SAN DIEGO – While the USGA celebrates the U.S. Open’s return to Torrey Pines, there is an undercurrent that suggests the USGA may be moving away from public venues like the South Course for the national championship.
Although Torrey Pines was the site of what many consider the most compelling U.S. Open of this generation, in 2008, there have been rumors that the USGA may be considering a more traditional rotation. It’s a concept that sits well with at least one top player.
“I would be in favor of that. I like that,” Rory McIlroy said on Wednesday. “When you think of a U.S. Open, I think you think of the iconic venues that it has been played on. Obviously, Pebble being one, even like going back to '13 at Merion, I thought was a huge success. There’re courses that are just synonymous with U.S. Opens. I don't really think we need to go too far outside of those.”
The idea is for the U.S. Open to create a rotation similar to that used by The Open Championship that would include only classic venues like the current lineup. Currently the championship is scheduled to be played next year at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass.; Los Angeles Country Club (’23); Pinehurst (N.C.) Resort (’24); Oakmont (Pa.) Country Club (’25); Shinnecock Hills in Southampton, N.Y., (’26); and Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links (’27).
“It sort of worked for The Open Championship,” McIlroy said. “They have a rotation of three or four courses. I think the reason Augusta has become what it's become is because people are so familiar with it. Year after year, people tune in, they know the holes on TV, and I think that's one of the reasons the Masters has become the spectacle that it is.”