Golf Club Atlas

GolfClubAtlas.com => Golf Course Architecture => Topic started by: PCCraig on June 10, 2022, 03:06:17 PM

Title: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: PCCraig on June 10, 2022, 03:06:17 PM
As we come up to the 2022 US Open next week at The Country Club, I've watched a number of drone videos from outlets like The Fried Egg, Golf Digest, and others. Those videos have rustled up fond memories of the course from my time as a caddie there when I was in college in Boston.


As I watched these flyover videos and listened to Gil Hanse speak about the course, I felt like there is no better example of the great *American* golf course. Much like nearby Boston & New England in general, it encapsulates so much of the American essence:


The course was built, first rudimentary through the property, but then evolving into a routing routed through massive rock outcroppings and using extensive manpower and engineering.


The design lineage is hardly a pure bred Ross, Flynn, Raynor or MacDonald. In reality it is a mutt, part member design, part Campbell, Flynn, Jones, C&C, and now Hanse.


Few courses in the United States I've seen can rival the feeling of tackling nature that TCC gives you. The player doesn't walk around the sites features...they take them head on in a feeling of natural adventure.


Even the routing is quirky and put together in a do it yourself nature of playing over greens, skipping holes, and almost cross-country in nature.


Not to mention, the club and course has always worked hard to preserve their grounds and club in a historical and principled manner.




(https://golfclubatlas.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/TCClead.jpg)


(https://golfclubatlas.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/TCC7t-2.jpg)


(https://golfclubatlas.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/TCC11bg.jpg)


(https://golfclubatlas.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/TCCComp12.jpg)


(https://golfclubatlas.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/TCC18a.jpg)
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: mike_beene on June 11, 2022, 12:04:51 AM
I struggle to remember a composite course. I am sure there are reasons to mix the routing up, but it takes away from my desire to learn and appreciate the course. ( I give a semi pass to Royal Melbourne). Not sure why.
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: Jeff Schley on June 11, 2022, 01:46:38 AM
Want to hear Paul Rudovsky's view here certainly.
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: jeffwarne on June 11, 2022, 06:32:28 AM
I struggle to remember a composite course. I am sure there are reasons to mix the routing up, but it takes away from my desire to learn and appreciate the course. ( I give a semi pass to Royal Melbourne). Not sure why.


This.
By definition it is highlighting deficiencies of one of the two or more holes on a property, and is a routing not often played by most.


Bethpage Black could use #1 and 18 from the Red(two of the weakest holes on the Black), if you really wanted to athleticize the walk... ;)
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: Kalen Braley on June 11, 2022, 10:39:52 AM
Here is the configuration for this year's event..

P.S. PCCraig, thanks for the pics.  Brookline has always looked to be a special place to my eye...


(https://res.cloudinary.com/usopen/image/upload/c_fill,dpr_1.0,f_auto,fl_lossy,g_center,h_708,q_auto,w_1260/v1/us-open/Article-Splash/2022/AS_2022USOMap)
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: PPallotta on June 11, 2022, 12:17:48 PM
When I read the title I thought of the 'type' , ie the northeast championship rota, with Winged Foot and Baltusrol and Congressional and Oak Hill; and of the 'turf', ie definitely not that of GB&I's championship rota and instead much like that of America's other dominant championship rota, the Chicago-Michigan-mid west type that includes Medinah and Olympia Fields and Inverness and Oakland Hills and Hazeltine.
Yes: great courses, great US opens, great history and all very American -- but for my tastes I'd rather they played Shinnecock, a type & turf that isn't quintessentially America, but seems to me more 'golfy'

Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: Cliff Hamm on June 11, 2022, 12:54:16 PM
Boston Globe coverage:


https://apps.bostonglobe.com/sports/2022/06/us-open-at-brookline-preview/ (https://apps.bostonglobe.com/sports/2022/06/us-open-at-brookline-preview/)
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: Matt_Cohn on June 11, 2022, 07:36:54 PM
If they hit it on the out-of-use green in front of the pond on 13, do they play it like fairway or take a drop from a wrong green?
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: Amol Yajnik on June 11, 2022, 09:25:50 PM
If they hit it on the out-of-use green in front of the pond on 13, do they play it like fairway or take a drop from a wrong green?


Play it like a fairway.  It will not even look like a green was there in the first place.


This week is going to be fun.  I live 2 miles from the course, have been lucky enough to play it twice, but have driven past it countless times.  I will be there on Wednesday with my son (so he can get autographs and pictures) and then on Saturday with my parents. 


This spring has been exceptionally dry in Boston and on the warmer side as well.  There has been some welcome rain in the past week or so, and more rain coming late Sunday/early Monday.  However, the rest of the tournament week looks really good, there is really no excuse for the USGA not to have optimal conditions.  I have heard that the rough right now is manageable and not excessive.  I just cannot wait to see what type of player thrives at TCC since a high-level event hasn't been there since the 2013 US Amateur.  I remember following the final match at that event and Matt Fitzpatrick was just so steady in that match, I would be shocked if he's not in the mix again next week.
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: Michael Chadwick on June 11, 2022, 11:09:21 PM
Nice post, Pat. Brookline--like any founding USGA member--has a worthy claim of being the Great American golf course.

One caveat, at least in literature, when navel gazing about the Great American novel, is that the authors need be American. That would add a twist if we apply it to GCA as well, since Willie Campbell would remove Brookline from consideration. Same for Pine Valley because of Colt, and Willie Davis at original Shinnecock, although that may not count if none of his work remains.

Pebble would be the obvious answer in a public straw poll (if ANGC wasn't an option), but that answer doesn't interest me enough.

I'd say it comes down to Merion and Oakmont. And if I had to vote for only one it's--without yet having seen it in person--Oakmont. The Fownes' father-son lineage, the course's creation born out of American made industrial wealth (and a mid-life crisis), the amateur approach to design yet deliberate intention to make it exacting, difficult golf, and the fact that it remains so today. It's a fever dream of a design, composed from a tenacious will, and the course seems to have never lost that distinctive, hard worn spirit. No other courses have held as many USGA events than those two, and while they may not have been chartering clubs, they've risen above the rest.
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: Cal Carlisle on June 12, 2022, 12:03:33 AM
Does anyone have “The Story of Golf at The Country Club”? I’ve always been curious about the book. An odd choice to win the Herbert Warren Wind Book Award with such limited availability to the general public. If you have seen it it, or have it, how does it compare to the NGLA club history?
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: jeffwarne on June 12, 2022, 06:37:37 AM

.
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: Paul Rudovsky on June 12, 2022, 11:29:29 PM
Jeff Schley----Happy to comment but as much as anyone, I realize that my thoughts on the course and club certainly are tinged with bias...much the same way as anyone's comments on their home club (e.g. Ran's thoughts about his recent review of Southern Pines GC).


First...to answer one question raised above, I have and have read The Story of Golf at The Country Club...it was published in conjunction with TCC's 125th anniversary celebration in 2007.  It has been years since my reading of it...but my recollection is that its focus is mainly historical history of the club and course, without an emphasis on golf architecture.


Pat...you raise an interesting question.  Frankly I don't know what course I would identify as the "great American golf course".  IMO, first question would be to identify the criteria that would define the "great American course".   I will not try to do that here, but will try to give you a my view of the course.


