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US Open *Major Venue* Golf Courses


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Sh!t sign me up! I'm more than happy to put up an 85 in the open. I'd be playing golf on TV!

 

Part of this years' story-line is that the US Open is being played on a public facility; meaning that anyone who wants to pony up can pay to play there. Another intriguing part of the story is that the golf course is much more of a links facility or "Open Championship" style than the normal parkland "US Open" style. Personally, I don't really care where they play, but would prefer them to play public facilities as often as possible.

I know that hosting any tournament is an extremely easy way to grow the game and also help out facilities. Sure just having the tournament in different, remote areas such as the Pacific North-West is going to hopefully grow the game, but I feel that having it on a course where anyone can play just gives it that much more.

I am instantly reminded to think back to Bethpage Black. It seemed as though the fans during the tournament were just that much more involved in the entire event. Maybe it was because they were proud of their facility, maybe it's just because they're from New York, I don't know.

IIRC the USGA dumped quite a bit of money in Bethpage which was considered a dump. I wish they would do more of that. Find an awesome muni or diamond in the rough so to speak, give it five years or so and throw some money into it. Turn a golf course where every local has played or grew up playing into a tournament or championship golf course and wow, what a tournament you will have! This would have to have some type of positive effect on growing the game, right?

Honestly, the USGA has to be making a mint over events such as this. You know they have to have extra cash. What did they have? 9,000 applicants for the event? How many came out of qualifiers? 80? Pretty incredible to think though that anybody on here has an opportunity to play in our Nations Super Bowl of Golf. I love it.

 

So, what are your thoughts?

Have you ever played a past US Open facility?

Were any of them public?

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I have been lucky enough to play on multiple US Open facilities in the past. In fact, I am playing a future site, this Sunday, in Erin Hills. I have been lucky enough to play there a few times and have never really taken any pictures. I'll be sure to do that this time in hopes to share with you guys on here, but in a different thread.

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I've been pretty lucky as well.  I got to play at Congressional CC in a member-guest, just a couple of years after thr 1997 Open there.  I've played at Pinehurst #2 a half-dozen times.  I've also worked as a marshall at both of those courses during US Opens.  In addition to those two, I've played at two Open Championship courses (Carnoustie and St. Andrews Old Course) and just recently at the site of the upcoming PGA Championship, Whistling Straits.  I gotta admit, its a real thrill to watch the actual championships on TV and know exactly what the players are facing.  

 

Honestly, the USGA has to be making a mint over events such as this. 

I agree that the USGA makes a bunch of money on THIS tournament, although I'm also certain the expenses involved in staging the event are far greater than any of us can imagine.  However, the USGA stages many more events which make no money, but still cost a bundle to stage.  The US Open finances a lot of what the USGA does through the rest of the year.

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Right handed

Reston, Virginia

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I gotta admit, its a real thrill to watch the actual championships on TV and know exactly what the players are facing.  

 

That's what I was thinking of but couldn't put it into words! Golf is the only sport where you can enjoy it with your buddies on the same stage as the pros. I find that so cool and love that it is not found in any other sport.

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The closest I have come is to play Kearney Hills in Lexington KY...It's only a 3 minute drive from my Sister's home.  They held many US Open Qualifiers there......

 

Tournaments/Championships Hosted:
 
Senior PGA Tour Bank One Classic: 1990 - 1997
Kentucky State Amateur Championship: 1992 & 1995
Kentucky State Open Championship: 2005
U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship: 1997
PGA National Junior Series: 2001, 2002, 2005 - 2007
Kentucky Women's Amateur: 1998
Kentucky Women's Open: 2006
Kentucky Senior Open: 2003 & 2004
Celebrity Players Tour: 1999 - 2001
Kentucky PGA Championship: 1998
National Qualifiers
U.S. Junior Amateur
U.S. Amateur
U.S. Public Links
U.S. Senior Open
U.S. Senior Amateur
Southern Amateur
 
Local Championships Include:
Men's City, Men's Two Man, Bluegrass State Games
and Larry Gilbert Lexington Open
 
Past Champions of Interest
Gary Player, Isao Aoki, Mike Hill, Vicente Fernandez, Tim Clark and Josh Teater.
Many famous professional players from across the globe have walked the links of Kearney Hill.
 
Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Bob Murphy, Jim Dent and Raymond Floyd. Floyd made his Senior PGA Tour debut to a galley of over 100,000 spectators. This event is thought to still be a Senior Tour record. 
 
Amateur players at the time that have played include: Trip Kuehne, Kelli Kuehne, Tim Clark, Ryuji Imada,
Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel.
 
It's aPete Dye Links design and is very challenging.
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Driver: image.png.6ba1c8a254ad57aa05e527b74c2e04ba.png0211 w/Evenflo Riptide CB Regular shaft & 0811 XF w/Evenflo Riptide CB Senior shaft

Fairways:  image.png.80321f01fc46450b6f428c7daf7b3471.png0211 5W & 7W w/ Evenflo Riptide CB  regular shaft and Tour Edge E521 9W w/Fubuki HD50 regular shaft

Hybrid: None in bag at the moment

IronsTitleist T300 5-PW w/Fubuki MV Senior graphite shafts w/Golf Pride Tour

Wedges: Titleist T300 48* GW w/Fubuki MV Senior shaft and SCOR 4161 54*/57* wedges V sole & Genius 10 shafts…Cleveland RTX Zipcore (54*/58*) w/DG Spinner wedge shafts on back burner for now.

