The US Open will return to The Country Club on Thursday, but the lesson will not be the same as when the Brookline Club last hosted the famous event in 1988.
The routing is different than in 1988, when there was a one-block start. Since 2002, golfers at the US Open have started in the first and 10th jerseys in the first two rounds. At TCC, golfers will take off their first and ninth jerseys so they can easily access these jerseys from the practice area.
In 1988, the US Open at the TCC played at 71. This year, the number will be 70, although the track will span 7,381 yards, about 250 more than 34 years ago.
The USGA will use 15 holes from the main course of the TCC and four from the Primrose path with nine holes to form the other three holes.
Much of Primrose No. 1 and Green No. 2 will combine to form the 13th 490-yard hole, par-4 for the championship. Primrose 425-yard, par-4 No. 9 will be No. 9 on the league field and Primrose 625-yard, No. 8 will be used as the 14th hole in the league.
The 11th hole par-3, 131 yards will be used, but the fourth hole par-4, 432 yards will not be used. It was the other way around in 1988. The broadcast band will be in part of the fourth hole.
Jeff Hall, CEO of USGA Rules and Open Championships, is excited about the addition of the 11th hole and called it one of his favorites at the TCC, as almost every golfer can relate to playing a 131-yard hole.
“They can really do it,” he said. “A 260 yards par 3, well, not so much. This is two par 4 shots for me now. But in a 131 yards par 3, anyone can figure out which club to hit. It may be a 7-stick for someone and it will be a wedge for the best players in the world, but everyone connected to the US Open is connected to this shot. ”
The 10th hole is now par. 4
The 10th hole was 515 yards par 5 in 1988, but will be 499 yards par 4 this year. The 14th hole was 450 yards par 4 in 1988, but will play as 619 yards, par 5 this year. Architect Gil Hanse carried the T-shirt back.
“It’s a hole for adult golf,” Hall said. “If you do not drive it on the road there, you will have a real challenge to lift it to the plate to play the small, short, third shot.”
When Curtis Strange won the TCC in 1988, he used a 2-iron or a 3-iron and a 9-iron in the 310-yard fifth hole in the par-4 downhill.
“No one plays golf that way anymore,” Hall said. “We will see what they do. I’m really fascinated to see how the modern golfer plays this hole. Country Club is an old golf course. Small grasses, very tight fairy. “How will this modern golfer adapt to this or will they just let it tear?”
The TCC was built to fit holes in the ground as it was. Caterpillar tractors have not cleaned anything, so the TCC has some blind shots with t-shirts that modern golfers may not be accustomed to hitting. Hall pointed out that Paul Azinger once told him that shots are blind only once – the first time someone hits them. After that, the golfer has to figure it out.
“It will be interesting to see how the modern golfer adapts to this old golf course,” Hall said.
As usual for the US Open, the rough ones will be punished.
“When players start muttering about the rough,” Hall said, “I remind them that we cut the streets every day, sometimes twice.”
In other words, hit it straight. Fairways will range from 22 or 24 yards wide to 38 yards wide.
“But if you take it that way, it’s going to be difficult, and that’s the idea,” Hall said. “We want to give a premium to driving the golf ball.”
Another change since 1988 is the form of the playoffs. When each of the three previous US Open tournaments was held at the TCC, the playoffs lasted 18 holes. Now there are only two holes, and if the players are still tied, the playoffs extend to sudden death holes.
In 1913, Brookline amateur Francis Ouimet defeated Britain’s Ted Ray and Harry Vardon in an 18-hole playoff at the TCC.
In 1963, Julius Boros defeated Jacky Cupit and Arnold Palmer in an 18-hole playoff at the US Open at the TCC.
In 1988, Strange defeated Nick Faldo in an 18-hole playoff.