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Where Do They Go From Here?

Speculation on future U.S. Open venues by yours truly, now posted at


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Reader Comments (36)

Wasn't Whistling Straits on the list of potential US Open venues?
06.24.2009 | Unregistered Commenterdsl
I'm not from Texas. And I know it's probably too hot in June. But it's amazing how few majors have been held in the Lone Star state. Is any course in Texas even capable of holding the U.S. Open. Dallas National? Colonial? Lochinvar? Help me out here Texans. The home of Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson, Lee Trevino, Ben Crenshaw, Tom Kite, etc. And it doesn't host majors? Weird.
06.24.2009 | Unregistered CommenterJordan
how about oakland hills?
06.24.2009 | Unregistered Commentertom
Jordan, I think you already said why: it's too darn hot. And the wind may be a factor, too - but that's just a guess on my part based on how often we hear about the low-ball hitters from Texas.
06.24.2009 | Unregistered CommenterErik J. Barzeski
Who said that there are more good golf courses in Westchester County than the state of Texas?
06.24.2009 | Unregistered CommenterChema
It's a shame that there are no U.S. Opens scheduled in the NY area, no doubt Phil can finally do it for the NY fans. OK, there is some doubt. After all the historic venues Phil has finished second on, wouldn't it be ironic if he finally broke through at...Chambers Bay?

Shinnecock needs to get back on the schedule more than any other, the sooner the better. I think Oakmont is the absolute best venue for the U.S. Open.
06.24.2009 | Unregistered CommenterRM
Are any of the Bandon courses capable of hosting anything like this? I had thought they were on par with or better than Chambers Bay.... Weather could be a concern... Transportation is probably the biggest concern with no major airports within 300 miles. Still, I think the architecture would merit consideration.
06.24.2009 | Unregistered CommenterBob
One additional place that's trying really, really hard to get on that list: Crooked Stick.
06.24.2009 | Unregistered CommenterKS
Personally, I like the changes at Cog Hill. I can only think of one that made the course easier (removal of the willow from the left on #8). Everything else they've done has toughened it up. I don't love the square tee boxes, and I think they made too big a deal about the green on 18 (who cares if it's closer to the water? Just shave that bank and anything left is wet anyway). Still, 18 could be a terrific finisher under Open conditions. I'm looking forward to seeing how it plays for the pros in September.
06.24.2009 | Unregistered CommenterSeitz
When Whistling Straits took the PGA/Ryder Cup combo platter from the PGA of America in 2015 and 2020 respectively WS effectively removed itself from consideration of the USGA for the US Open.
06.24.2009 | Unregistered CommenterOWGR Fan
So what's wrong with a little heat. It's usually pretty hot at the Oklahoma courses. Would Texas be worse. Are the Okalhoma courses a proxy for Texas? Don't tell the Texans that.

Do we need another major at Oakland Hills? Don't get me wrong. I live in the Detroit area. So I'd benefit. But ugh!
06.24.2009 | Unregistered CommenterJordan
Great analysis by Geoff! I think we won't here more till next winter. If they want to bring the open to the midwest, Cog Hill has to lap the field. It can handle 60,000+ spectators per day and includes all the parking and space for corporate hospitality. They could cut the ticket prices in half and still generate the same revenue. Plus once Chicago gets the Olympics, it's going to be a top tourist destination for international travelers.
06.24.2009 | Unregistered CommenterJoe Jemsek
Agreed that Shinnecock needs to rejoin the core rota ASAP. Others on the core rota being Pebble, Pinehurst, and Oakmont. Those courses should host every 10 years.

Did anybody mention the Ocean Course in South Carolina?
06.24.2009 | Unregistered Commentergs

Chicago is not going to get the Olympics.

Horrific crime problem, plus corrupt pols.

Take it to Erin Hills.
06.24.2009 | Unregistered Commentergs
I would prefer the Ocean Course to Pinehurst. The greens at Pinehurst start to annoy me pretty quickly, but I am sure that puts me in the minority.
06.24.2009 | Unregistered CommenterTighthead
Do any Texas courses 'stack-up' architecturally to other US Open courses.
Are they 'good' enough? Curious to hear from those who've played some of them.
06.24.2009 | Unregistered Commenterredneck
What about Rustic Canyon? Come on, let's support the site's host! :) Of course, that would mean bringing in the Open Doctor, changing tees, adding length, cutting down trees....

On second thought, forget my suggestion!
06.24.2009 | Unregistered CommenterPete the Luddite
Remember it is the infastructure, not the course that matters to the USGA. Look at Torrey Pines, not a great course but it had all the infastructure.

