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Expect A Tougher US Open

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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.



Yeah the 2 weeks leading up to last years U.S. Open did not help the USGA in firming up the greens. The week before it was insanely hot so they had to water the greens heavily followed by heavy rains the days before it started. I would say if they could set it up so some where around even is the winning score I'd be pretty happy I like to see players struggle a little but also have the opportunities to make birdies.

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Looking at the winning totals for the last 20 years or so, and the runner-up total, it just shows you how absolutely amazing Tiger's US Open was in 2000.  Rory holds the scoring record, but Tiger's 12-under par score (only he and Rory have ever finished -10 or better), on a year when the runner up was +3, is mind-boggling.

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A US Open course should reward accurate driving and approach shots. This means penal rough but IMO not insanely tall rough. I think the USGA likes a missed fairway to cost .5 strokes. The key is that the greens need to be fast but still hold a quality approach shot. A player should not be penalized for hitting a good 7 iron from 200 yards.

In the case of the Olympic Club I'm guessing that the main defense will be narrow fairways and tough pin positions.

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I like the US Open to be as tough as possible without resorting to gimmicks, etc.  I think I am in the minority here but I find birdie-fests boring.  20 under (for any tournament) is ridiculous, in my opinion and means the course is way too easy.

I would love, love, love to see the winner come in between -2 and +1.

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Originally Posted by MSchott

A US Open course should reward accurate driving and approach shots. This means penal rough but IMO not insanely tall rough. I think the USGA likes a missed fairway to cost .5 strokes. The key is that the greens need to be fast but still hold a quality approach shot. A player should not be penalized for hitting a good 7 iron from 200 yards.

In the case of the Olympic Club I'm guessing that the main defense will be narrow fairways and tough pin positions.


The toughest thing though is getting the fairways and greens to that perfect "hardness" without overdoing it.  If the wind is blowing at Olympic, which it probably will, then they won't need to narrow the fairways that much.  They should graduate the rough though, so that a ball 6 feet off the fairway is more-or-less playable, but a ball 6 yards off is a wedge-out.

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I'm with you on that.  Gimmicks are just wrong but watching everyone shoot birdie is dull.  There needs to be some risk and a commensurate reward to it.  300+ yard drives are becoming commonplace - I like to see a little finesse required.

Originally Posted by AmazingWhacker

I like the US Open to be as tough as possible without resorting to gimmicks, etc.  I think I am in the minority here but I find birdie-fests boring.  20 under (for any tournament) is ridiculous, in my opinion and means the course is way too easy.

I would love, love, love to see the winner come in between -2 and +1.



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I really don't understand the USGA. The R&A; lets the weather determine the difficulty of the course. They don't care what the score is, they just let the players play,and the one with the lowest score win. The USGA takes good courses,and with the exception of Pinehurst, screws them up.I like seeing birdies. In other sports I like seeing high flying offense. I really don't like watching the best players in the world chipping out of the rough,and hitting shots to greens that don't hold. Why can't they forget about protecting par,and let these guys play these great courses as they stand?

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Originally Posted by caniac6

I really don't understand the USGA. The R&A; lets the weather determine the difficulty of the course. They don't care what the score is, they just let the players play,and the one with the lowest score win. The USGA takes good courses,and with the exception of Pinehurst, screws them up.I like seeing birdies. In other sports I like seeing high flying offense. I really don't like watching the best players in the world chipping out of the rough,and hitting shots to greens that don't hold. Why can't they forget about protecting par,and let these guys play these great courses as they stand?


It's simple, for it's Open the USGA wants to protect par. They think par should be a good score and birdie a very good score. They place a premium on hitting fairway's. I have no problem with this as long as the greens are fair and there is a reasonable chance to get up and down unless you short side the hole. Missing a fairway usually means no GIR but par is possible with a good approach. The problem is when a quality approach shot bounces off of the green.

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I always get a chuckle from the phrase 'protect par'.

Why? Does it need to be put in a Witness Protection Program? Wrapped in bubble-wrap? Is Vinny The Eye threatening to break it's kneecaps? Does it owe some money to a loan shark? Is an abusive husband stalking it?

The poster that just commented on how the R&A; sets up the British Open venues was spot-on. The R&A; doesn't consider 'par' some kind of Shroud of Turin that must be preserved, but instead lets the course flesh out who should win, whether it's 10 over ot 20 under.

It's the fewest amount of strokes wins. Always. Why try to embarass pros in the process over the concept of protecting something that isn't threatened in the first place? Par is eternal. It will endure. Stop being anal-retentive over preserving it's integrity. It doesn't need it.

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I'd just like the players to need every club in their bag, for once. Length helps, course design is what's really important. I like some variety, and maybe to see several different approaches to a hole. Too many courses have a single way to the hole that's used by everyone.

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#1 is a 520 yard par 4. Granted it is downhill, but damn man what a brutal way to start a round. If you miss the fairway then you are just laying up and trying to get up and down for par.

Here's a hole by hole preview.

http://www.olyclub.com/Default.aspx?p=DynamicModule&pageid;=342338&ssid;=243551&vnf;=1

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Yeah but call it a par 5 & suddenly it's an easy opening hole. Call it a par 12 for all I care. It is what it is - a 520y hole.

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Originally Posted by zipazoid

Yeah but call it a par 5 & suddenly it's an easy opening hole. Call it a par 12 for all I care. It is what it is - a 520y hole.



Par 5s generally don't have receptive greens, while par 4s usually do. And the reason tees got longer is to keep the hazards within reach from the tee. Traditionally, a well designed course uses doglegs, trouble, and protection around the green to dictate how the hole is played. Yardage should be relatively kept out of it.

That said, many courses don't design holes well around this philosophy. Having an unprotected green on a par 4 allows virtually any club to be used on approach, allowing short drivers to not be penalized and long hitters to gain less advantage in terms of their approach. The par 5s usually are meant to be hard to hit in 2, due to the greens being protected, but easy to hit in regulation. Par shouldn't be just a number, though sometimes it is.

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In this case, it is just a number.

Yes, I understand receptiveness of greens, how they're protected, size, etc which differ on a long par 4 vs a par 5. And no doubt you will likely hear some grumbling from the pros calling it a par 4. Nothing new about that though - seems like each US Open the USGA converts a par 5 to a par 4. Ostensibly, to 'protect par'.

Whatever. Whether it's a par 4 or 5 or 24, it is what it is. A 520y hole. When a pro steps to the tee of a 520y hole he's thinking 4 or 3. He's not really concerned what the scorecard says the par is.

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