Regarding the course...I believe one of its best treats is that it is very very hard to "typecast" (btw...right now I am addressing the Open Course of today).  It has holes that are brutally difficult (e.g. 2, 3, 4, 10, 12, 14), holes that are quirkly...but work (3, 5, 11, and 17), very very small greens, extremely difficult rough, and small bunkers with long perimeters (which I believe results in many many awkward lies...feet in/ball out and vice versa, etc).  It creates lots of angles (nothing like The Old Course)...but good numbers of options and angles that get exaggerated by the small greens and trouble around them.  But from an architectural standpoint, I agree w what Pat says and I believe it sits on its land as comfortably as any other course I have played...and it is important to note that this piece of land would be a difficult one to sit comfortably on.


With some winds blowing it can be an absolute brute.  I was in Boston the summer of 1963 and went over to Brookline on Saturday of the Open (36 hole Saturdays in those days) and witnessed absolute carnage following Arnold Palmer for 36 holes.  In the morning Jackie Cupid fired a smooth 76 and moved straight up the leaderboard!!  The average score that morning was 78.23 (8.23 over par) and that was after the cut.  I don't have access to data base to be sure of the following but after checking out some other nasty scores at Majors on after the cut rounds, I have yet to find one that is that much over par...remember, after the cut!!  Doubt there have been any at a major in last 60-70 years.


Played on the Main Course from "normal" tees, it is both a challenging, but most importantly a fun course...especially due to the variety of terrains, lies and holes. 


For those of you who have not played it in the past couple of years, the most transformative factor IMO is its condition.  Five years ago quite frankly it was usually soft and slow.  Dave Johnson arrived some 4 years ago and has transformed the place.  When I played it upon our return to Boston last month, I was shocked (very pleasantly shocked).  It is now firm and fast and in simply fabulous shape.  I can honestly say that I have never played a course in better condition(but to be fair must also say that I have never played a course 2-3 weeks prior to a major)


History wise, IMO only Merion and Oakmont compare.  Pebble has little history prior to 1972...and Shinnecock little prior to 1986.


Obviously weather will play a big role...it always does...but I think this has a chance to be a memorable event.  We'll know in a week.  Golf is like life (and vice versa), always full of surprises.


One last thought...until Hanse's efforts over the past 13 years or so, as well as Dave Johnson's transformation conditioning wise, I would have never put TCC into this type type of discussion.  I am not saying it was overrated 10-15 years ago, but it never was in my mind deserving of these type of accolades.  Today...it belongs in this discussion (which I take as NOT being "is this the best course in the USA").


P.S.  Unrelated but interesting factoid.  TCC has hosted 3 US Opens...all three ended in playoffs, AND the prior year's Open Champion lost bin all three playoffs (Ted Ray was , making 3 for 3 gettingoing to playoffs 1013 Open Champ, Palmer was Open Champ in '61 and '62. and Faldo was in 1987).  To date 121 US opens...33 went to playoffs...27%...which makes 3 for three to playoffs a 2% probability!








Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: Ben Stephens on June 13, 2022, 03:58:26 AM
Jeff Schley----Happy to comment but as much as anyone, I realize that my thoughts on the course and club certainly are tinged with bias...much the same way as anyone's comments on their home club (e.g. Ran's thoughts about his recent review of Southern Pines GC).


First...to answer one question raised above, I have and have read The Story of Golf at The Country Club...it was published in conjunction with TCC's 125th anniversary celebration in 2007.  It has been years since my reading of it...but my recollection is that its focus is mainly historical history of the club and course, without an emphasis on golf architecture.


Pat...you raise an interesting question.  Frankly I don't know what course I would identify as the "great American golf course".  IMO, first question would be to identify the criteria that would define the "great American course".   I will not try to do that here, but will try to give you a my view of the course.


Regarding the course...I believe one of its best treats is that it is very very hard to "typecast" (btw...right now I am addressing the Open Course of today).  It has holes that are brutally difficult (e.g. 2, 3, 4, 10, 12, 14), holes that are quirkly...but work (3, 5, 11, and 17), very very small greens, extremely difficult rough, and small bunkers with long perimeters (which I believe results in many many awkward lies...feet in/ball out and vice versa, etc).  It creates lots of angles (nothing like The Old Course)...but good numbers of options and angles that get exaggerated by the small greens and trouble around them.  But from an architectural standpoint, I agree w what Pat says and I believe it sits on its land as comfortably as any other course I have played...and it is important to note that this piece of land would be a difficult one to sit comfortably on.


With some winds blowing it can be an absolute brute.  I was in Boston the summer of 1963 and went over to Brookline on Saturday of the Open (36 hole Saturdays in those days) and witnessed absolute carnage following Arnold Palmer for 36 holes.  In the morning Jackie Cupid fired a smooth 76 and moved straight up the leaderboard!!  The average score that morning was 78.23 (8.23 over par) and that was after the cut.  I don't have access to data base to be sure of the following but after checking out some other nasty scores at Majors on after the cut rounds, I have yet to find one that is that much over par...remember, after the cut!!  Doubt there have been any at a major in last 60-70 years.


Played on the Main Course from "normal" tees, it is both a challenging, but most importantly a fun course...especially due to the variety of terrains, lies and holes. 


For those of you who have not played it in the past couple of years, the most transformative factor IMO is its condition.  Five years ago quite frankly it was usually soft and slow.  Dave Johnson arrived some 4 years ago and has transformed the place.  When I played it upon our return to Boston last month, I was shocked (very pleasantly shocked).  It is now firm and fast and in simply fabulous shape.  I can honestly say that I have never played a course in better condition(but to be fair must also say that I have never played a course 2-3 weeks prior to a major)


History wise, IMO only Merion and Oakmont compare.  Pebble has little history prior to 1972...and Shinnecock little prior to 1986.


Obviously weather will play a big role...it always does...but I think this has a chance to be a memorable event.  We'll know in a week.  Golf is like life (and vice versa), always full of surprises.


One last thought...until Hanse's efforts over the past 13 years or so, as well as Dave Johnson's transformation conditioning wise, I would have never put TCC into this type type of discussion.  I am not saying it was overrated 10-15 years ago, but it never was in my mind deserving of these type of accolades.  Today...it belongs in this discussion (which I take as NOT being "is this the best course in the USA").


P.S.  Unrelated but interesting factoid.  TCC has hosted 3 US Opens...all three ended in playoffs, AND the prior year's Open Champion lost bin all three playoffs (Ted Ray was , making 3 for 3 gettingoing to playoffs 1013 Open Champ, Palmer was Open Champ in '61 and '62. and Faldo was in 1987).  To date 121 US opens...33 went to playoffs...27%...which makes 3 for three to playoffs a 2% probability!


Sounds like Morikawa is a really good each-way bet  ;D
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: Ben Stephens on June 13, 2022, 04:06:47 AM
When I was a kid was fortunate to have a copy of the official film of the 1988 US Open between Curtis Strange and Nick Faldo which was a fascinating tussle. What I can remember from the VHS video (very ancient these days!!) is a rolling up and down golf course with interesting features and quite a few uphill shots to the green. The Golf Digest fly throughs brought it back.


Here is a link to the US Open 1988 official film on You Tube - "Strange Days at the Country Club"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97rJFN0k-Es (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97rJFN0k-Es)

However it was a different course then - the 4th then is taken out of this years composite course and this years 8th and 9th were 13th and 14th holes then seems like the course was longer then with only 3 par 3s. The 13th and 14th holes were 11th and 12th holes then.


Liked the look of the course then it looked more British than American to my eyes then.


