PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – A hole-by-hole look at Pebble Beach, site of the 119th U.S. Open to be played June 13-16:
No. 1, 380 yards, par 4: Few courses offer a more gentle start to the U.S. Open. Most players will use a fairway metal or long iron off the tee on this dogleg right, aiming at the right edge of the bunker beyond the fairway. Those who try to cut off the dogleg wind up being blocked by trees on the right. The second shot is a short iron to a green that is elevated and guarded by bunkers on both sides.
No. 2, 516 yards, par 4: This has been converted into a par 4 for the U.S. Open. It’s a straightforward tee shot that should avoid the bunkers on the right side of the fairway. Anything left in the rough means a player will probably have to play short of a large ditch about 100 yards from the green. The green is narrow, with a menacing bunker along both sides. The right bunker typically is less forgiving.
No. 3, 404 yards, par 4: A severe dogleg left, with the second shot facing the Pacific breeze. Big hitters might try to take their tee shot over the trees and cut off the dogleg to leave it just short of the green. Otherwise, the tee shot should be a fairway metal over a ravine, but still short of the bunkers through the fairway. It can be tough to judge the distance to the slightly elevated green, which has deep bunkers on both sides.
No. 4, 331 yards, par 4: This begins a beautiful, seven-hole stretch along the ocean. The tee shot must clear a cross bunker. A driver will put the ball just short of the green, although it’s a high risk for a shot demanding accuracy with a bunker to the left and ocean to the right. Most players will hit a fairway metal, leaving a wedge to a green that is surrounded by bunkers and pitches steeply to the front. Anything above the hole leads to a difficult putt.
No. 5, 195 yards, par 3: A slightly downhill par 3 that Jack Nicklaus designed for the 2000 U.S. Open. It looks as though it has been there from the start, sitting naturally along the Pacific bluffs. The green is shallow, and with the hole exposed by the wind, club selection is never easy. The safe play, no matter the hole location, is left center of the green. Small bunkers guard the front of the green, with a larger bunker back and left.
No. 6, 523 yards, par 5: The tee shot must avoid a cluster of bunkers on the left, and the rough has been mowed on the right side so that wayward shots no longer will be prevented from going over the cliff into Stillwater Cove. The second shot is blind, going over a steep hill with long bunkers down the left side to a green guarded by bunkers on both sides.
No. 7, 109 yards, par 3: One of signature holes that is frightening despite it being a flip wedge away. Depending on the wind, this can be anything from a soft sand wedge to a hard 6-iron. The green is small and guarded by a series of six bunkers, large and small, with the most daunting hazard the ocean to the right and behind the green.
No. 8, 428 yards, par 4: One of the greatest second shots in golf. The tee shot, usually a 3-wood, is blind to a fairway that runs out at about 275 yards, depending on the angle. The approach is over the ocean to a small green that slopes severely to the front. Two bunkers behind the green catch shots that go long. Another bunker is short of the green, assuming the shot clears the ocean.
No. 9, 526 yards, par 4: This hole is all about the wind. The ocean runs the entire length of the right side, and the key is a properly placed tee shot to leave a mid-iron into the green. The second shot usually is a side hill lie, adding to the difficulty. A gully with two bunkers is short and to the left, although it could come into play if the wind is against players, or they hit their tee shot into the rough.
No. 10, 495 yards, par 4: The ocean again runs the entire length of the right side, and the fairway slopes severely to the ocean. The green sits on a bluff, with a steep drop to the beach on the right, and bunkers catching anything that misses long or left. The green slopes severely toward the ocean.
No. 11, 390 yards, par 4: A fairly simple tee shot is followed by an approach that is more demanding than meets the eye. This hole runs away from the ocean and typically is a fairway metal off the tee. The second shot is a short iron, but it is uphill. Taking too much club can be trouble, for the green slopes severely to the front. Bunkers are prevalent back and right of the green.
No. 12, 202 yards, par 3: Clustered bunkers make this hole look closer than it is, and the green is wide but shallow. A large bunker protects most of the entrance to the green, and with U.S. Open greens typically firm, it will require a mid-iron hit very high. The best miss is short and right, except for the front left hole locations. Trees down the right make judging the wind difficult.
No. 13, 445 yards, par 4: A bunker complex protects the left side of the fairway, with three small bunkers on the right. The challenge is the approach, which will require at least one more club because of the elevation. The green slopes hard to the left, so anything right of the pin makes for a difficult two-putt.
No. 14, 580 yards, par 5: This might be the toughest par 5 in major championship golf. Only the big hitters can think about getting home in two, yet the difficulty can be from off the green, whether that’s 10 yards or 100 yards. Taking on the dogleg right brings two big bunkers into play. The green, protected by a deep bunker in the front, is elevated. Left of the green has been shaved, meaning chips go to the other side of the green or come back at a player’s feet. Making a par on this hole is not giving up a shot to the field.
No. 15, 397 yards, par 4: Seventeen Mile Drive down the right of the hole is out of bounds and a series of bunkers is on the left. This should be a straightforward tee shot, leaving a short iron or a wedge to the green, which slopes severely to the left.
No. 16, 403 yards, par 4: Players must find the fairway at any cost, even with a fairway metal in hand. The tee shot must clear an island bunker, although driver can leave an awkward, downhill lie. The approach is over a ravine to a difficult green, which has a deep bunker short of it, a small bunker for shots that fly the green and trees to the left. The green pitches fiercely to the left.
No. 17, 208 yards, par 3: This famous par 3 is where Jack Nicklaus hit the pin with a 1-iron in 1972, and Tom Watson chipped in for birdied to win in 1982. It typically plays right into the Pacific wind to an hourglass green protected by a massive bunker in the front and smaller bunkers over the green.
No. 18, 543 yards, par 5: One of the most picturesque closing holes in golf, with the Pacific Ocean running down the left side and a sea wall keeping the crashing surf out of the bunker. It’s easy to make a par, challenging when a player has to make a birdie. To shorten the hole requires a tee shot between the ocean and two trees in the center of the fairway. The green is protected by a deep bunker to the right, and towering pine that forces players to keep it left, bringing the ocean more into play.
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