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Expect A Tougher US Open

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I'm not sure how I feel about this. I know the USGA is probably a little offended that so many people shot under par last year and they're looking to make up for it, but I feel like they may take this too far. I hope that it doesn't turn into another Winged Foot where 7 over par wins. What do you guys think? Do you still want to see the US Open truly be the toughest test of golf?

http://www.golf.com/ap-news/usga-head-expect-us-open-olympic-be-tougher

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I think the US Open needs to be a tough test of golf. I don't have a problem seeing the tour pros struggle hitting fairways and greens. And would like to see them tighten the fairways to limit the bombers from over powering the course.

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Originally Posted by Beachcomber

I think the US Open needs to be a tough test of golf. I don't have a problem seeing the tour pros struggle hitting fairways and greens. And would like to see them tighten the fairways to limit the bombers from over powering the course.

Yeah, but a lot of people have  a problem watching the best in the world hack out of rough to the point where a missed fairway means bogey.

They can watch guys hitting it 50 yards sideways on their own course

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I love to watch the pros sobbing into their caddy's shoulder, defeated. That said, I prefer to see a tough test, not an unfair test. I like it when the bunkers are nasty and give plugged lies, especially the fairway bunkers. I prefer to see someone need a sand wedge, not being able to muscle a 6i onto the green. The rough should be under control, I hate losing balls myself and the rough can be penalizing without being 8" long. I like hardpan and waste areas, as well as making the fairways a bit narrow, but don't harden and cut the fairways short so everything rolls out into the rough, and don't put too much slope onto them. Make the greens smaller and better protected, but the slope and speed are out of hand. Use more traditional turf grasses for the greens and contour them more gently. Trees lining the fairway are traditional at US Opens, but I prefer coniferous ones with a relatively open floor, not a jungle.

I also like the elements to be in play. That's something some courses simply cannot have, and which the architects can't control. Rain and wind should be lashing at the players, fatiguing and demoralizing them. That's something a classic links can have that really makes the game interesting. You have to be prepared to deal with changing distances, speeds of the playing surface, and wet, sticky sand. The US Open is set up for fair weather, usually with little wind, but I prefer seeing players take 2 mighty clouts to reach a 400 yard par 4 because there's a strong headwind, where the same hole might be a driver and lob wedge the next day.

Distance can be added by all means, but it gets a bit old when every hole is 450+. There should be some shorter holes so shorter players have scoring opportunities. And I hate when they make long holes that play the same as any other, like in Hawaii where they tee off a mountain and hit onto a sharp downslope, every player tacking on 100 yards of roll and many getting over 400 off the tee on a 600 yard par 5.

The problem I have with the US Open is that, on years where the course is a serious challenge, they rely on pin placement and green speed to screw over the players. Not very creative, not natural, and certainly not entertaining.

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Originally Posted by Shorty

Yeah, but a lot of people have  a problem watching the best in the world hack out of rough to the point where a missed fairway means bogey.

They can watch guys hitting it 50 yards sideways on their own course


The USGA really missed the course set-up to the other side of the extreme last year, though. They didn't grow the rough long enough, they couldn't keep the greens fast enough, and the "toughest test in golf" produced scores identical to the AT&T; National tournaments held there -- only lower in relation to par, since the USGA rated Congressional as a par 71.

The Olympic Club has more natural defenses of par than Congressional did, and more manageable in regard to conditioning over several months in the San Francisco climate than in Washington. No one broke par over 72 holes in the 1998 Open held at Olympic, and only two finished in red figures during the two Opens there before that. I don't think 5-over will win, like it did at Winged Foot and Oakmont several years ago, but scores will definitely be higher, and birdies much harder to come by.

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I saw on the golf channel where Mike Davis from the USGA said that +2 through the first 6 holes at Olympic will not lose strokes to the field.  Also going to have a ~630yd par 5.

I like watching the best in the world be challenged, but making a course ridiculously hard for the sake of being ridiculously hard (and nothing else) does nothing for me.

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Ohhh boy.

Watch out when the USGA thinks it's been dissed. They tend to go draconian.

Wonder how they'll set up the 18th this time around? -

Only thing missing is a windmill.

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The rain had a lot to do with the ease of the course last year, but I don't think the USGA is going to let something petty like that get in their way towards [S]world domination[/S] setting up a difficult tournament.

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Originally Posted by jamo

The rain had a lot to do with the ease of the course last year, but I don't think the USGA is going to let something petty like that get in their way towards world domination setting up a difficult tournament.


Ha ha!  Just so long as the greens aren't so severe that there are only a few places on them where a ball will actually stop rolling (I'm thinking Shinnecock).  And if a player hits a good drive with the proper shape, and lands it on the fairway, it should stay on the fairway most of the time (thinking Winged Foot).  Beyond that, make it hard.  Every time I watch Tin Cup, I'm reminded how the USGA totally blew it last year...and now we have to hear all about how Rory is the second coming of the Saviour...