Putter: 33”   Evnroll ER2 w/Evnroll Gravity Grip 

Bag: Vice cart bag(Black/Lime). 

Ball: Maxfli Tour CG & Titleist Pro V1x.

Using Shot Scope V3 and MG4000 Rangefinder

 

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The closest I have come is to play Kearney Hills in Lexington KY...It's only a 3 minute drive from my Sister's home.  They held many US Open Qualifiers there......

 

Tournaments/Championships Hosted:
 
Senior PGA Tour Bank One Classic: 1990 - 1997
Kentucky State Amateur Championship: 1992 & 1995
Kentucky State Open Championship: 2005
U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship: 1997
PGA National Junior Series: 2001, 2002, 2005 - 2007
Kentucky Women's Amateur: 1998
Kentucky Women's Open: 2006
Kentucky Senior Open: 2003 & 2004
Celebrity Players Tour: 1999 - 2001
Kentucky PGA Championship: 1998
National Qualifiers
U.S. Junior Amateur
U.S. Amateur
U.S. Public Links
U.S. Senior Open
U.S. Senior Amateur
Southern Amateur
 
Local Championships Include:
Men's City, Men's Two Man, Bluegrass State Games
and Larry Gilbert Lexington Open
 
Past Champions of Interest
Gary Player, Isao Aoki, Mike Hill, Vicente Fernandez, Tim Clark and Josh Teater.
Many famous professional players from across the globe have walked the links of Kearney Hill.
 
Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Bob Murphy, Jim Dent and Raymond Floyd. Floyd made his Senior PGA Tour debut to a galley of over 100,000 spectators. This event is thought to still be a Senior Tour record. 
 
Amateur players at the time that have played include: Trip Kuehne, Kelli Kuehne, Tim Clark, Ryuji Imada,
Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel.
 
It's aPete Dye Links design and is very challenging.

Driver: image.png.6ba1c8a254ad57aa05e527b74c2e04ba.png0211 w/Evenflo Riptide CB Regular shaft & 0811 XF w/Evenflo Riptide CB Senior shaft

Fairways:  image.png.80321f01fc46450b6f428c7daf7b3471.png0211 5W & 7W w/ Evenflo Riptide CB  regular shaft and Tour Edge E521 9W w/Fubuki HD50 regular shaft

Hybrid: None in bag at the moment

IronsTitleist T300 5-PW w/Fubuki MV Senior graphite shafts w/Golf Pride Tour

Wedges: Titleist T300 48* GW w/Fubuki MV Senior shaft and SCOR 4161 54*/57* wedges V sole & Genius 10 shafts…Cleveland RTX Zipcore (54*/58*) w/DG Spinner wedge shafts on back burner for now.

Putter: 33”   Evnroll ER2 w/Evnroll Gravity Grip 

Bag: Vice cart bag(Black/Lime). 

Ball: Maxfli Tour CG & Titleist Pro V1x.

Using Shot Scope V3 and MG4000 Rangefinder

 

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Have never been across the pond but would love to one of these days. Like you, I've played Pinehurst #2 (before the redesign) and also Whistling Straits. In compiling my list, I'm having a hard time finding public courses that have hosted, but that's how it is in my area. I've also played Olympia Fields ('03 Open) numerous times. Although it's private, it's not impossible to get on. Another local major venue I've played is Medinah #3 (private) and a very cool experience. You can do everything there including shoot trap and skeet. When I was in college we played at Bellerive in St. Louis and also St. Louis CC which were both major courses from a long time ago. Crooked Stick and French Lick Springs in Indiana hosted PGAs, Kemper Lakes also hosted a PGA, here are multiple blasts from the past that are local to me that I've played as well- North Shore GC, Skokie CC, Glen View Club, and Onwetsia CC all in the north burbs of Chicago; and my favorite course on the south side Midlothian CC, another course on the south side that hosted a PGA back in the day is Flossmoor CC but that GC sucks IMO. The one that has eluded me is the Chicago Golf Club. One of these days...

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There are quite a few classics that I would absolutely love to play- Winged Foot, Oakmont, Valhalla, Merion, Oakland Hills, Hazeltine, Southern Hills, and Baltusrol come to mind...

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I thought I had responded to this one. I've played Pebble, Bethpage, PGA National, Whistling and Blackwolf Run all of which have hosted some sort of major. Pebble and Bethpage were ions ago. Pace of play was slow, course conditions not so hot to terrible. Pebble was beautiful, Bethpage was ridiculously difficult (pre open fix).

 

Neither Whistling nor Black Wolf is impossible so long as you are on the proper set of tees. I always played Black Wolf from the tees the ladies played their Open from and have shot 75. PGA National was very difficult because there are a number of holes where local knowledge is helpful.

