The par-4 fourth, part of The Country Club’s first full 18-hole layout, has been played in every major tournament since 1913, including the 1963 and 1988 U.S. Opens and the 1999 Ryder Cup. Removing the hole, which will be used as a media compound during the tournament, eliminates a long backward walk from the green to the fifth tee. The Main Course’s fifth hole now becomes the Open Course’s fourth hole.
The area here is normally the ninth and 10th holes of the Main Course, though Ouimet and company played them as the 12th and 13th in 1913. They will be used as the players’ practice range for the U.S. Open.
What hasn’t changed are the 15th through 18th holes—every champion who has raised a trophy at The Country Club has survived the same four-hole finish, including the fateful 17th, that runs through the flattest part of the property. As the spectacle of the U.S. Open has grown, this gallery of holes will play like a coliseum full of grandstands, hospitality tents and raucous spectators taking in action from multiple vantage points.
A HISTORIC LAP
With the fourth hole removed from the rotation, the Main Course’s short, downhill par-3 12th will be activated for the first time in a U.S. Open since 1913, playing as the U.S. Open’s 11th hole. In the playoff with Vardon and Ray, Ouimet made par here against his opponents’ bogeys, giving him a lead he would never relinquish.
A HOLE RESURRECTED
These two holes (Primrose nine, left, and Main Course 14) will be played as the Open Course’s par-5 eighth and par-4 ninth (they were previously the 13th and 14th holes for tournaments). This moves the 10th tee closer to the practice area, an advantage for split-tee starts (something not needed in 1988) and makes the ninth green more central, too.
A QUICK DETOUR
Expanding to 27 holes in 1927 allowed The Country Club to blend the first, second, eighth and ninth holes of the Primrose nine as part of a new tournament routing (the first and second, a par 4, followed by a par 3 playing across water, are combined into the Open Course’s par 4 13th). The Primrose eighth, normally 461 yards, has been lengthened into a 625-yard par 5 that takes its place as the 14th hole.
AN ECLECTIC ROUTING