This years layout i feel is better balanced and looking forward to the 11th a wee par 3 which is the most unlike Redan  ;)
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: Bill Shamleffer on June 13, 2022, 08:33:23 AM
I was at 1988 US Open at TCC.  I was 23, and it was my first pro golf tournament to attend.  Was at the course Monday, Wed, Fri, Sat, & Sunday.  US Open was still small scale in 88.  Merchandise was sold from an open tent on fold up long school cafeteria type tables.  Crowds could still get close to the fairways.


Monday was electric when Seve arrived, having won at Westchester the day before.
Also saw Faldo on Monday.  When walking off first tee he was doing practice swings with no club in hand.  I told my sister he was obviously still looking for something, and had no chance that week.


I loved TCC immediately, and #3 was my favorite hole, hitting down between the granite infused hillsides bordering the meandering fairway, then hitting into a green possibly semi-blind, with no backdrop, due to the pond behind.


Saw Mac O’Grady giving tips to Chip Beck during Wed practice.


Back then parked in fields across the street or at town course next door.
Boston Globe had tons of great articles (many pages every day).
Players LOVED the course and Rees Jones reno was VERY popular.
Saw a lot of good play on Sunday through hole 13 (#9 this year), then had good bleacher seat on 18, where we saw Strange’s great par save on 18.
Also saw low am Billy Mayfair finish using his Walker Cup bag I believe.
Strange was on top of the golf world heading into US Open, having won Memorial few weeks earlier.


I had the chance to see US Am semis in 2013. Course was still fantastic.
Great course to walk down the fairway with the competitors.


Obviously no split tees in 1988, so no issue with having 10th hole so far from clubhouse.
I like this year’s configuration.  Still keeps pretty much same first 7 holes and same finish 4 holes.


#4 was prob my least favorite hole, and I prefer this config skipping that hole.


Was interesting in 88 seeing golfers with persimmon & balata try to get close to #6 green (#5 this year) with drivers.  Assume it will be very drivable this year, but with problems if things go awry.


Looking forward to seeing play on the short #11.  I vividly recall walking by this hole that Francis Ouimet had to deal with, and good to see it back in play.


This year’s #14, was in my opinion the hardest hole in 88 (was #12 then).  Was 450 par 4 elevated fairway to green from lower land area of drives.
Will be interesting see how this holes plays as a >600 yard par 5.


Very excited to watch this, but also miss the still some intimacy that existed at a US Open in 1988.
(I caddied at the US Open in 1990, then next was at 2002 US Open.  By 2002, although was great to be at Bethpage, and feel the love of Bethpage from the locals also watching, the tournament was by then too big, too corporate, and the viewing too distant.)
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: Dan_Callahan on June 13, 2022, 11:48:23 AM
When I first played there, I had very low expectations. Watching the Ryder Cup, I didn't think it looked all that interesting, and thought it's high ranking was a result of history and pedigree more than architectural attributes. And I will admit to being 100% wrong. I loved it. The rock outcroppings, the tiny greens, the undulating terrain, the wispy orange grass that frames the fairways ... I loved everything about it. The short par 3 immediately became one of my favorite holes in golf.

I got a chance to play the composite routing prior to the US Am. The way the Primrose holes are incorporated into the layout is, in my opinion, seamless. And it allows them to add the length that's necessary to challenge the best players in the world without butchering the regular 18 that is used for everyday play. I'm disappointed they are taking the 4th hole out, but glad they are putting the short par 3 back in.


The Country Club, for the normal human, is very, very hard. I remember going to the Am, after having just played the course, and being shocked by how easy they made it look. That 3rd hole alone is a 10 waiting to happen, and Oliver Goss was hitting an iron off that tee. Watching them reach the 600+ yard par 5 in 2 on the Primrose made my head explode. And the way they were able to hit soft chips out of knee-high greenside rough/fescue was incredible. And that was amateurs. I can't wait to see how the pros attack it.
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: PCCraig on June 15, 2022, 01:24:19 PM
In watching the early coverage, I mostly wonder how it's possible the US Open doesn't go to TCC once every 10 years?


My only worry is that the USGA is setting up the golf course too easy and is dumping way too much water on the greens.


For those that are interested, the USGA posted a wonderful video today with Rory and Jon Rahm walking through their strategy on the Championship Course's 5th hole: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3f1QfGGZ_SA
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: Adam G on June 15, 2022, 03:53:07 PM
As a Brookline resident I can tell you the town has no interest in that frequency.

Ultimately TCC is a very tough property to get people to logistically. Bodenhamer said today they didn't think it would work until they successfully staged Merion. It's just too hard to do the things they are doing to get people there frequently. It's surrounded by residences, there are very few ways in, and its very close to the city which already has awful traffic.

I also suspect (but don't know) that the members do not love having 27 holes reduced to the championship 18 for plus or minus 2 years.

Incidentally, I expect LACC will have the same issues next year.
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: Kalen Braley on June 15, 2022, 04:32:36 PM
Adam,

I don't understand the logistics quandary.

Pebble Beach makes it work every year and once every 10 for the US Open, and they have a far more difficult site to access over TCC Brookline or LACC.  Are visitors really that unwilling to use the already existing massive transit systems in Boston or LA?  And is the USGA really that small of a fish to not be able to work out some agreements to provide more dedicated buses in the area on event days?

I can buy the other reasons, but in 2022 this seems a stretch.
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: Ian Mackenzie on June 15, 2022, 06:30:50 PM
I played in a member/guest there in June of 2021.
Loved the course, but - as noted - the pros are playing a slightly different course varied by about 35% or so.


Start with #2: A short 340 yard par 4 for the members.
But, I believe this will be played as a +/- 220 yard uphill par 3.


The 4th is taken out. The 8th & 9th, too, that i found to be the weakest on the course.
That's where the driving range will be and they had sodded the tee ground (for the range) on #10 when I was there last year.


I actually stayed in the 3rd floor "dorm rooms" and wondered arund the place late at night.
My brief comments:


1. The iconic yellow clubhouse is what I would call "shabby preppy 50's chic"... ;D  With the exception of the new member's bar, the place is a bit long in the tooth and the old members love it and the younger members want to blow it up.


2. The club has a serious "campus feel" to it. The main clubhouse is on a large semi-circular drive way that has on it: the clubhouse, the red brick, newly renovated "locker building", a new world class fitness facility also in a yellow building, the tennis/rackets building and the curling rink. Then the pool is nestled behind these buildings.


Would not use the work "intimate" to describe the place...;-) I think someone told me there was 1200 members all-in in all classes.


3. The staff there is fantastic and the place has a great member/staff vibe that I think can really add to the experience.
4. Food was really, really good.
5. Caddies were a diverse set of young local kids and cagey veterans.
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: Adam G on June 15, 2022, 07:27:40 PM
Yes Pebble makes it work. But the Pebble Beach Company owns a lot and golf is vital to the local economy. They basically own the local government.


In Brookline (and LA), you have a major city and tons of neighbors who don't want to be inconvenienced. I can't emphasize how close TCC is to major routes into the city (Jamaica Way and Route 9) and how busy Brookline is. And yes the T is there but it's somewhat far from the course (part of the reason the Boston Brahmins located in that part of Brookline in the 1800s was the lack of public transit). The property is ringed by houses and has 2 access points unless you want to go through a college, close a major street, or go through the municipal golf course (all of which they are doing). It's really about choke points and the difficulty of getting that many people there.


