Since the USGA is not about to make any significant announcements regarding the ball before the tournament,
The question remains, in an examination of skills in a National Championship, how do you test the players ability to use their driver ?
I just fundamentally disagree with the notion of a golf tournament as an "examination of skills". It is simply not a contest to see who is the most skilled, but rather who can hole out in the fewest number of strokes. It is not to identify the best player, but to see who shoots the lowest.
It's not a contest to see who can hit 9 drivers, 3 fairway woods, 2 long iron tee shots, 4 long iron approach shots, 5 mid-iron approach shots, etc.
In the 1990 U.S. Open, trailing by one on the 72nd tee at Medinah and needing birdie, Nick Faldo chose to hit iron off the tee even though it left him with a long iron into the green. He was able to hit a great shot and have a makeable birdie putt. He missed the putt, but he was allowed to tackle the hole his way and live with the consequences. Conversely, at Bethpage last year, a couple of the par fours were so long that if a player hit iron off the tee, he wouldn't be able to reach the green in two (or the fairway off the tee on #10).
Yes, the course and set-up should be challenging, but the course/set-up should allow the players to make the club choices that best suit their game, instead of forcing them into an "examination" where choices are taken away.
If you want to see who is the most skilled with the driver, I say go to a range or course somewhere and have a driving contest.