US Open’s Toughest Major

By Golf


Shinnecock Hills proves difficult for many

Shinnecock Hills is noted to be the toughest major. The US Open is notably the toughest and most uncompromising major around, and that’s what makes it so rewarding. But, the Shinnecock Hills is undoubtedly the hardest nearing the very edge of playability.

The course is set in the opulent Hamptons of Long Island, New York, and it is a classic. It is firm, fast and open with a linksy feel, but it proves to be a killer, and therefore being given the chance to play on it is a privilege knowing that the player is worthy.

“Shinnecock makes your heart beat faster,” World Golf Hall of Famer Ben Crenshaw said. “Everything fits here. It’s a marvellous golf course in a unique setting, a touch of golf that emanates from the British Isles.”

The first U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills also was the shortest in the tournament’s history. Shinnecock played 4,423 yards, more than 3,000 yards shorter than it will this week. Of course, the Chicago Tribune reporter present at Shinnecock that week gushed over Shippen’s “magnificent drive of fully 175 yards.” Many players can hit a 9-iron that far today.

The course will play 7,445 yards this week. That’s shorter than several recent U.S. Open venues but also about 500 yards longer than the last time Shinnecock Hills hosted the U.S. Open. Ten new tees were added to the course.

“We are excited because now all of a sudden some of the cross bunkers, … some of the lateral bunkers, are in play,” USGA executive director Mike Davis said.


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