The Long And The Short Of It
By Torleif Sorenson on 6/6/13
Among the concerns that some golf fans have surrounding the 2013 U.S. Open Championship at Merion is the relatively short length of the course — under 7,000 yards. They worry that the winning score will be considerably lower than level par.

They had better think again.

The USGA's course setup for Merion includes one of the usual tricks they have employed in recent years: Reducing par at several holes:
  • The 3rd hole will be a 256-yard par-3.
    Two teeing grounds will be used, one at 219 yards, the other at 256 yards. A deep bunker guards the front right portion of the green, which will probably gobble up most drivers and fairway metals aimed toward the green.

  • The 17th hole will be a 246-yard par-3.
    I'm sure that will come as a huge relief to the entire field, knowing that the USGA is "giving" them ten yards over the third hole.  :-S

  • The 18th hole will be a 521-yard par-4.
    As Kyle Porter of CBS Sports reports, this will be the third-longest par-4 in U.S. Open history. Also, the longest driver on the PGA Tour is Luke List, who averages 305 yards. That still leaves 216 to the 18th green. Basically, anybody who manages to make "par" at 18 will do awfully well. This writer has the feeling that bogeys will be plentiful at 3 and 18.

The only real respite will be at the 10th hole, a "driveable" par-4 at 303 yards, but the hole requires a rather severe right-to-left ball flight off the tee. And if Luke List is the longest at 305 yards and everybody else is shorter, I suspect that pars will far outweigh the birdies at 10.


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[ comments ]
Bertie_16 says:
Thats flawed analysis saying that Luke List is the longest driver and everyone else is shorter. Driver off the tee sn't the popular choice as much these days. A majority of pro's can still reach a 303 yard par 4 if they wanted to, but do they need to? Some pro's will even reach this hole with a 3 wood. But many more will hit an iron to get into wedge range. So I say there will be way more birdies than you think at the 10th.
6/6/13
 
mtgolfidiot says:
Hogan had to use a 1 iron to reach the green at 18. If the average drive at 18 is now 290 yards (give or take), then today's pro will have to hit 5 wood, 3I or 4I (for the really big hitters) to reach this green. It only seems fair to force these guys to hit a long iron into a green.
6/6/13
 
slimpks1850 says:
Sounds good so far, can't wait to watch!
6/6/13
 
Panerai111 says:
Those are some gross par 3 yardages.
6/6/13
 
joe jones says:
My winning score prediction. One over par. The USGA is out to prove a point.They are not going to control distance at this time but they can make a little golf course tighter than a nats fanny. 8 to 20 yard wide landing zones, no first cut rough, 4 inch primary rough, difficult pin locations and greens running north of 13 on the stimpe meter will show everybody who is boss.
6/6/13
 
Werepuppie says:
I do not think it will be over par to win.Tiger will hit irons off the tee all day to keep accuracy and have a field day,as will many others.
6/6/13
 
HotBacon says:
Are you serious? You think these guys will be hitting drivers and fairway metals into the 3rd? Maybe if the wind is really kicking and directly into their face.
6/7/13
 
Wes11point5 says:
I don't know what the yardage was when Hogan won here. They have not been back since '71 when Lee Trevino won. This should be an interesting examination of the changes in equipment.
6/7/13
 
Wes11point5 says:
In 1950 #18 played at about 460 yards.
6/7/13
 
GBogey says:
From articles I've read a key factor will be how soft the course is from rain - lots of rain means winning scores of -15 and a dry course means winning score of par. Given that I'm getting 2+ inches of rain today and I think Philly is getting as least that much, we may see very low scores. However, I think lift, clean, and place is a PGA thing that the USGA is against.
6/7/13
 
HotBacon says:
@GBogey Good thing the course will have a week to dry out.
6/7/13
 
Werepuppie says:
I thought that if you had to hit woods into par 3s you were playing the wrong tees:)
6/8/13
 
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