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U.S. Open Qualifying - How Would Your Course Hold up?


TourSpoon

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I am a little late on the posting of this topic, but with the big event almost here I thought it would be interesting to explore. In late April, we hosted a local qualifier and the FSGA came out on behalf of the USGA on 2 occasions to scout tees and pin positions (they had notes from the last one 6 years ago). The course ended up playing just under 7000 and they did bump down some of the par 3s to play at 210, 205, 185, and 170 (they can all be from 195-230). They wanted the greens fast, but not US Open fast (I think they wanted 10.8 to low 11s). The FSGA guys picked the pin placements and made sure it was a good balance for a very great test of golf. The medalist was -3, three were -1 and even par got you into a playoff.  How do you think your course would hold up to pros showing up to show off their skills to go to the next stage? 

Here is a video highlighting one person's experience followed by a few photos of Tiger scoping out the course with Charlie during his practice round. All in all, it was a great day and I felt that the course held its own as only 4 golfers (out of 80) broke par.  

Tiger 1.jpeg

Tiger 2.jpeg

Tiger 3.jpeg

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  • iacas changed the title to U.S. Open Qualifying - How Would Your Course Hold up?
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It'd depend on the quality of the field that shows up. Woodmont, for example, in NJ sees a good number of Tour players. But there are other qualifiers where it's mostly mini tour players and local amateurs.

Whispering Woods would hold its own. It's under 7000 yards from the black tees, but there are plenty of places where the course can jump up and get you. Someone might go low if they have a great day, but conservative, smart play would be the better way to go, especially if you're solid as it wouldn't take a great score to qualify.

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15 hours ago, TourSpoon said:

hey wanted the greens fast, but not US Open fast (I think they wanted 10.8 to low 11s).

Not sure the US Open tricks up the greens to like 13 or 14. They have a lot of documentation on recommended pin placements relative to slope, and also have done a lot of research on green speed. If you go to an older course with a ton of slope, if you measure the STIMP, it probably wouldn't come close to 13 or 14 because there would be no usable pin placements on the greens. 

Maybe the only US Open worth course would be Firestone South. I think they could make that place NASTY. The rough could be disgusting. The greens are tiny and have good contours. You need to be on specific sides of narrow-ish fairways to have a shot at some pin placements. I think it would be a great US Open venue. You can push that course out past 7000 yards since it was once a PGA Tour stop. 

 

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I think Northstar would hold up decently well, subject to strength of field of course.

They can stretch it way out, the tips on the scorecard are 7516 and is 75.9/140 rated and there's a few holes with some really long greens so depending on pin placements I bet they can get it upwards of 7600+ if they really wanted to. There's enough room to push a par 3 to mid 200s and multiple par 5s can get right around 600 if they wanted to. 

Fairly wide fairways and big greens for the most part, but if they grew the rough up and didn't mow the fescue/native areas combined with rolling the greens it could get very difficult in a hurry especially since it's usually fairly windy out there. 

If they wanted to make it really hard just for the sake of really hard they definitely could there. 

Then again the non-tournament course record is a bogey free 65 from that 7516 tees so maybe it wouldn't play as difficult as I think even if they did grow the rough up and got the greens rolling very fast.

FWIW (and not really sure how relevant it is to a US Open Qualifier) they just hosted a US Junior Qualifier there last week and from 6863yds only 7 kids out of ~80 broke par and only 1 kid broke 70.

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They would murder my home course (Leslie Park). 6,611 yards/72.0/129. If someone can hit it 300-350 yards, there are multiple drivable par 4’s and all the par 5’s could be reached in two.

Brian Kuehn

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Our home course would be very interesting.  It is short from the black tees (around 6000 yards) and very few holes are considered not reachable in GIR for golfers who drive max 250 off the tee.  But there are two difficulties.  Only 3 holes don't have an OB though admittedly in some cases it is just behind the green.  The harder part is almost all the fairways slope away on both sides from the centre meaning if you hit a draw or fade, you are likely to wind up at the edge of the fairway or off into the rough if you bounce in the wrong place.

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Nope.

Miami Shores GC in Troy, Oh wouldn't be considered for a qualifier. Even from the tips, it's only a 68.6/116.  Great course for average hackers like me, but not a venue for bigger competitions. 

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My home course is Stoneleigh GC in Round Hill VA.  The course would get murdered, from the back tees its only about 6800 yards, and there's really not room to stretch it out. There would effectively be no par-5s, and several of the par-4s would be reachable.  For contrast, local qualifying in my area is often held at Woodmont CC in Maryland, which played to over 7300 yards this year.  It took 134 (-8) to qualify for the US Open. 

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On 6/11/2024 at 9:33 PM, klineka said:

If they wanted to make it really hard just for the sake of really hard they definitely could there. 

It's funny because the USGA through the FSGA definitely had a formula for what they wanted to see. They were very careful to set up a very fair test. They didn't tip it out, and they actually moved a few holes up from the black tees because they didn't like how a tree was blocking out one side of the fairway or that every par 3 was over 195. There was a mixture of easier and harder pin locations and the greens were cut to their specs.  In the end, I think they accomplished their goal of identifying the best golfers that particular day.

Finally, I would highly recommend attendance at one of these events. It was very spectator friendly where you could get really close to some really good guys and see them work their way around the course. There are no ropes, its quiet, and there are no hordes of crowds to navigate. I think Charlie Woods, who had a security detail, had between 15-30 people hanging around but others like Kutchar and LeMieux, really flew under the radar. 

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My course Elizabeth Manor hosts the Eastern Amateur every year in July. The best 'kids' shoot like -8 each day from the tips, so I think US Open qualifier would end up a 2-3 shots better. Basically it would be a game of misses - birdie misses. 

Vishal S.

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There are a couple of local courses that would qualify for US Open qualifiers.   

The Flint Elks Club was used as a qualifier for the Buick Open back in the day and plays 6900+.  It can be challenging for elite golfers if they let the rough grow.   I believe Fred Couples has the course record at 63.

The other course that could be used for a US qualifier is Sugarbush in Davison.  If they left the rough long it would challenge any golfer.  It plays 7283 from the tips with a rating of 75.9 / 147.  It was voted one of the best public courses in Michigan recently.

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