LACC is going to be the same. The whole north course is ringed by houses W, N, and E and Wilshire to the south. There is one access road and two tunnels under Wilshire the club has and a park you can use for staging. You also have the south course and could bus people to Century City and make them walk to the North Course, but it's a logistical mess.


Not that these aren't great venues -- they are -- but I think they are once every 20 year venues like Merion not more frequent just because of the local government and logistics.
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: David_Tepper on June 16, 2022, 10:26:28 PM
Based on what I saw of TCC on TV today, I can't remember the last time the USO was played on a course where the rough (and beyond the rough) was so deep and over grown. Am I right (or wrong) about that?
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: jeffwarne on June 16, 2022, 11:29:48 PM
Based on what I saw of TCC on TV today, I can't remember the last time the USO was played on a course where the rough (and beyond the rough) was so deep and over grown. Am I right (or wrong) about that?


In places it was, in others it wasn't.
I was there today and I enjoyed seeing the rough.
saw some very skillful shots played-I never agreed with the theory that rough and even heavy rough around the greens deskilled the short game.The better the wedge played the more they distinguish themselves in inconsistent often quirky grassy lies with various textures and lies.
The "chipping areas" thing had gotten a bit overdone IMHO and the course had a raw look to it that I liked.
In many places the native had been mowed to give the gallery a better places to walk, and the result was a bit more playability in those areas.
An occasional old school Open is cool.


Kudos to TCC and the USGA on an awesome venue.
TCC is incredible.







Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: Sean_A on June 17, 2022, 01:41:18 AM
Based on what I saw of TCC on TV today, I can't remember the last time the USO was played on a course where the rough (and beyond the rough) was so deep and over grown. Am I right (or wrong) about that?


In places it was, in others it wasn't.
I was there today and I enjoyed seeing the rough.
saw some very skillful shots played-I never agreed with the theory that rough and even heavy rough around the greens deskilled the short game.The better the wedge played the more they distinguish themselves in inconsistent often quirky grassy lies with various textures and lies.
The "chipping areas" thing had gotten a bit overdone IMHO and the course had a raw look to it that I liked.
In many places the native had been mowed to give the gallery a better places to walk, and the result was a bit more playability in those areas.
An occasional old school Open is cool.


Kudos to TCC and the USGA on an awesome venue.
TCC is incredible.

I dislike the 80s style rough crowding the greens and bunkers marooned in rough...hope this set up doesn't come back in style because it will trickle down to a ton of courses. Most of all though I dislike the crazy high rough seemingly scattered about the property willy nilly, but sometimes fairly close to lines of play, including bunkers. It's a shame because the layout and the property look excellent for golf 🤷. This stuff is OK for the US Open which comes to town every few decades, but man, the thought of clubs following this concept isn't a positive for golf.

Ciao
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: John Kirk on June 17, 2022, 01:57:32 AM
Everybody has an opinion.

I think it looks great for a U.S. Open, with plenty of width, deep rough and sloped greens.  Deep bunkers and tricky uphill approach shots, too.  At this early juncture it is unclear whether the final leaderboard will feature a good complement of players considered among the world's best.  Some courses (like Olympic) don't favor the world's best as decisively.  So far, there are lots of relative unknowns near the top.

Tomorrow and Saturday should be very difficult, with winds in the 15-20 mph (SW on Friday and NW on Saturday) range.  Overall, today was a very good day of TV tournament golf. 
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: Joe Hancock on June 17, 2022, 04:16:42 PM
Just getting my first glimpse of the US Open on TV. The only turf I’d be able to have a chance of hitting a decent shot is on the tees. Fairways look like greens, approaches look like greens, greens look like really fast greens, and the rough looks like a meadow.


I couldn’t play that setup….and I sure wouldn’t enjoy it. Glad the pro’s and few am’s can manage.
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: David_Tepper on June 17, 2022, 04:30:44 PM
Some of the fescue rough is really out of control. Worse than the infamous rough at Carnoustie for the 1999 Open. Is it really necessary?
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: PPallotta on June 17, 2022, 04:36:05 PM
Fairways look like greens, approaches look like greens, greens look like really fast greens, and the rough looks like a meadow.
Heck of a good line there, beautifully written, and with the cadence just right. And all that from a respected industry professional and (when he feels like paying attention ) low handicap golfer in his own right. I know, I know: it's the US Open, etcetera etcetera; but sometimes a non industry outsider with the predilections of an aging mid handicapper is comforted in knowing that what he 'sees' in a golf course is not merely a figment of his imagination, or of a gnawing envy.
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: Joe Hancock on June 17, 2022, 04:52:10 PM
Some of the fescue rough is really out of control. Worse than the infamous rough at Carnoustie for the 1999 Open. Is it really necessary?


You are probably using the word “fescue” generically, as a definition of any grass allowed to grow unchecked and unmaintained. This “fescue” that you’re seeing is more likely a combination of fescues, ryegrasses and bluegrasses. It is unplayable, and a “naturalized” area consisting primarily of “fine fescues” wouldn’t be so tall or lush, and would be much more playable.


TV hasn’t helped with the perpetuation of the word “fescue” as any grass left unmaintained.
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: jeffwarne on June 17, 2022, 04:57:34 PM
Just getting my first glimpse of the US Open on TV. The only turf I’d be able to have a chance of hitting a decent shot is on the tees. Fairways look like greens, approaches look like greens, greens look like really fast greens, and the rough looks like a meadow.


I couldn’t play that setup….and I sure wouldn’t enjoy it. Glad the pro’s and few am’s can manage.




I will say the bunkers looked quite manageable. ;) ;D
Fairways ain't "fair"ways anymore unless you're a low single digit.

Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: Joe Hancock on June 17, 2022, 05:02:44 PM
Just getting my first glimpse of the US Open on TV. The only turf I’d be able to have a chance of hitting a decent shot is on the tees. Fairways look like greens, approaches look like greens, greens look like really fast greens, and the rough looks like a meadow.


I couldn’t play that setup….and I sure wouldn’t enjoy it. Glad the pro’s and few am’s can manage.





I will say the bunkers looked quite manageable. ;) ;D
Fairways ain't "fair"ways anymore unless you're a low single digit.




I was thinking specifically of you as I saw ball after ball “settle” into the same low spot. They said on the telecast that they had to put netting on the low spots prior to the Open to prevent more divots…..should be a clue to someone, shouldn’t it? You always say that the sidehill lie has been all but eliminated with the modern mowing heights, and you’re right!
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: David_Tepper on June 17, 2022, 07:19:49 PM
Joe H. -

I will gladly defer to your far greater knowledge of the grass types in play at TCC. I was referring not to the dark green grasses in the rough lining the fairways and surrounding the greens, but rather to the longer yellow/tan/brown "wild" grasses on the various knolls/hillocks, in some of the ditches and further out of play. Whatever the types of grasses that are in those areas, I think they were allowed to grow much too long.

DT
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: Terry Lavin on June 17, 2022, 08:12:19 PM
This golf course exemplifies the strategic principles behind the old school effort to defend par on the ground, whether it’s the rough, the bunkering or the so-called native grasses. Add the wind and the meteorological elements and you have a way to defend an old, historic and familiar course against the best in the game in a major. Not to forget firm and fast setup, even when rain is in the forecast.


The native grasses kill the members every day even though they’re not native: they’re planted to torture the player. But I’ll take that every day over bowling alley, tree-lined fairways that thwart access toward the green.


