US Open at Congressional 7574 Yards, Par 71
By mustang6560 on 5/3/11
Graeme McDowell played a round at Congressional Country Club, the site of the 2011 US Open, yesterday ahead of media day. And he shared his experience with his Twitter followers.
10th and 18th greens at Congressional. 10th is now a 220 yard par 3. 18 is the old 17th.Why does the US Open insist on making the winner shoot at or above par? It seems ridiculous to me.
Hole four is a par 4 and will play 494 yards with a creek that runs down the right side of the fairway. The 18th is a 523 yard par 4 that slopes downward toward the water. If they decide to, the 9th will play as a 636-yard par 5. Even Bubba Watson and Dustin Johnson won't be able to reach that in two. The one thing the US Open Committee did that will benefit the players is they made par go up from 70 to 71.
I understand the desire from the perspective of a golf course to "Tiger-proof" it because you don't want someone to complete anihilate par. But from the perspective of the fans (and I am speaking for myself), I like to see a golfer come out and dominate. I don't want to watch my favorite golfer struggle. If I want to see a guy hack his way up and down the course I'll go play with my friends. I think I'm with Graeme on this one, I will be surprised if the winning score is sub-par.
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I agree. The course should be set up to penalize the golfers for errant shots and reward the players who place the ball where it gives them the best chance to score. No fun watching those guys struggle. Although, I'll be watching either way. Almost 7,600 yards? Ouch!
Kurt the Knife says:
Dang. Thats brutal.
534 yard par 4?? Can you say one putt for par? That's tough. I could handle them pushing the yards to the edge. But, seems to me they have gone over and then some. In the words of Commander Spock, "Fascinating."
FIVE-Hundred-Thirty-Four yard Par 4... wow, pretty redonkulous
- Why not just switch all the par 3's to par 2's - c'mon now!?!?!
The USGA is always out to "protect par." They really only have 2 options at this point to do that. Either make ridiculously long courses, or narrow the fairways.
If they narrow the fairways, you'll see (almost) everyone hitting irons and hybrids off most tees, since the rough is so penal. That's no fun to watch either.
I understand "challenging the Pro's" - but I think [my opinion] we in general watch to see incredible approach shots, amazing chips-in and putts and consistently low scores day after day. I can't see myself watching what I can see at my local course - above par golf.
Tougher Golf Courses for the US Open, OK I get it, making it next to impossible to break par, I don't get it. The guy that shoots the lowest score will win, whether the course is easy or impossible, the lowest score wins.
I for one like when the players struggle to break par. I would love to see a dominating performance win at a mere 4 or 5 under. Feels like more of a dog fight and I like it. To echo Backquak, the lowest score wins, whatever that might be.
I am with Homermania on this. I like to see them have to work to post sub-par rounds every once in a while. It changes it up a little vs. just seeing who can make the most birdies each week. This will be an awesome test of their will and show who gots what it takes to be a US Open champion. Nothing wrong with some tough long courses. And i guarantee the winner will be under par. any bets? over under at -1, i say under.
I love seeing the pros struggle. When they miss greens and can't get up and down, I can sympathize with that. It kinda humanizes them to us mortal golfers.
I personnaly like to see a good mix of monster rough, slick greens, and forced carries. Not a fan of 500 yard par 4s. I think hole 11 may be the one you are refering to instead of 4. It played at 489 in 2009 and was Tiger proof. He went 5 5 6 5 on that hole. But still shot 267 -13 for the win.
Watching the Heritage a couple weeks ago makes me wonder why they have to keep going so long with the courses? Just shrink the safety areas down to nothing and let them at it. Make the courses reward accuracy more than distance.
I always thought the US Open was the everyman's tournament. If you have a near scratch handicap and get through the qualifiers, you have a chance. Setting up a course like that, they may as well just make it another pro only tournament and raise the prize money to keep up the interest.
Seems like making a course so long eliminates strategizing. 7600 yds gives the players basically no choice except to hit as long as possible. There's no decision to be made whether to lay up or go for it on par 5's - you're laying up by definition. It's more entertaining when they have to decide between risking it or playing it safe.
I think it's awesome they have to manage the course diffrently than their usual birdie barrage style! I play the tips every round I play, and it is neat to watch them struggle like I struggle at times! 250+ par 3's are tough, as are 500+ yard par 4's, and 600 yard+ par 5's! I've got a links-style course 30 miles from me that's 7,750 yards long (Purgatory Golf Club, btw--which is a fitting name for it!!)--and I love it!! Course record is a mere 1 under from the tips (PGA Tour player Joe Durant)....also keep in mind that they don't play the course to that lenght every day, they move tees up/back based on weather and leading score after each round. Again, tlike others have said, I think it's awesome watching them hack it around like we do!!
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