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5 Best US Open Courses

Steve SilvermanFeatured Columnist IVOctober 27, 2016

5 Best US Open Courses

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    When the subject is the U.S. Open, the conversation always centers around the layout of the course and how difficult the powers that be make it for the best golfers in the world.

    The idea is to challenge the best players to be at the top of their game under the most difficult circumstances.

    You need to have established courses that are incredibly challenging to begin with. Courses that are respected—perhaps feared—by the best golfers in the game.

    Here are our suggestions for the top five courses that should always be given strong considerations to host a U.S. Open.

    We're not saying that other courses don't deserve a chance on occasion, but these five should be rotated so they all get a chance to host the U.S. Open within a given decade.

Pinehurst No. 2

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    Pinehurst made it back as a major U.S. golf course when it hosted the 1999 U.S. Open that was won by Payne Stewart.

    The course requires accuracy and overwhelming skill in the short game. If you like tight shots to elevated greens, this is the course for you.

    Any shakiness in the approach shots will be severely punished on this course. However, golfers who excel with the wedge and short irons along with the putter have a chance to score well on Pinehurst No. 2.

Bethpage Black

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    Bethpage Black has quickly gained reputation in the golf world as one of the most difficult courses for the top pros to play their best game.

    Originally designed by A. W. Tillinghast, the course has been renovated with some of the most challenging bunkers on the tour. The course is very long and the rough is without sympathy.

    This course is always a great test for the best golfers in the world and it needs to be in the U.S. Open rotation.

Pebble Beach

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    Pebble Beach is one of the most breathtaking golf courses in the world.

    With the Pacific Ocean as the backdrop, Pebble Beach has several signature holes that stand out to any golfer who has had a chance to play.

    Most notable are the par-3 seventh hole and the legendary eighteenth hole with the furious ocean crashing into the sea wall.

    The elements always make this course a challenge. When the wind is howling, it's a nightmare. However, golfers can conquer Pebble Beach when the winds are calm.


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    No course has hosted more U.S. Opens than Oakmont. It has been the home to eight U.S. Opens and it will host a ninth in 2016.

    Oakmont is not a long course, but it puts a premium on accuracy due to its tough bunkers. You need to be expert with your short irons and wedges to have any chance to compete for a title at Oakmont.

    The course is known for its "church pew" bunkers, which require incredible skill and discipline to negotiate.

Whistling Straits

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    This Pete Dye-designed course is one of the newer major courses, having opened in 1998.

    The Wisconsin track has already established a reputation as one of the most demanding courses. It will punish golfers who lack accuracy and it will also hurt golfers who are not taking the high winds off Lake Michigan into account.

    In addition to the challenges, the course is loaded with physical beauty. The sand dunes on this Wisconsin course may not seem like they belong, but they are part of the natural beauty.

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