To me, this course and this course setup is as good as it gets for a classic course for a US Open. There are dozens of Open Championship venues that provide this regularly.


Here’s hoping this is the new normal for premier US courses and hosts for US majors.
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: Dan_Callahan on June 17, 2022, 08:54:51 PM
I was there today and will be going back Sunday. A few observations:


1. These are the tightest fairways I’ve ever seen. The look and feel when you walk across them almost seems fake.


2. I’ve played TCC a few times, I know they say Hanse expanded the greens during the renovation, but they seem way smaller than I remember. Maybe it’s because the rough is so long, but damn … with the wind blowing, they are so tough to hit.


3. The 10th is one of the most amazingly natural inland holes in the world.


4. The 11th is one of the best short par 3s in the world.


5. I have never been to a pro tournament where it was so difficult to walk around the course. The wait at the crossing areas at times was outrageous … literally 20 mins at one spot, at which point we bailed and walked back the other way. In many places, the crossing spots are right in landing areas, so just as one group finishes hitting their second shot, the group on the tee is teeing off, so there’s no chance for spectators to cross. It gets very frustrating.


6. Because of all the blind and semi-blind shots, and the hilly terrain, it’s sort of a tough viewing course for spectators.


7. When it’s 85 degrees out with 100000% humidity, cigar smoke is the last thing you want enveloping your face.


8. It’s oddly impressive how many people are able to start drinking at 10 am and are still standing at 6 pm.


9. Jon Rahm absolutely pounds the ball.


10. I heard very little obnoxious comments from the crowd … not even the ubiquitous “mashed potatoes” or “get in the hole,” which was refreshing. Given what happened at the Ryder Cup, and considering the tension around LIV, I was nervous the peanut gallery might get out of hand. I didn’t see that. Thankfully.
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: jeffwarne on June 17, 2022, 09:48:36 PM
Based on what I saw of TCC on TV today, I can't remember the last time the USO was played on a course where the rough (and beyond the rough) was so deep and over grown. Am I right (or wrong) about that?


In places it was, in others it wasn't.
I was there today and I enjoyed seeing the rough.
saw some very skillful shots played-I never agreed with the theory that rough and even heavy rough around the greens deskilled the short game.The better the wedge played the more they distinguish themselves in inconsistent often quirky grassy lies with various textures and lies.
The "chipping areas" thing had gotten a bit overdone IMHO and the course had a raw look to it that I liked.
In many places the native had been mowed to give the gallery a better places to walk, and the result was a bit more playability in those areas.
An occasional old school Open is cool.


Kudos to TCC and the USGA on an awesome venue.
TCC is incredible.

I dislike the 80s style rough crowding the greens and bunkers marooned in rough...hope this set up doesn't come back in style because it will trickle down to a ton of courses. Most of all though I dislike the crazy high rough seemingly scattered about the property willy nilly, but sometimes fairly close to lines of play, including bunkers. It's a shame because the layout and the property look excellent for golf 🤷. This stuff is OK for the US Open which comes to town every few decades, but man, the thought of clubs following this concept isn't a positive for golf.

Ciao


agreed re:monkey see-monkey do and wouldn't want clubs to adopt a steady diet of it.
I just like seeing the "retro" 80's look-occasionally-not as another trend/fad.
The "chipping area" setup of the last few years had gotten a bit contrived and faddy on some sites and specific holes, often in areas where they were never designed to be such, with the ball running a long way from the hole, hardly distinguishing between a one foot or 30 yard miss-cool occasionally too, but recently overdone IMHO.

Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: AChao on June 18, 2022, 02:28:40 AM

I wouldn't say TCC is THE great American Course, but it is "A" great American Course.  If forced to answer which course is THE great American Course, I'd say there are 5-10-ish that make up a collection and I'd include TCC in it.
Before I go into more detail, let me just give the following background information.  I last played TCC around 15 years ago, and in the late 80's and early 90s, I played TCC over 100 times.  I'm one of a small group of people who aren't members but were very lucky to have access to playing the course on weekdays for 5 months-ish of the year.
One difficulty of evaluating the course is that if someone plays the Clyde and Squirrel nines as most guests do (and from the back tees as they are normally out), it is a medium-difficulty course.  Even if one plays Primose the same day, I wouldn't say it's harder than most medium-difficulty courses.  Playing the US Open Composite Course that they have now or the one for the Ryder Cup and the '88 Open is something totally different. 

In fact, seeing what I've seen on TV Thur and Fri, it looks like the greens are medium in firmness and slightly soft and the course is also.  I should caveat that 10 years ago, I thought the course was very soft, but that in the years after the '88 open, the greens were hard and firm, and the fairways were variable.  One difficulty of controlling the firmness in the Fall and Spring was that it rained so often and winds could be fairly strong. 

One point related to Paul Rudovsky's point about playoffs ... I've been texting some friends who are playing-in or part of the entourage of a player ... one point that I noted and mentioned is that TCC is a very difficult course to achieve separation as a leader, but one where a bunch of bogies can happen in a nano-second. 

For example, on 11 (and the green looks much bigger than it did before) ... a shot a few feet away from the hole location toward the edge can easily trickle into rough that can lead to a bogey.  On 14, Lingmerth hit two great shots and was about 60 ish yards away -- a great chance for birdie, suddenly became a bogey when he hit his wedge over the little ridge 10 feet past the hole and then putted 5 feet past on his birdie putt and missed the par putt.  In the first round, Kevin Na was -3 after 5 holes and was +5 for the day two hours later.

On many holes, the key to scoring well is good defense.  On the easy holes, birdies are great, but pars at worst are needed -- that being said, even the easy holes can be bogeyed.
I personally love TCC, but that could be because of a bias from my good fortune in getting to play it so many times.  I do have a few friends who played Clyde and Squirrel and wonder how it can be a Top 10, or 20 or even 50 course.  Again, Clyde, Squirrel, Primrose are very different from the course being played this week.
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: jeffwarne on June 18, 2022, 09:37:38 AM
I was there today and will be going back Sunday. A few observations:


1. These are the tightest fairways I’ve ever seen. The look and feel when you walk across them almost seems fake.


2. I’ve played TCC a few times, I know they say Hanse expanded the greens during the renovation, but they seem way smaller than I remember. Maybe it’s because the rough is so long, but damn … with the wind blowing, they are so tough to hit.


3. The 10th is one of the most amazingly natural inland holes in the world.


4. The 11th is one of the best short par 3s in the world.


5. I have never been to a pro tournament where it was so difficult to walk around the course. The wait at the crossing areas at times was outrageous … literally 20 mins at one spot, at which point we bailed and walked back the other way. In many places, the crossing spots are right in landing areas, so just as one group finishes hitting their second shot, the group on the tee is teeing off, so there’s no chance for spectators to cross. It gets very frustrating.


6. Because of all the blind and semi-blind shots, and the hilly terrain, it’s sort of a tough viewing course for spectators.


7. When it’s 85 degrees out with 100000% humidity, cigar smoke is the last thing you want enveloping your face.


8. It’s oddly impressive how many people are able to start drinking at 10 am and are still standing at 6 pm.


9. Jon Rahm absolutely pounds the ball.


10. I heard very little obnoxious comments from the crowd … not even the ubiquitous “mashed potatoes” or “get in the hole,” which was refreshing. Given what happened at the Ryder Cup, and considering the tension around LIV, I was nervous the peanut gallery might get out of hand. I didn’t see that. Thankfully.