 

I cant begin to count the number of courses that I've played that have hosted tour events from PGA to LPGA to Champions. I agree with Dave, it's fun to be able to compare notes and think about what I did from a certain spot. I particularly enjoy that when I'm playing a course that the Women are playing. My game is closer to theirs than the guys.

 

I would love to play Shinnecock and then an Old School course like Oakmont or Oakland Hills or Winged Foot.

Taylor Made Stealth 10.5  Aldila Ascent Red R flex

Ping G410 5, 7, 9 wood  Alta 65 R flex

Wilson D7 forged 5-GW -  Mamiya recoil 460 R flex

SCOR 52, 56  

Ping Glide 3.0  Ping Eye 2 grind 58.8

L.A.B. Mezz.1 32.5"

Titleist Pro VIx optic yellow with revkev stamped on them

 

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I have played a bunch of courses that have hosted the Open.

 

Bethpage Black

Merion

Oakmont

Pinehurt #2

Congressional

Winged Foot

Shiinecock

Baltrusol

Philadelphia CC

Fresh Meadow

Philly Cricket Club

Garden City CC

Newport CC

 

I agree with having more public courses host the Open. You are correct that the USGA dumped a bunch of coin into the Black to make it a championship course. For years it was run down and the least desirable of the five courses at Bethpage that you could play. The thing that makes Bethpage so cool is that it is really a muni that is run by NY State and pretty much no frills. There are also two more real quality course there in the Red and Blue that are about a step below the Black.

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WITB

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If I narrowed it down to three it would be

 

1. Merion - grew up playing it an possibly my favorite course on the planet

 

2. Shinnecock - just fantastic layout and a blast to play. Surprisingly would be number 4 on my list of Eastern Long Island courses behind Friar's Head, National and Sebonack.

 

3. Toss up between the Black and Oakmont. Both solid layouts and just brutally long. Oakmonts greens are a lot tougher than he Black but an easier driving course than the Black.

 

All of those courses are just awesome and the only one that I really just did not enjoy all that much was Newport CC. Great views and a pretty course but it does not fit my game at all.

WITB

:titleist-small: TSR3 10* Project X HC Yellow 76g 6.5

:titleist-small: TSR2+ 13* Diamana Blueboard 83x

:callaway-small: Apex UW 17* UST Elements Wind 9f5

:titleist-small: TSI3 20* AD DI 95x

:PXG: 0311 ST 5 -PW KBS $Taper 130

:PXG: Sugar Daddy 50* KBS $Taper 130

:bettinardi-small: HLX 3.0 54* & 58* TTDG S400

:odyssey-small: Toulon Madison BGT Fire 34"

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They are very cool and a lot heavier than you would think. Also a heck of a lot harder to swipe than you would imagine but they are very heavily guarded on the course and in the maintenance barn.

WITB

:titleist-small: TSR3 10* Project X HC Yellow 76g 6.5

:titleist-small: TSR2+ 13* Diamana Blueboard 83x

:callaway-small: Apex UW 17* UST Elements Wind 9f5

:titleist-small: TSI3 20* AD DI 95x

:PXG: 0311 ST 5 -PW KBS $Taper 130

:PXG: Sugar Daddy 50* KBS $Taper 130

:bettinardi-small: HLX 3.0 54* & 58* TTDG S400

:odyssey-small: Toulon Madison BGT Fire 34"

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That would be a nice addition. I think the members may be able to purchase the flag sticks that they take out of service but that may just be a rumor that I have heard.

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WITB

:titleist-small: TSR3 10* Project X HC Yellow 76g 6.5

:titleist-small: TSR2+ 13* Diamana Blueboard 83x

:callaway-small: Apex UW 17* UST Elements Wind 9f5

:titleist-small: TSI3 20* AD DI 95x

:PXG: 0311 ST 5 -PW KBS $Taper 130

:PXG: Sugar Daddy 50* KBS $Taper 130

:bettinardi-small: HLX 3.0 54* & 58* TTDG S400

:odyssey-small: Toulon Madison BGT Fire 34"

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  • 6 years later...

The challenge with the USGA or the PGA upgrading a true muni is that so very few muni's have the bones to be a world-class challenge. Bethpage Black was originally designed and built to be just that, on the level of Pine Valley. Ferry Point is technically a muni and can present a major challenge but it is run as a high-end facility. If we are talking about true, geared for the masses muni's, ala Bethpage or Torrey Pines, there are probably very, very few that would have the length and design, and overall logistics (a property that can handle all the tents, production facilities, parking, etc.) that would work.

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  • 1 month later...

I've always loved playing the regional courses the day after qualifying rounds.  The rough is high and the greens run fast and true.  Even a decent local course is a blast to play in those conditions.

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:755178188_TourEdge: EX-9 3 & 5 hybrids, stiff

:Hogan: BH-5 irons, 4-PW, stiff

:vokey-small:SM6 56-degree SW, and 60-degree wedge

:ping-small: Zing Putter w/Winn NTP midsize grip

:srixon-small: Soft Feel golf ball

Wish list - Srixon ZX5 or 7 irons, Sub70 699 pro irons, Callaway Jaws gap wedge, Vokey gap wedge

 

 

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