As we continue our coverage leading up to this year's 2012 U.S. Open golf championship at The Olympic Club, we'll take a look at the challenges awaiting players on the front 9 of the Lake Course. Any of the golf holes can be played free without signup virtually at World Golf Tour.
This year, the course will play at a par-70 and 7,170 yards, which is 373 yards longer than when The Olympic Club hosted the national championship in 1998. The front 9 will play at a par-34 and the back nine a par-36 because the par on holes 1 and 17 have been flipped. More than half of the holes have dog legs, including four where the ultra-narrow fairways will go in opposite directions. Additionally, the elevation constantly changes and the unleveled lies could prove particularly challenging.
The front 9 holes at The Olympic Club this year are expected to be the hardest start of any U.S. Open, and players who are able to complete the first 6 holes at par may be in a strong position on the leaderboard. Here’s a closer look at those holes:
• U.S. Open, Hole 3: Expected to be the hardest par-3 on the course, as it grades slightly downhill and is protected by four bunkers, offering no safety to the side of the hole.
• U.S. Open, Hole 4: The best par-4 on the course. This dogleg left starts a steady dose of holes where shot shaping the ball is critical in scoring well. Play Hole 4 with top performing NIKE virtual golf balls.
• U.S. Open, Hole 5: Features a lot of elevation change where the fairway cants the opposite direction of the dogleg, which will pose quite a challenge for players.
• U.S. Open, Hole 8: Once one of the easiest holes on the course, it is entirely new from the last championship in 1998, and now features little room for error along the right-side trees. Try Hole 8 with a TaylorMade virtual driver on WGT.
Stay tuned for weekly updates from WGT, and visit the USGA site for more information on the 2012 U.S. Open Championship.