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U.S. Open: Inside the The Country Club's championship layout

Written by 
Published in Golf
Monday, 13 June 2022 07:31

BROOKLINE, Mass. — This year's U.S. Open layout, The Country Club, will host its 15th USGA championship – and third U.S. Open – this week just west of downtown Boston. It is arguably one of the most unique venues in that its layout has changed considerably over the years.

Here's everything you need to know about the venue:

Routing history

The Country Club didn’t move beyond 18 holes until the addition of the nine-hole Primrose Course, which officially opened in 1929. Still, The Country Club would not introduce a routing involving a composite of the 18-hole Main and nine-hole Primrose courses for major tournaments held at the club until 1957.

The composite championship routing debuted at the 1957 U.S. Amateur. That routing was, for the first nine holes in order: Main Course Nos. 10, 9, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, and 12. The back nine holes in order: Main Course No. 13, Primrose Nos. 1 and 2 combo, Primrose No. 8, Primrose No. 9, then Main Course Nos. 14-18. The composite routing would be tweaked significantly after that event.

A new composite routing emerged for the 1963 U.S. Open and would also be used for the 1968 U.S. Junior Amateur, 1973 Walker Cup, 1982 U.S. Amateur, 1988 U.S. Open, 1999 Ryder Cup and 2013 U.S. Amateur. This one would be for the first nine holes in order: Main Course Nos. 18 and then Main Course No. 11. The back nine was the same as the back nine for the 1957 U.S. Amateur routing.

The 2022 U.S. Open will offer another tweaked version to the composite routing:

2022 U.S. Open Course Routing | Where Hole Played in 1913

  • Hole No. 1: Main Course 1 | Played as Hole 1  
  • Hole No. 2: Main Course 2 | Played as Hole 2
  • Hole No. 3: Main Course 3 | Played as Hole 3
  • Hole No. 4: Main Course 5 | Played as Hole 5
  • Hole No. 5: Main Course 6 | Played as Hole 6
  • Hole No. 6: Main Course 7 | Played as Hole 7
  • Hole No. 7: Main Course 8 | Played as Hole 8
  • Hole No. 8: Main Course 14 | Played as Hole 14
  • Hole No. 9: Primrose Course 9 | N/A
  • Hole No. 10: Main Course 11 | Played as Hole 9
  • Hole No. 11: Main Course 12 | Played as Hole 10
  • Hole No. 12: Main Course 13 | Played as Hole 11
  • Hole No. 13: Primrose Course 1 and 2 (combined) | N/A  
  • Hole No. 14: Primrose Course 8 | N/A 
  • Hole No. 15: Main Course 15 | Played as Hole 15
  • Hole No. 16: Main Course 16 | Played as Hole 16
  • Hole No. 17: Main Course 17 | Played as Hole 17
  • Hole No. 18: Main Course 18 | Played as Hole 18

Hole by hole

A hole-by-hole description of The Country Club, site of the 122nd U.S. Open to be played June 16-19:

NO. 1, 488 YARDS, PAR 4: A not-so-gentle start to the U.S. Open, with two bunkers on the left side of the landing area from about 285 yards to about 320 yards. Two bunkers left and one to the right guard the green, which slopes from back to front.

NO. 2, 215 YARDS, PAR 3: The hole plays longer than its yardage because it is 15 feet higher than the teeing area. Bunker complexes are in the front, two more to left and behind. The green slopes toward the front and has a run-off area.

NO. 3, 499 YARDS, PAR 4: This downhill hole has a semi-blind tee shot with bunkers protecting the fairway and a narrow gap for those who try to take a lot off the tee. Narrow bunkers protect both sides of the green. A pond some 10 yards behind the green was built in 1898 for skating and curling in the winter.

NO. 4, 493 YARDS, PAR 4: The elevated tee will keep players from seeing the fairway, and an 80-foot tree on the right blocks the view. The landing area is among the widest on the course. A bunker is left of the green that features a severe slope from back right to front left.

NO. 5, 310 YARDS, PAR 4: This reachable par 4 allows for options, though most players likely will hit driver. A row of bunkers are on the right, with a pair protecting the front at about 280 yards. The false front will repel shots that don’t carry quite enough.

NO. 6, 192 YARDS, PAR 3: This is the oldest hole on the course, dating to 1894. It also has the largest green on the course, that slopes to the front and then has a false front. Bunkers are on both sides of the green.

NO. 7, 375 YARDS, PAR 4: Players can opt for an iron off the tee or take on more club to set up a wedge into the green. The fairway cants to the left and could bring a stand of trees into play. The four bunkers right and left of the green are some of the deepest on the course.

NO. 8, 557 YARDS, PAR 5: The first par 5 was designed as a three-shot hole and will be reachable by most everyone in the field. The second shot plays longer because of a 30-foot rise in elevation. The false front is the steepest on the course and the green is the smallest. It will be hard to hold with a fairway metal.

NO. 9, 427 YARDS, PAR 4: Expect to see caution off this tee, with an iron to the top of the hill. Anything more, and the fairway slopes down to a very narrow landing area and a pond to the right of the fairway. The green has a bunker on each side.

NO. 10, 499 YARDS, PAR 4: For those starting the weekday rounds on the back, the start isn’t any easier. Big hitters have to be mindful of a creek that cuts across at a little over 340 yards. The green is surrounded by thick grass and two bunkers, with a slope going from the back left to the front right.

NO. 11, 131 YARDS, PAR 3: This hole figures to add to the belief that no par 3 is better than a short par 3. With wedge in hand, players will have to make sure to avoid a hazard on three sides of the green. Three bunkers are to the left and a long bunker guards the front.

NO. 12, 473 YARDS, PAR 4: The fairway narrows, but to play too short of the bunker leaves a blind second shot. The green is only 22 yards deep, had the second-smallest putting surface and slopes from back to front.

NO. 13, 450 YARDS, PAR 4: With trees on both side, the hole is a slight dogleg to the left and the fairway cants to the right. There are no fairway bunkers. A 75-foot tree to the left of the green makes the putting surface look smaller than it really is.

NO. 14, 619 YARDS, PAR 5: The hole is typically into the wind, and missing the fairway might make it tough to reach the top of the hill and avoid a blind shot. The green is elevated some 30 feet and is 150 yards out from the foot of the uphill climb to a two-tiered putting surface.

NO. 15, 510 YARDS, PAR 4: The land for this hole was used for steeplechase in the late 19th century. It’s the longest par 4 featuring a blind tee shot. The green is the deepest at 40 yards and one of the largest.

NO. 16, 202 YARDS, PAR 3: Multiple tees could make a difference of about 30 yards in how long this hole plays. The green looks like an island with only thick rough and four bunkers surrounding it, the largest bunker front and to the right.

NO. 17, 373 YARDS, PAR 4: The hole bends to the right. The fame is on the green. Francis Ouimet made birdie in the final round that tied for the lead in the 1913 U.S. Open, and Justin Leonard made the putt heard ’round the world in the 1999 Ryder Cup. The green is narrow, has two tiers and a 70-foot tree to the right of it.

NO. 18, 451 YARDS, PAR 4: The bunker at the corner of this slight dogleg left was enlarged during the restoration. The green is guarded by deep bunkers and thick rough, the imposing bunker very large and in front of the green. Curtis Strange saved par from the bunker to force a playoff he won against Nick Faldo in the 1988 U.S. Open.

– The Associated Press

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