That was a perfect analysis on all points.


RE:#1 agreed,the fairways and walkways were super-super tight-almost milky looking.
Very difficult to get around and following a group impossible.
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: Brian_Ewen on June 18, 2022, 12:18:40 PM
Before I put todays bet on, does anybody know what time they will start watering the greens?

Or was it just a one off yesterday?


Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: Carl Rogers on June 18, 2022, 02:21:59 PM
Some of the fescue rough is really out of control. Worse than the infamous rough at Carnoustie for the 1999 Open. Is it really necessary?
Yes it is if the USGA wants to defend par.  Otherwise it is just another tour event with 25 under winning.
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: David_Tepper on June 18, 2022, 03:55:14 PM
"Yes it is if the USGA wants to defend par.  Otherwise it is just another tour event with 25 under winning."

Carl -

I understand that, but how about keeping the rough maybe 10"-12" inches high and having a winning score -8 to -10? Playing out of rough deep as it now is a TCC is as much a question of luck as it is over skill. Maybe more so.

DT
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: Carl Rogers on June 18, 2022, 04:13:39 PM
"Yes it is if the USGA wants to defend par.  Otherwise it is just another tour event with 25 under winning."

Carl -

I understand that, but how about keeping the rough maybe 10"-12" inches high and having a winning score -8 to -10? Playing out of rough deep as it now is a TCC is as much a question of luck as it is over skill. Maybe more so.

DT


Agreed.


Am watching the tournament right now.  Very montonous .... balls rocket through the green & then the lucky hack out .... hole after hole.
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: Kalen Braley on June 18, 2022, 04:16:25 PM
Uggh, NBC coverage is horrific.  80-90% of coverage is just guys putting or chipping around the green.  Cmon, show us the course....
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: Sean_A on June 18, 2022, 07:20:36 PM
Based on what I saw of TCC on TV today, I can't remember the last time the USO was played on a course where the rough (and beyond the rough) was so deep and over grown. Am I right (or wrong) about that?


In places it was, in others it wasn't.
I was there today and I enjoyed seeing the rough.
saw some very skillful shots played-I never agreed with the theory that rough and even heavy rough around the greens deskilled the short game.The better the wedge played the more they distinguish themselves in inconsistent often quirky grassy lies with various textures and lies.
The "chipping areas" thing had gotten a bit overdone IMHO and the course had a raw look to it that I liked.
In many places the native had been mowed to give the gallery a better places to walk, and the result was a bit more playability in those areas.
An occasional old school Open is cool.


Kudos to TCC and the USGA on an awesome venue.
TCC is incredible.

I dislike the 80s style rough crowding the greens and bunkers marooned in rough...hope this set up doesn't come back in style because it will trickle down to a ton of courses. Most of all though I dislike the crazy high rough seemingly scattered about the property willy nilly, but sometimes fairly close to lines of play, including bunkers. It's a shame because the layout and the property look excellent for golf . This stuff is OK for the US Open which comes to town every few decades, but man, the thought of clubs following this concept isn't a positive for golf.

Ciao


agreed re:monkey see-monkey do and wouldn't want clubs to adopt a steady diet of it.
I just like seeing the "retro" 80's look-occasionally-not as another trend/fad.
The "chipping area" setup of the last few years had gotten a bit contrived and faddy on some sites and specific holes, often in areas where they were never designed to be such, with the ball running a long way from the hole, hardly distinguishing between a one foot or 30 yard miss-cool occasionally too, but recently overdone IMHO.

I would rather watch greenside recoveries from shorter grass than guys stabbing thru above ankle bone rough circling the greens. Plus, it looks completely contrived to my eye. Relying on nasty rough a mere few feet from from greens which are small smacks of trying determine the winning score.

Ciao
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: Adam G on June 18, 2022, 09:38:16 PM
I was there the last 3 days (including a very fun day with some GCA-ers!).
I think the course is showing itself beautifully. The weather in Boston this spring has been cool, dry, and windy and we are seeing all of that this week and the course is really firming up. It's a true challenge. I am a particularly big fan of the two par 5s, which are challenging the pros in ways that par 5s typically do not. The 11th played havoc today as a downwind hole. 10 and 3 were brutally hard but showed why they are two of the best natural par 4s in the world. 6 is a great green with some awesome hole locations. And 17 is a really fun and tricky hole late in the round especially downwind.
I realize a lot of people around here aren't fans of the long grass everywhere, but that's just what TCC is and has always been. The USGA has done a really nice job letting the course play the way it was intended. As for the "fescue" -- it's ugly in some places but the rough really seems manageable in most spots. I know last June the USGA and super did a practice rough grow out and people were dropping balls one foot in and couldn't find it. That's not how it's playing. Is there fescue in some places around the greens (and particularly in front of grandstands so people can't backboard)? Yes. But miss in the right spots and its reasonable, although challenging.
On the ground at least, the tournament seems like a smashing success. The logistical plan has been impeccable. Traffic impact has been minimal. Corporate sales were as high as they have ever been. The course is a bit tough to get around with some choke points and some greens have very few hole locations (4, 10, and 12 come to mind), but on net it has been wonderful.
I would be shocked if TCC does not get offered another Open. Given how much the USGA likes celebrating anniversaries (already giving the 2051 to Oakland Hills and 2030 to Merion), I wouldn't be surprised to see TCC awarded 2038 for the 125th anniversary of Ouiment's win, and hopefully we can see it again before 2063.
Also just saw the hole locations for tomorrow. Hold onto your hats it's going to be really difficult.
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: Ira Fishman on June 19, 2022, 01:45:01 PM
On TV, it reminds me a lot of Winged Foot circa 1974. Different architecture but brutal set up, and I remember it being a bit blustery and semi-overcast.
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: PPallotta on June 19, 2022, 02:14:38 PM
I wouldn't say TCC is THE great American Course, but it is "A" great American Course.  If forced to answer which course is THE great American Course, I'd say there are 5-10-ish that make up a collection and I'd include TCC in it.
Before I go into more detail, let me just give the following background information.  I last played TCC around 15 years ago, and in the late 80's and early 90s, I played TCC over 100 times.  I'm one of a small group of people who aren't members but were very lucky to have access to playing the course on weekdays for 5 months-ish of the year.
One difficulty of evaluating the course is that if someone plays the Clyde and Squirrel nines as most guests do (and from the back tees as they are normally out), it is a medium-difficulty course.  Even if one plays Primose the same day, I wouldn't say it's harder than most medium-difficulty courses.  Playing the US Open Composite Course that they have now or the one for the Ryder Cup and the '88 Open is something totally different. 

In fact, seeing what I've seen on TV Thur and Fri, it looks like the greens are medium in firmness and slightly soft and the course is also.  I should caveat that 10 years ago, I thought the course was very soft, but that in the years after the '88 open, the greens were hard and firm, and the fairways were variable.  One difficulty of controlling the firmness in the Fall and Spring was that it rained so often and winds could be fairly strong. 

One point related to Paul Rudovsky's point about playoffs ... I've been texting some friends who are playing-in or part of the entourage of a player ... one point that I noted and mentioned is that TCC is a very difficult course to achieve separation as a leader, but one where a bunch of bogies can happen in a nano-second. 

