to me I've posted up Justin would have been deep in the woods. He then hit the green only 6 out of 18 times. But due to the light, near non-existent rough and flat even bunkers he did a great job at scrambling to a score of one under par and hats off to him.
But put his ball into the trees you can see in the overhead shot of the Hotchkin I posted towards the start of the thread, or in the picture of the rough I posted up which is all round the Hotchkin, or into any of those bunkers rather than the flat examples on Riviera.... And no way does he score close to that.
That's not his fault, reading the document put out by the PGA Tour on how the courses should be prepared it's obvious that they don't want to penalise players too much for poor play - keep it close and Birdies are exciting, who can blame them, but when it describes how Tour players "don't like" rough around bunkers...... you know what? All the more reason to put it there.
Edited by Nosevi - 2/16/14 at 2:11am