Highly Anticipated U.S. Open at Erin Hills
This years highly anticipated U.S. Open is at Erin Hills in Hartford, Wisconsin.
Erin Hills is a links style course that sometimes plays just over 8,000 yards from the tips.
Some people don’t think so.
A lot of people have voiced their negative opinions about the course, and not just its distance. Kevin Na recently complained about how bad the fescue was, which it was later trimmed down. The distance has been another complaint, saying the golf equipment helping players hit it further, shouldn’t mean you extend the course.
I think all of that is… well, hog wash for lack of a better term.
Lets looks at the winning score after 72 holes at the past five U.S. Open’s.
2013 Justin Rose +1
2014 Martin Kaymer -9
2015 Jordan Spieth -5
2016 Dustin Johnson -4
None of those scores hop off the screen at you and yell “Wow he dominated.”
The USGA, to an extent, seems to pride themselves on hosting the U.S. Open at really tough courses.
This year’s venue is the host of four par 5’s that stretch beyond 600 yards. With todays long hitters, it isn’t crazy to think some will be getting on in two.
But besides those four out of 18 holes, you have par 4 under 400, three par 3’s 215 or shorter and a handful of par 4’s that will present loads of birdie opportunities.
For a comparison, lets look at some of the holes at last years U.S. Open at Oakmont.
Although only two par 5’s, they measured in at 667 and 609 yards. Add on top of that a 500-yard par 4 and a 288-yard par 3. Seemed like DJ played okay, winning with a -4.
The argument about the fescue was best summed up by Rory McIlroy when asked his thoughts on them trimming it down at a press conference.
“We have 60 yards from left line to right line. You’ve got 156 of the best players in the world here, if we can’t hit it within that avenue, you might as well pack your bags and go home.”
Kevin Na complaining on social media may have worked, but it may have taken some of the uniqueness out of Erin Hills.
With todays players, the technology to refine your swing and coach’s brains players should be able to score just fine at Erin Hills.
Golf millennials, like myself, want to see this stuff. Give me a 663-yard par 5 everyday of the week. I want to see DJ actually pull a 3 wood in a tournament. I want to see players struggling. Winning tournaments at -20 does nothing for me, give me struggles, give me close competition on Sunday.
Sorry if I offended anyone who love to see players go wedge on the second shot of a par 4, or a guy on Sunday at -18 on hole 17 while the second place guy battles at -14 with no shot.
Golf needs drama, Erin Hills can provide that.