The U.S. Open is generally the toughest test of golf on the PGA Tour in a given year. That is exactly the way that the USGA prefers that it be. Sometimes the players think that the USGA goes a little bit over-the-top with the course setup. Many fans remember the 2004 tournament at Shinnecock Hills where the greens were just unputtable. Is that even a word? But you understand what I mean. Lee Westwood thought that the Olympic Club during the 1998 U.S. Open was one of those instances. Well look at the Lake Course now.
The 112th U.S. Open Golf Championship comes to the Lake Course at the Olympic Club in San Fransisco, California on June 14-17, 2012. This could be a very difficult course for the world's best golfers. No less than Tiger Woods called the first six holes at the Lake Course the toughest six holes to start a golf tournament that he has ever played. When you think about it that's really an incredible statement from Tiger Woods. If the course is that hard, and the USGA makes what for them are typical setups, the course could be extremely difficult. I'm hoping that doesn't happen. I expect the pros to make bogey occasionally at the U.S. Open. That is part of the tournament. However, I do not want to see everyone double bogey every other hole. I'll leave that to me and my friends on the weekend at our local course.
If the first six holes at the Olympic Club are not difficult enough then there is the par-5 16th hole. Phil Mickelson said that No. 16 might just be the toughest hole on the Lake Course. This hole can be played at 670 yards! I started thinking how I would play a 670 yard par-5. Even if I hit a 300 yard drive, and I wouldn't, I would still have nearly 400 yards for my second shot. Can you imagine just hacking up the fairway or the rough with fairway woods or long irons? I guess that's what I would have to do. The longest hole that I can think of on a course in my local area is 550 yards from the regular men's tees. That is quite a long hole for amateurs, especially for amateurs that are no more skilled than me. I really have no idea what I would to do on a 670 yard hole. Bubba Watson said that some of the pros might not reach No. 16 in three. I am sure that I could not do it! Good luck to the guys at the Lake Course, they may need it.
Dwight is an avid golfer. While still relatively new to the game, he plays as often as the weather and his schedule will allow.
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- Tiger Woods