The 3rd Major of the year is here and this one is my personal favorite. The 119th U.S. Open takes place at Pebble Beach Golf Links this week. Rory McIlroy is coming off a dominating performance in Canada but the top golfers in the world will be waiting to challenge him in California. The U.S. Open is always one of the toughest challenges that the players will face all year. Most years a score of Even Par is an outstanding accomplishment at the toughest 4 days in golf. Pebble Beach has hosted 5 U.S. Opens previously and only 12 players have finished under Par in all 5 of those events combined. It looks like we’re in for a great week at Pebble as the course looks pure and the weather looks beautiful. Let’s take a closer look at the 2019 U.S. Open.
Pebble Beach Golf Links located in Pebble Beach, CA is the host of the 119th edition of the U.S. Open. Pebble Beach is arguably one of the most famous and most beautiful golf courses in the world. It is a public course that is open to anyone (as long as you’re willing to shell out about $500) most weeks throughout the year. The course hugs the Pacific Ocean and creates some absolutely amazing views.
Pebble Beach hosts the Pro-Am tournament every year but the course itself will look much different than that event this week. It will play longer, narrower, faster and tougher to create the typical U.S. Open conditions that we are used to seeing every June. Playing as a Par 71 this week Pebble Beach will max out at 7,075 yards per the USGA. Don’t let the lack of length trick you into thinking that Pebble will play easy this week.
The Poa and Rye Grass fairways have been narrowed dramatically, some of them almost cut in half of their usual width. According to the USGA the set up will be almost identical to that of the previous U.S. Opens in 2010 and 2000. The average fairway with will be only 25 yards across. If players miss the fairway this week they’ll be greeted by 4 inch tall, thick and nasty rough. It’s already hard enough to hit these small greens in regulation from a good lie and will be almost impossible to do so from the rough. Pebble has also started to shave down some of the rough near the edges of cliffs on some holes, meaning that a ball that would normally stop before tumbling into the ocean will roll right in this week.
If the fairways and rough don’t give the players enough problems then the smallest greens on the PGA Tour might. Pebble Beach greens average only about 3,500 sq. feet with some as small as 2,500 sq. feet. These Poa Annua greens will run firm and fast, likely around 13 on the stimp meter. Overall we can expect a very difficult test for the players this week where a score of Even Par will be a great achievement.