Soly and I had a chance to play this year’s U.S. Open venue a few weeks ago and were blown away by the potential of this year’s tournament. The USGA keeps calling the U.S. Open “golf’s ultimate test” and if they get the weather they are hoping for, Shinnecock Hills will be a very fitting venue for it. It’s the perfect combination of a million different factors and after seeing in person how good it is, it’s kind of shocking that it’s taken 14 years to get back here.
The course was (understandably) playing really soft and slow when we saw it a few weeks ahead of the tournament, but if the USGA can dodge the rain that softened things last year at Erin Hills, and if the wind gets up the way it typically does in Southampton, ejections will be imminent.
The course has undergone a number of changes since 2004 – fairways were widened during a restoration by Coore & Crenshaw and then narrowed for the event. Greens have been expanded to their original sizes and surrounds have been cut tight to provide options around the putting surface. We outlined what to look for in the video below.