For example, on 11 (and the green looks much bigger than it did before) ... a shot a few feet away from the hole location toward the edge can easily trickle into rough that can lead to a bogey.  On 14, Lingmerth hit two great shots and was about 60 ish yards away -- a great chance for birdie, suddenly became a bogey when he hit his wedge over the little ridge 10 feet past the hole and then putted 5 feet past on his birdie putt and missed the par putt.  In the first round, Kevin Na was -3 after 5 holes and was +5 for the day two hours later.

On many holes, the key to scoring well is good defense.  On the easy holes, birdies are great, but pars at worst are needed -- that being said, even the easy holes can be bogeyed.
I personally love TCC, but that could be because of a bias from my good fortune in getting to play it so many times.  I do have a few friends who played Clyde and Squirrel and wonder how it can be a Top 10, or 20 or even 50 course.  Again, Clyde, Squirrel, Primrose are very different from the course being played this week.
Thanks, AChao - I much appreciated this perspective.

Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: Ben Stephens on June 19, 2022, 03:31:01 PM
I have to say that I have been impressed with the Country Club this week. The course set up is different to 1988 and it is set up for a modern US Open hopefully there will be more there sooner than later. The rough is rather juicy  8) 8)


Its a good way of having a 18 hole championship course within a 27 hole course which is more friendly for members as the pros only play there once a generation. It might be a way forward in terms of golf course design in terms of flexibility and user friendly so that it is adaptable to any form of set up.


The other strong example of this is Royal Melbourne's composite course within its 36 holes. I wonder what ranking both these courses would be in the world had they used their composite layout rather than Clyde/Squirrel and West course respectively.


Would a composite course work well elsewhere like Sunningdale/Medinah/Olympia Fields or even Bandon Dunes etc?
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: Ben Stephens on June 19, 2022, 03:36:42 PM
Joe H. -

I will gladly defer to your far greater knowledge of the grass types in play at TCC. I was referring not to the dark green grasses in the rough lining the fairways and surrounding the greens, but rather to the longer yellow/tan/brown "wild" grasses on the various knolls/hillocks, in some of the ditches and further out of play. Whatever the types of grasses that are in those areas, I think they were allowed to grow much too long.

DT


David - I was at the 1999 Open at Carnoustie all week and played it a few weeks before there was hardly any rough and they put in what looked fertiliser during my round - then unseasonal wet and warm weather hit. Some of pros came up which was not familiar with them the course and a juicy rough - Paul Lawrie worked his way round pretty well when others didn't and Van De Velde's meltdown also was a contributory factor. Since then there have been two Opens won around 8 under ish.


Curtis Strange and Nick Faldo were 6 or 7 under in 1988 when the course was a par 71


Cheers
Ben
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: Mike Hendren on June 19, 2022, 05:29:53 PM
I seem to recall a slightly left of centerline bunker in the 17th fairway.  Correct?


Mike
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: Adam G on June 19, 2022, 09:24:17 PM
One last thought:
I was on site Thursday-Saturday and spent Sunday on my couch. I thought NBC did a very poor job showing the topography and beauty of the course (and spotlighting anything beyond the history of the course). I realize it's hard to capture that on TV, but to those who think it is a boring monotonous course I bet you would change your tune if you saw it in person.
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: Carl Rogers on June 19, 2022, 11:46:22 PM
My monutous comment concerns the thick rough every where.


Notice how a wild tee shot into the gallery leaves a matted down but very playable lie, but a slightly errant tee shot that meanders into the rough is severely penalized.  Happens every USGA event.
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: Sean_A on June 20, 2022, 05:32:01 AM
My monutous comment concerns the thick rough every where.


Notice how a wild tee shot into the gallery leaves a matted down but very playable lie, but a slightly errant tee shot that meanders into the rough is severely penalized.  Happens every USGA event.

Wasn't there an Open, maybe Ryder Cup where the crowd was kept further back from fairways so the rough didn't get trampled?

Though, I don't really see a problem. Players can knowingly use the trampled area as extended fairway. It's the same for all.

Ciao
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: PCCraig on June 20, 2022, 09:37:06 AM
I thought the greens were kept way too soft over the week, but overall it appeared the classic golf course played terrifically without all of the tricked up features and mowing lines needed at Merion in 2013.


I'll say it again, outside of local politics, how the heck can the USGA keep the Open away from Brookline for longer than every 10-15 years?
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: Jeff Schley on June 20, 2022, 09:43:24 AM
Kudos for TCC shining this past week. The greens to me really shined and were very fair speed wise, albeit fast of course. The several blind shots added intrigue as did the 100 yard or 3 and drivable par 4. Good variety combined with narrow fairways it was a thorough test. If there is one area that lacks a bit is it one greens to run up shots. I’m sure someone has a stat for how many you can / can’t, but the greens were perched, had bunkers, rough or even water it seemed that aspect.
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: Jason Topp on June 20, 2022, 10:53:01 AM
Seemed like the best US Open venue in many years.  Classic features, quirk, varied playing lengths, history and a traditional US Open type challenge.  It stood in stark contrast to some recent classic venues such as Shinnecock(greens seemed too fast for slopes) and Merion (interest choked out of the course).


The play had a nice combination of people trying to hang on and people making birdies. 
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: Tom_Doak on June 20, 2022, 11:02:25 AM
If there is one area that lacks a bit is it one greens to run up shots. I’m sure someone has a stat for how many you can / can’t, but the greens were perched, had bunkers, rough or even water it seemed that aspect.


Well the title of the thread is about it being an *American* golf course.


Maybe this illustrates that not all great courses [especially in the USA] are built for run-up approach shots.
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: Adam Lawrence on June 20, 2022, 11:54:52 AM
The irony of TTC as a great 'American' course is that G. Herbert Windeler, who was greens chairman for many years (and USGA president in 1903/4), and was one of the two men who was instrumental in expanding the golf course in 1905, was English -- born in London, moved to Boston in his twenties and returned back across the Atlantic on many occasions -- to the extent that he was a founding committee member at Le Touquet in France in 1903.
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: cary lichtenstein on June 20, 2022, 01:20:37 PM
I thought the tournament was terrific. I loved all the quirky wedge shots around the greens, really shows whose the most creative player unless the winner hits 17 of 18 greens, OMG.
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: Niall C on June 20, 2022, 06:00:53 PM
Cary


I'm not sure I'd call the wedge shots "quirky". I don't think I've seen a tournament with so many instances of a player on the edge of the green chipping and seeing the ball go off the other side. There was some good shots for sure but also a lot of hit and hope out of that rough.


Niall
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: jeffwarne on June 20, 2022, 06:24:30 PM
I thought the setup was great-a retro throwback old school US Open.
The slope and tilt on the greens was fantastic and created a variety of speeds when putting, rather than the same old fast both directions we see on super modern tiered greens with minimal slope around hole placements.
The weather cooperated with cool temperature allowing firm/fast surfaces.


My ONLY(minor) quibble was the tightness/shortness of the turf.
I've never seen so many chunked, or poorly controlled wedges from fairways by players of this level.True prescision is a must with such severely designed/maintained greens and precise contact was dicey.
The fairways continue to become the hazards ::) ::) ,a trend I'm just seeing more and more of what and to what end? I mean if elite pros struggle for predictable contact, what are the rest of us going to do?
and it's very hard for a ball to stay on a sidehill lie, eventually finding a flattish spot or finding friction in the rough.
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: Tom Bacsanyi on June 20, 2022, 10:37:12 PM
Awesome venue, great tournament. My only beef was the 2nd hole, which looked dumb and played dumb. I get that it's supposed to be hard, but that Par 4 to a Par 3 setup was contrived at best. Fortunately it came early in the round so it was quickly forgotten.
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: John Kirk on June 20, 2022, 11:31:05 PM
I enjoyed the tournament immensely.  Three young lions fighting for the prize with power and finesse.  Then it was down to two, with both making big plays down the stretch.