Which course in Texas has the infastructure and the desire to host the US Open or the PGA? None. Only Southern Hills in Oklahoma has been successful but there is no mention of returning after Goosen won in 2001.
06.24.2009 | Unregistered CommenterScott
Kiawah was one of the venues that came to my mind; but as it stands now, Johns Island could not handle the vehicular traffic. The State of SC would need to widen Bohicket Road, which would mean cutting down dozens of protected live oaks and issuing quite a few notices of appropriations (eminent domain).
06.24.2009 | Unregistered CommenterMorg
Infra-structure (roads, an adjacent open course for corporate & merch tents) are important. Equally important is a lush corporate community willing to step up and fill the tents. Is there any doubting that's why the Open was held four times in nine years (don't kill me if my math is off) in the New York area...because New York-based finance firms had the fat (mostly based on bogus accounting, we now learn) to purchase these tents. That the USGA isn't set to return to New York may be strategically good in a crummy economy, whether they saw the recession coming or not.
06.24.2009 | Unregistered Commenterstyled
If infrastructure is important, then how are they going to get 60K+ fans on site at Erin Hills? 30 minute bus rides from remote parking? I've only played the new Dubs twice, but it was ready for an Open the day it reopened. No more mushy greens, great draining piece of property, wiring in place for scoreboards and television, and acres of golf courses for corporate tents. And, as Terry Lavin pointed out in a similar thread on gca, the USGA needs an insider to deal with the County. If they want to come back to the Midwest, Mr. Jemsek's dream of hosting an Open should be realized. . .
06.24.2009 | Unregistered CommenterSmolmania
60k spectators on any course in one day is too damn many.

I can remember Medinah having 35k, some say more, on the weekend in '90 and that was too many.

Of course, that matters little to the greedheads.
06.24.2009 | Unregistered Commentergs
Cog Hill doesn't really excite me, but in a Bethpage kinda way, I think it should probably get a U.S. Open.
06.24.2009 | Unregistered CommenterRM
I'm sure the folks at the Phoenix Open don’t think 60k is too many. And the reason Chicago is going to get the Olympics is the corrupt pols and if you think crime is bad in Chicago you should go to Rio or Madrid.
06.24.2009 | Unregistered CommenterJoe Jemsek
what gs said: i went to my first open at oakmont in 2007, which was the same year i was lucky enough to go to the masters. after the limited number of patrons at augusta, the mob at oakmont was a pretty big disappointment.

how many tickets per round does the usga sell? does the number vary according to the venue?
06.24.2009 | Unregistered Commenterthusgone
Joe Baby,

The Olympics are going to Rio, watch and see.


As far as tickets are determined, it depends upon the site.

Merion in '71 had 13k.

Shinnecock in '95 was 25k.

Medinah in '90 was supposed to be 35k, but it felt more like 50k in the 4th round. Who knows, they might have let more in on that final day.

I'm with you, the Masters is much more pleasant than the mob scene the U.S. Open has become.
06.24.2009 | Unregistered Commentergs

Agreed, Cog Hill doesn't stir the soul, but they are nice people and have been trying to please the USGA for so long that they probably should get an Open somewhere along the line.
06.24.2009 | Unregistered Commentergs
Good analysis but what about:

The Country Club
Oakland Hills
Oak Hill

Sleeper course,
Pumpkin Ridge, two courses and plenty of land around the course.

Long shot:
Los Angeles CC being remodeled by somebody? It fell 1 vote short last time the board voted.

I don't agree with Cherry Hills which is a great test but there is no place for anything such as corporate tents or parking.
06.24.2009 | Unregistered CommenterJoel S
Aren't Medinah, Oak Hill and Oakland Hills now aligned with the PGA?
06.24.2009 | Unregistered CommenterSteven T.
"Early reviews on the club's greens reconstruction have some Executive Committee members squeamish about the 2012 Open. "

Geoff, what reviews of the greens reconstruction are you referring to here. Posts on GCA? Your comment about 7 and 8 previously on this site ("uninspired") ?

Which Executive Committee members are squeamish about the greens reconstruction?

And #8 is "now bland" compared to its predecessor?
06.24.2009 | Unregistered CommenterKevin
Re: Shinnecock Hills. As an Englishman, I don't understand the phrase "The club says the USGA blew the pooch."
I have an image, but surely cannot be what GS was driving at. Can anyone explain please?
06.25.2009 | Unregistered Commenterzoids

Westchester has some of the best Tillinghast work ever done, including Quaker Ridge) "the best course to never host a national championship (Jack Nicklaus at the 1974 U.S. Open at Winged Foot). But draw a 100 mile circle around NY city and it is incredible - Winged Foot, Shinnecock, National, Atlantic, Garden City, Baltustrol. Bethpage Black, Quaker Ridge and god knows how many others I am leaving out. If only the season here where longer than seven months!
What about the Old Course at Saucon Valley? They have hosted numerous USGA events over the years, and will be hosting the Woman's Open in 2 weeks. The back tees currently play around 7200, and they could stretch it further. Saucon also has plenty of room for infrastructure.
06.25.2009 | Unregistered CommenterKevin
Shoal Creek?
06.25.2009 | Unregistered CommenterJordan
new york has TWO great courses for every one in Texas.

sorry, Westchester county has two great courses for every good one in texas.
06.25.2009 | Unregistered Commentersmails
Geoff I think you got it all about right.

"What about Oakland Hills?" is a perfectly good questoin, but for whatever reason, my source(s) at OHCC say they have "nothing going with the USGA now," not even for the club's centenary.
08.7.2009 | Unregistered CommenterChuck

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