U.S. Open: The Olympic Club Hole by Hole
Take a Virtual Tour of The Olympic Club
By: Rob Doster | 6/14/12, 9:30 AM EDT
No. 11 of 19
520 yards, par 4
This dogleg right played as a par 5 at the club's previous U.S. Opens. Any drive of more than 280 yards will hit a slope and carom closer to the green. If players miss the fairway, they may be forced to lay up away from the cross bunkers 50 yards short of the green. A greens renovation in 2008 switched the putting surfaces from poa annua to bent grass.
Did You Know? This hole was the first in U.S. Open history where a player used a golf cart. Casey Martin, who won a landmark court decision against the PGA Tour to use a cart because of a physical disability in his legs, ultimately finished tied for 23rd in 1998.
No. 22 of 19
428 yards, par 4
A new tee lengthens the hole by 34 yards from the 1998 U.S. Open. The fairway, 34 yards wide, was moved to the left roughly seven paces, making it more difficult to hit with driver. The approach to a narrow elevated green surrounded by three bunkers is one of the toughest on the course.
No. 33 of 19
247 yards, par 3
From a new tee 24 yards longer than in 1998, players will attempt to land a downhill iron or hybrid shot in front of a green that runs away from them. Five bunkers guard the edges. The Golden Gate Bridge is visible from the tee.
No. 44 of 19
438 yards, par 4
The fairway slopes left to right on this dogleg left. A draw from a right-handed player using a wood, hybrid or iron should hold the fairway. A driver could end up into the tree line. Those who miss right could end up in the intermediate cut of rough, which will double in size for the tournament. Two bunkers shouldn't be much of a factor on the approach to a fairly flat green.
No. 55 of 19
498 yards, par 4
A new tee lengthens this hole by 41 yards. It plays the opposite of the previous hole by making a dogleg right with a fairway sloping right to left. The fairway narrows as it turns the corner. The approach shot generally plays shorter being slightly downhill and downwind. Avoiding the two greenside bunkers is imperative.
Do You Remember? Lee Janzen’s final-round fortunes in the 1998 U.S. Open turned here when a ball he thought was lost in the trees dislodged and fell harmlessly into the rough as he was walking back to re-tee. After a layup, Janzen missed the green on his third but chipped in for par to start his run toward his second U.S. Open title in six years.
No. 66 of 19
490 yards, par 4
This hole, which features the only fairway bunker on the course, has changed significantly. It's 53 yards longer, and that left fairway bunker was carved deeper and moved five paces to the right, jutting into the fairway. Three bunkers surround the putting surface.
No. 77 of 19
294 yards, par 4
Most everybody will have a go at this drivable uphill par 4. Five bunkers and U.S. Open rough will make getting up and down for birdie on a two-tiered green a challenge. "I expect a lot of birdies," says Olympic Club head professional Chris Stein. "You might even see an eagle or two."
No. 88 of 19
200 yards, par 3
The new green, cut farther up the hillside between three bunkers, has been reconfigured and moved to the right to create an entirely new look 63 yards longer than the former par-3 eighth. The angular green slopes away from players. A back pin location will require a draw to escape intruding Cypress trees.
No. 99 of 19
449 yard, par 4
Playing 16 yards longer than in 1998, this downhill hole features a fairway that has been shifted left to create a dogleg right. That fairway slopes right to left, creating some side-hill lies. Players should be able to avoid the four greenside bunkers with a short iron in hand, but keeping the shot below the hole will be critical on a green moving hard back to front. Shots that miss the back left of the green will funnel into a collection area.
No. 1010 of 19
424 yards, par 4
Most players will hit less than driver off the tee to keep from going through a fairway moved seven yards to the right on this dogleg right. The fairway is a narrow 27 yards. The green remains one of the flattest on the course, with bunkers on the left and front right, and has the potential to give up some birdies.
No. 1111 of 19
430 yards, par 4
This straightaway hole plays into the wind. A fairway moved to the left provides a better angle on the approach to the green but brings the trees into play off the tee. Two bunkers on the left and one front right guard a two-tier green.
No. 1212 of 19
451 yards, par 4
The tee shot, lengthened by 35 yards with a new tee, must travel through a tunnel of trees and forces players to shape the ball to hit the fairway. Finding two deep front bunkers or a closely mowed collection area behind the green could be costly misses.
No. 1313 of 19
199 yards, par 3
A new tee makes this iron shot to a narrow green about 13 yards longer. Players might be better off in the right bunker or the front bunker than the big swale on the left that feeds down to a collection area and a canal. The branches of a large cypress tree can knock down shots pushed right.
No. 1414 of 19
419 yards, par 4
The fairway of this dogleg left has moved substantially left toward the tree line and the canal, forcing players to choose between banging a driver to the bottom of the hill or throttling back with an iron or fairway wood. Two large bunkers (and a smaller one) protect the front of the green.
No. 1515 of 19
154 yards, par 3
The shortest par 3 on the course could end up being a birdie hole, although four bunkers are threatening. The putting surface is now smaller and flatter. Balls that plug into the face of the deep front bunker could bring double bogey into play.
No. 1616 of 19
664 yards, par 5
The longest hole in U.S. Open history, this monster will require driver because of a new tee 55 yards farther back. A second new tee plays 625 yards. A third tee at 570 yards could be used for variety. The shape of the sweeping dogleg left will likely require a layup. An approach that misses an elevated green and two front bunkers will enter a collection area long and left that drops roughly 10 feet below the putting surface.
Did You Know? Arnold Palmer, who led the tournament by seven shots with nine holes to play, made a double bogey here during a final-round meltdown and ultimately lost a Monday playoff to Billy Casper at the 1966 U.S. Open.
No. 1717 of 19
505 yards, par 5
This former par 4 for the 1998 U.S. Open becomes a risk-reward par 5 playing uphill and into the wind. The fairway slopes severely left to right, so right-handed players will attempt to draw their tee shots into the hill to hold the fairway. The approach demands precision to avoid four bunkers. Missing long and right will leave a devilish pitch or putt from a collection area well below the elevated green.
Do You Remember? After three straight final round birdies, Scott Simpson hit a magnificent 70-foot bunker shot to within six feet of the hole to set up a clutch par save, allowing him to hold off Tom Watson by a shot for the 1987 U.S. Open title.
No. 1818 of 19
355 yards, par 4
The atmosphere at this iconic finishing hole should be electric with several thousand spectators watching from the natural amphitheater on the hillside. Players will likely hit iron or wood to find a fairway just 21 yards wide. The approach must stay below the hole and out of the four greenside bunkers (Members say three of those bunkers spell out the phrase "I-O-U"). Careening slopes on the smallest green on the course set up a nerve-wracking finish.
Did You Know? Jack Fleck, a little-known pro from Iowa, stared down Ben Hogan to win the 1955 U.S. Open at Olympic. First, he birdied 18 to get into a playoff. In the playoff, Hogan hooked his drive on 18 off the tee, resulting in double bogey, as Fleck made par to win.
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