U.S. Open Friday Setup: 675 Yard 18th, 2-3 Percent Hole Locations

Brad Klein of Golfweek.com fills in some details on Friday's U.S. Open setup that are eye-opening for those interested in the art and science of course preparation.

As always I hope you'll hit the link and read the entire piece. But a few highlights...

Green speeds started out at 12.5 to 13 on the Stimpmeter and lost 6-7 inches of speed during the day. Friday, they’re half-a-foot faster, roughly 12.8-13.5 before they lose some speed.

This one will probably get a few players and caddies riled up:

PGA Tour specifications virtually mandate that the hole not be cut on a slope of more than 1.5 degrees. Sorry for the technical stuff here, but it’s all a matter of physics and topography. The USGA doesn’t shy away from setting the hole on slopes of 2-3 percent.

That might explain the number of balls that took some pretty strong turns right around the hole during round one.

And, in the ball-doesn't-travel-too-far files, this about the par-5 18th.

Friday, it’s been stretched to 675 yards, which means players, even downwind, probably won’t be able to fly it over the fairway bunkers on the right as they did Thursday and reach the downhill kick point on the hole, achieving an average of 318 yards off the tee.

On a positive note, the conservative setup approach light on risk-reward has allowed pace of play to actually be better than in recent years (5:16 average in round one). The slower green speeds surely have something to do with that, too.