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Listen,don,t u think the USGA knows and understands television ratings.If they have it set-up to where the pros are struggling and the winning score is gonna b +3 the tv ratings will prolly be in the tank.I dont think the casual golf on tv watcher will be entertained by that,we would be but not everybody.I think anything thats tougher than Augusta National is a little ridiculous to me.Even Augusta screws the pros almost every year.I wouldn,t wanna watch pros hit a putt and have it roll back farther from the hole than he originally was,thats bunk.Anything over 13 on the stimp is a little draconian dont u think

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Originally Posted by marcv68

Listen,don,t u think the USGA knows and understands television ratings.If they have it set-up to where the pros are struggling and the winning score is gonna b +3 the tv ratings will prolly be in the tank.


Unless Tiger's at +3

I'm fine with having one tournament a year that is ridiculously hard and where around even par can win.  The problem is when it gets unfair, guys hitting good shots that end up in crappy places.  Olympic might run into that this year, but I hope not.  They've taken out a ton of trees since '98 and the wind is more of a factor than ever.  They like to get the US Open course to run firm and fast the added wind could make it nuts.  I don't like seeing players hit the fairway and the ball rolling into the deep rough.  I'm sure the 18 green will be different, I think they actually re-designed the green and it's less severe towards the front.

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I think the USGA has - at best - a spotty record on setting up US Open venues. They like courses to teeter on the edge of unplayable. Sure, every now & then they may ease up, like in 2005 at Pinehurst, where they actually deferred to the wisdom of Donald Ross's design that emphasized dealing with imaginitive shots around the green. As well, they have gone to graduated rough levels so a shot that finishes one foot off the fairway isn't penalized equally as one 40 feet off.

But for each of these moments of clarity you have the 18th green at Olympic or the 7th green at Shinnecock in 2004, where it was impossible to hold a shot onto the green. They had to water it down every few groups.

The USGA is proud of pointing out that they are not trying to embarass the best players but instead trying to identify them. They don't. Instead they introduce luck into the equation. So what they end up doing is identifying the luckiest player. Which would explain a list of champions that include the likes of Michael Campbell, Geoff Oglivy & Lucas Glover.

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I'd agree with those players being lucky, but they played safe shots they could make and put themselves into a position where a lucky break could give them the win. Maybe if Phil did that more often people would still have no idea who Ogilvy and Glover are.

Quote:

I think the USGA has - at best - a spotty record on setting up US Open venues. They like courses to teeter on the edge of unplayable. Sure, every now & then they may ease up, like in 2005 at Pinehurst, where they actually deferred to the wisdom of Donald Ross's design that emphasized dealing with imaginitive shots around the green. As well, they have gone to graduated rough levels so a shot that finishes one foot off the fairway isn't penalized equally as one 40 feet off.

But for each of these moments of clarity you have the 18th green at Olympic or the 7th green at Shinnecock in 2004, where it was impossible to hold a shot onto the green. They had to water it down every few groups.

The USGA is proud of pointing out that they are not trying to embarass the best players but instead trying to identify them. They don't. Instead they introduce luck into the equation. So what they end up doing is identifying the luckiest player. Which would explain a list of champions that include the likes of Michael Campbell, Geoff Oglivy & Lucas Glover.



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Originally Posted by sean_miller

I'd agree with those players being lucky, but they played safe shots they could make and put themselves into a position where a lucky break could give them the win. Maybe if Phil did that more often people would still have no idea who Ogilvy and Glover are.

Quote:



So maybe the USGA should change their statement to: We aren't trying to embarass the best golfers. We are trying to identify those that play safe and put themselves in a position where a lucky break could give them the win.

How inspiring.

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Originally Posted by zipazoid

Quote:

Originally Posted by sean_miller

I'd agree with those players being lucky, but they played safe shots they could make and put themselves into a position where a lucky break could give them the win. Maybe if Phil did that more often people would still have no idea who Ogilvy and Glover are.

Quote:

So maybe the USGA should change their statement to: We aren't trying to embarass the best golfers. We are trying to identify those that play safe and put themselves in a position where a lucky break could give them the win.

How inspiring.



It would at the very least be accurate, but I think we know that the top players' safe shots they know they can make are probably very different types of shots than the "safe shots" made by the next tier of player. My idea of a safe shot is perhaps a bit more cautious than Tiger Woods' safe shot.

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I'm thinking the same. It's just 1 tournament out of the year where it truly tests skill. Winged Foot a few years back was ridiculous, but I don't think Olympic is going to play that way. Pebble was a good example of a good US Open with the winner at even par even though the first three rounds players were shooting low scores.

Originally Posted by mvmac

I'm fine with having one tournament a year that is ridiculously hard and where around even par can win.  The problem is when it gets unfair, guys hitting good shots that end up in crappy places.  Olympic might run into that this year, but I hope not.  They've taken out a ton of trees since '98 and the wind is more of a factor than ever.  They like to get the US Open course to run firm and fast the added wind could make it nuts.  I don't like seeing players hit the fairway and the ball rolling into the deep rough.  I'm sure the 18 green will be different, I think they actually re-designed the green and it's less severe towards the front.



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Look, the USGA has set up the courses more and more fairly with each of the past, what, three, four, five years or so. The old days of whats-his-name (Meeks, that's it) running the show ended the "super penal and really boring" stage, and lately we've seen tees moved up, graduated rough, etc. Even Oakmont was incredibly fair (as fair as it can really be, anyway).

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I like it if the winning score is anywhere between -3 to +3. A very good round should be around 65, 66.

Pebble 2010 was pretty good

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