Top Five US Open Courses

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Tiger Woods defied the tough-scoring tradition with his 15-shot victory at the 2000 US Open, with Pebble Beach featuring on our top-five list of courses for the Major.

A total of 52 courses have hosted the prestigious US Open since the first tournament was played in Newport, Rhode Island in 1895.

Here is a list of five tracks that have really left their mark on the Major’s history.

Oakmont Country Club

Oakmont can be found in the suburbs of Pittsburgh in western Pennsylvania and has hosted nine US Opens, more than any other course in the tournament’s history.

The course was built in 1903 and has no water hazards. Following renovations in 2007, it has virtually no trees either.

But what it does have is lots of slopes with large undulating greens which provide a huge test for the world’s best players.

One famous feature is the Church Pews bunker, which comes into play on the third and fourth holes. It measures around 100 yards in length and is punctuated by 12 grass-covered ridges.

It’s first US Open was won by Tommy Armour in 1927 and Sam Parks, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Larry Nelson, Ernie Els and Angel Cabrera have all since won there.

Dustin Johnson was the last Oakmont champion in 2016 and the course will host its tenth US Open in 2025.

Winged Foot

The West course at Winged Foot, located in the New York suburbs at Mamaroneck, has hosted the US Open six times and is a tough par-70 test.

Key holes include the 514-yard ninth, which plays as one of the longest par fours on the Majors circuit and the 12th, which weighs in at a massive 640 yards.

The legendary Bobby Jones won the first US Open there as an amateur and Billy Casper, Hale Irwin and Fuzzy Zoeller have all been victorious at the venue.

However, its most famous competition was in 2006 when both Colin Montgomerie and Phil Mickelson double bogeyed the final hole to hand victory to Australian Geoff Ogilvy.

Bryson DeChambeau tasted a six-shot success on the last occasion the US Open was played there in 2020.

Congressional Country Club

The Blue course in Bethesda, Maryland has hosted the US Open three times after opening in 1924 and measures 7,574 yards from the back tees.

Ken Venturi and Ernie Els claimed successes there before Rory McIlroy romped to victory in 2011, claiming an eight-shot win ahead of Jason Day for his maiden Major championship.

It is an illustrious property which boasts the largest clubhouse in America.

The list of former members is also prestigious. It includes several former US Presidents, legendary businessman JD Rockefeller, Vince Lombardi, regarded as the greatest coach in the history of American football, and film star Charlie Chaplin.

Pinehurst No.2

Pinehurst No.2 in North Carolina, which was designed by Donald Ross in 1907, will host its fourth US Open in 2024, having been the stage for Payne Stewart’s 1999 victory which came a few months before his death in an air crash at the age of 42.

A statue of the former star stands behind the 18th green and it is a hugely demanding course with difficult greens being a central feature as well as thick Bermuda grass rough.

Michael Campbell was victorious there in 2005 and Germany’s Martin Kaymer won by an eight-shot margin in 2014 after a near flawless display.

Pebble Beach

One of the most beautiful courses in the world, Pebble Beach, is found in the Monterey Peninsula in California.

It is a public course – be warned green fees top $500 – and has hosted the US Open six times when the test is much tougher than when it hosts the Pebble Beach Pro-Am on the PGA Tour each February.

The course was opened in 1919 and first hosted the US Open in 1972, when it was won by Jack Nicklaus.

Famous holes include the short seventh, which measures merely 100 yards but is one of the most scenic in the world, and the 18th, where any wayward shot to the left ends up in the Pacific Ocean.

Tom Watson, Tom Kite, Graeme McDowell and Gary Woodland are among the other winners to have claimed glory there, but the best performance came in 2000 when Tiger Woods won by 15 shots, which is the biggest margin of victory in a Major in the sport’s history.

A vastly experienced journalist, Ian has worked the beat on a number of local newspapers and covers a number of different sports for the Racing Post
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