Olympic Club - Hole by Hole Guide
The U.S. Open returns to San Francisco's iconic Olympic Club for a fifth time with this year's edition starting on Thursday with the opening round.
Olympic's challenging and heavily tree-lined Lake Course most recently staged the Open in 1998, when Lee Janzen clinched the title by one shot from fellow American Payne Stewart.
Jack Fleck, a relative unknown from Iowa, won the first U.S. Open held at Olympic in 1955, upstaging golfing great and tournament favourite Ben Hogan in an 18-hole playoff.
Billy Casper triumphed when the championship returned to Olympic in 1966, edging out Arnold Palmer in a playoff, and Scott Simpson prevailed by one stroke over Tom Watson at the venue in 1987.
The Olympic Club was established in 1860, with heavyweight boxing champion James J. Corbett among its early members, and labels itself as the oldest athletic club in the United States.
Originally designed by Willie Watson and Sam Whiting in 1924, the Lake Course was re-designed by Whiting in 1927 after the layout suffered storm damage. It has also hosted the U.S. amateur championship in 1958, 1981 and 2007.
Unusually, the Lake Course has no water hazards, no out-of-bounds and only one fairway bunker -- on the par-four sixth.
Here is a brief hole-by-hole look at the 7,170-yard, par-70 Lake Course.
No. 1, par four, 520 yards - Played as a par-five in each of the previous U.S. Opens held here, this hole requires a left-to-right ball flight off the tee. Accuracy is paramount for a downhill approach into the green which is guarded by thick brush to the left and a severe slope to the right and back.
No. 2, par four, 428 yards - A tough par-four where players will probably take a three-wood off the tee with the fairway narrowing at about 270 yards out. The elevated green, which slopes from back to front, is one of the most treacherous on the course with its severe contours.
No. 3, par three, 247 yards - Likely to be the most daunting of the par-threes during the U.S. Open, this hole plays downhill with a prevailing left-to-right wind that is difficult to judge off the tee. The green presents a relatively small target.
No. 4, par four, 438 yards - Another tricky hole which is a right-to-left dogleg where the fairway slopes from left to right. Approach shots are likely to be hit from sidehill lies into a green that slopes severely from the back left to front right.
No. 5, par four, 498 yards - A reverse of the fourth hole, this sharp left-to-right dogleg has a fairway which slopes from right to left. The landing area is protected by large trees on the right side of the fairway before the players take on a fairly straightforward green with a downhill approach.
No. 6, par four, 489 yards - This hole has been lengthened by some 50 yards since the 1998 U.S. Open and a drive of 295 yards is needed to clear the fairway bunker at the turn of this slight dogleg left. Many players are likely to opt for a three-wood off the tee to set up a mid-iron approach shot.
No. 7, par four, 288 yards - A driveable par-four, this is the first hole on the course to offer the players a "breather", though care needs to be taken with any wedge approach into a green flanked by thick rough.
No. 8, par three, 200 yards - This par-three has been lengthened by 60 yards and has an angled green which slopes from right to left. Large cypress trees lurk to the left of the green for any wayward tee shot.
No. 9, par four, 449 yards - This left-to-right dogleg has a fairway which slopes from right to left. Any approach shot that misses the green will almost certainly run away from the hole because of the closely mown area around the putting surface.
No. 10, par four, 424 yards - Another sharp left-to-right dogleg, this hole requires a short-iron approach shot into a green which slopes from the front to the back.
No. 11, par four, 430 yards - Most players will probably take a driver off the tee on this left-to-right dogleg where the approach is likely to be hit from a sidehill lie. The two-tiered green slopes from back to front.
No. 12, par four, 451 yards - This par-four has been lengthened by 35 yards since the 1998 U.S. Open and the tee shot is now hit through a narrow chute protected by Monterey pines and cypress trees. Sidehill lies are likely for approach shots.
No. 13, par three, 199 yards - The rough to the left of the green has been replaced by a closely mown area since the 1998 U.S. Open while care needs to be taken off the tee to avoid the bunkers protecting the front of the green.
No. 14, par four, 419 yards - This dogleg-left hole has a fairway which slopes downhill, setting up a likely wedge approach into the green. Most players will probably use a three-wood off the tee here.
No. 15, par three, 154 yards - The shortest of the four par-threes on the course, this hole offers a welcome birdie opportunity but, like the par-four seventh, the green here is flanked by thick rough.
No. 16, par five, 670 yards - The longest hole ever at a U.S. Open, this par-five is a sharp dogleg left where the fairway begins to narrow after 300 yards. The green has been made more daunting because of its surrounds, which have been closely mown.
No. 17, par five, 522 yards - For the first time at a U.S. Open hosted at Olympic, this hole will be played as a par-five. The fairway slopes sharply from left to right, putting a premium on accuracy off the tee. Though this hole plays uphill and into the prevailing wind, any player who finds the fairway off the tee will have the chance to reach the green in two.
No. 18, par four, 344 yards - This finishing hole requires precision off the tee and also with the approach shot. The fairway narrows through the likely landing area and players face a slightly blind, uphill second shot into a small green that slopes from back to front and is protected by thick rough.
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