My minor criticism of the golf course is that I thought it profoundly favored the player who hits a right-to-left tee shot.  Many holes turned left with a bunker guarding the corner.  Were there any dogleg right holes?  The pros mostly hit a fade these days, probably due to the hot golf ball which goes 300+ without hitting the big draw, which in my opinion is a harder shot to execute and control.

I think this helps explain why Fitzpatrick and Zalatoris ended up on top.  They both hit the (little) draw with relative ease.  Scheffler tied for second despite the fact he fades it.

Final comment.  How about Zalatoris responding to the bogey on #15 by hitting 6-iron 210 yards to 6 feet and making birdie on #16?  I thought that was about as good as tournament golf ever gets.
 
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: Mike Sweeney on June 21, 2022, 06:21:44 AM
I thought the greens were kept way too soft over the week, but overall it appeared the classic golf course played terrifically without all of the tricked up features and mowing lines needed at Merion in 2013.



Pat,


My son said something similar in that he thought TCC presented similar to the 2009 Bethpage Black US Open that we saw, and now similar to what we play - US Open old school rough at BB.


This made me think about Mike Davis. The US Open did become too much of his show, and it seems like it is a good thing they moved on. I did not watch all weekend, and saw Mike When just the one time. He was not talking about the course and its presentation...


Anyone - Who set up the course?
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: Matthew Rose on June 21, 2022, 08:39:21 AM
I'm fascinated by the (Composite) 13th. Is there another example in championship golf anywhere of two holes being combined into one?

Also shortening a par four into a par three is pretty unusual. The only other example I know of this being done is in Australia at Victoria GC (Hole #1).
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: John Blain on June 21, 2022, 09:21:54 AM
I thought the greens were kept way too soft over the week, but overall it appeared the classic golf course played terrifically without all of the tricked up features and mowing lines needed at Merion in 2013.



Pat,


My son said something similar in that he thought TCC presented similar to the 2009 Bethpage Black US Open that we saw, and now similar to what we play - US Open old school rough at BB.


This made me think about Mike Davis. The US Open did become too much of his show, and it seems like it is a good thing they moved on. I did not watch all weekend, and saw Mike When just the one time. He was not talking about the course and its presentation...


Anyone - Who set up the course?
The course was set-up by the USGA team of John Bodenhamer, Jeff Hall and Jason Gore and from all accounts they did a fantastic job. The players seemed to really enjoy the course and set-up.
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: Adam G on June 21, 2022, 09:31:26 AM
John Bodenhamer set it up with Jeff Hall and Jason Gore. I saw Jason out there setting up a hole location (they had two teams doing it). The agronomist Daren Brevard also played an important role.


My sense is they could have gone more aggressive with the firmness on Thursday-Friday but for the afternoon wave the course would have been too on the edge. Its more feasibly to have a firm and fast setup on a weekend when the course only has to play that way for 8-9 hours rather than 15.


Setup wise I thought they did a great job. I would have loved to have seen a hole location further back on 3, on the back shelf on 4, or closer to the false front on 8 but otherwise they did a great job. 11 in particular played beautifully to those 4 hole locations. Watching the pros trajectory choices on that hole was mesmerizing.


The flow of the Open course worked great. 2 is not an interesting par 4 for these guys, and then needed the members tee for one of the main gates in. 13 worked nicely but could have been more of a bear. They were toying with the idea of using the forward tee on 14 champ / 8 Open which would have added 50 yards to the hole and really forced them to hit a hard draw with a driver. They abandoned this and used the 440 tee due to crowd flow and because the guys would be distracted by the hiss of hearing tee balls on 8 go above their head. Going from 7 main to 14 main and then on to 11 main after 9 prim worked really well and balanced the 9s.


I honestly thought the worst hole for the pros was 9. I'd love to see them rework the fairway a bit (not sure if its mowing lines moving left or re-contouring) so that with firm fairways they would have an incentive to at least think about flirting with the water. Nobody thought it was worth going anywhere near it because anything even a hint over the big mound in the fairway was getting wet. Fix that, expand the 12th green a bit to the left to add additional hole locations, and bring the Open back ASAP!
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: Kalen Braley on June 21, 2022, 05:42:01 PM
Curious about the 8th hole in the Composite course for the Open.  I'd have to think the very short fairway/fringe setup was just for US Open week?  Can't imagine the margin for staying on that green or rolling off 40+ yards is like that for daily play....
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: Dan_Callahan on June 21, 2022, 08:34:02 PM
Curious about the 8th hole in the Composite course for the Open.  I'd have to think the very short fairway/fringe setup was just for US Open week?  Can't imagine the margin for staying on that green or rolling off 40+ yards is like that for daily play....


I’ve played there about 10 times over the years, and 8 has always played like that. Maybe not quite as slick, but a shot that doesn’t clear the front edge rolls down the hill. I played a few months before the US Am, and that area at the bottom of the hill was roped off. If you rolled into it, you got a free drop. Otherwise, that spot would be a minefield of divots going into the tournament. I would assume they did the same hearing into the Open. Even so, I watched a bunch of players who were forced to hit finesse wedge shots out of sand-filled, which is never much fun.
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: Adam G on June 21, 2022, 09:37:30 PM
Agree. Course was presented more or less as the members play it when the weather is dry. The only mowing line that changed was 13 which was brought in a few yards on the right.
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: Mike Sweeney on June 22, 2022, 05:43:55 AM
Agree. Course was presented more or less as the members play it when the weather is dry. The only mowing line that changed was 13 which was brought in a few yards on the right.


Thanks for the setup comments. That course is too hard for me! I always loved Ryan Farrow's coverage of Bethpage's "shrinking fairways":


As promised, here is an aerial comparison of Bethpage Black between 1953 & 2017. The golf course changed very little between the opening in the 1930's & 1953. Here are the numbers: Avg. Fairway Width: 1953 = 52 yds  Today = 30 yds Fairway Acreage: 1953 = 46ac   Today = 18.6ac

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DVnal_6UQAEhuBP?format=jpg&name=4096x4096)
https://twitter.com/FarrowGolf/status/962040561103286273?s=20&t=x3kAuBrJQGBRHlPo8eMwAg (https://twitter.com/FarrowGolf/status/962040561103286273?s=20&t=x3kAuBrJQGBRHlPo8eMwAg)
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: AChao on July 06, 2022, 02:30:49 AM
Maybe it's THE Great American Parkland - Links Hybrid course ...
Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: Ronald Montesano on July 06, 2022, 08:28:34 AM
Kudos to Arnol Yajnick, way back on page one of this thread, for singling Matt Fitzpatrick out.

Was the advance of four amateurs to the final 36 holes an anomaly, or does it say something about the playability of the course? None of the four is a Keep your eye on this one amateur, and one is a mid-amateur.



Title: Re: US Open Week: Is The Country Club The Great *American* Golf Course?
Post by: archie_struthers on July 06, 2022, 09:00:52 AM
 8)


Thought the course was great and truly enjoyed the Open. Hoping to visit some day soon as the history and architecture both stand out for me!