There are no easy holes at The Country Club, home to this year’s U.S. Open, in Brookline, Massachusetts. But some holes are more complicated than others, presenting a real challenge, especially if the wind blows, as it often does off the Atlantic.
How the field deals with these more challenging holes, together with experience and form, will go a long way to determining the eventual winner. U.S. Open golf betting odds have Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas as the pre-tournament favorites.
In my book, McIlroy can be exceptional in the wind, so keep an eye on the weather forecast.
Here are the three toughest holes at The Country Club, which is known for its small greens. Rest assured, they are not for the faint-hearted.
Hole 3, Par 4: 480 Yards
Early nerves may have settled by the time the players get to the third hole, but this will be one of their tougher challenges of the day. It is a long par-4 for starters but also a risk-reward hole.
"It was the hardest golf course I ever played."
The Country Club is not for the faint of heart. pic.twitter.com/Wdgea7V9uk
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) June 15, 2022
Teeing off downhill, the fairway meanders left and right, leaving many second shots to the green blinded by mounds. While many will head left (longer but safer), some will go the shorter route to the right. Success for the brave leaves a short iron to the green. Missing the green could leave the ball buried in knee-high grass.
There is also water at the back and short to the right of the green, which will concentrate the mind a little further.
Hole 6, Par 3: 197 Yards
At first look, this par-3 does not look at all difficult. It’s not like the island green 17th at TPC Sawgrass, but it will still get the players’ attention.
The devil is in the detail with a double plateau green at a 45-degree angle to the tee, making a high fade the better shot, depending on pin position. If the pin is on the lower portion, then landing short and bouncing on might be the better choice.
At the 1988 U.S. Open, this hole was the hardest in relation to par. If that famous Massachusetts wind is blowing, too, this hole could make a mockery of the tournament’s golf betting odds.
Hole 16, Par 3: 202 Yards
Another par-3, you say? Yes, and for a good reason. Surrounded by danger on all sides, you must carry the green from the tee and place it in the right area.
A yawning bunker protects the front right side of the green. But land just beyond and a gentle slope guides the ball to the heart of the dance floor. But aim to the left of the green, and it slopes away, sending the unwary into another sand trap.
This hole is so tough because it comes so close to the end of the round. Scores, and potential tournament outcomes, can be made or broken here.
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