Message from the CEO | 123rd U.S. Open

This U.S. Open hits a little different. Our national championship has returned to the West Coast, unveiling a radical redesign that will unveil one of the game’s great layouts to the general public.

This is the first time in eight decades that Los Angeles Country Club’s North Course has hosted a professional event. A recent renovation by Gil Hanse, one of today’s great architects, has reinvigorated the George C. Thomas design. Hanse resuscitated design features that had been blunted by the passing years, bringing back the flowing bunkers, rolling topography and strategic quandaries that Thomas was known for.

With LACC being located 2 ½ hours south of Straight Down HQ, I have intimate familiarity with the course. To prepare you for one of the biggest weeks of the year, here are some insights:

  • Los Angeles Country Club will offer wider fairways than your usual U.S. Open but that is because of the rolling terrain. The hills, humps and bumps will make the fairways play much narrower than they appear, especially if the course plays firm.
  • Gil really returned the course to its original state, giving it a rustic and rugged look that really blends with the surrounding topography. A barranca that runs through the course makes for a narrow hazard but it will challenge players while adding to the natural look of the course.
  • Par may be irrelevant this week. George Thomas was a big proponent of variety, and you’ll see that this week. The par 3s this week range from the 124-yard 15th – which could measure under 100 yards in one round – to two par 3s that are longer than 280 yards. There’s a 543-yard par 4 and a 547-yard par 5. But like most major-championship venues, the final three holes offer an incredible test.

This will be an incredible week! And if you are on-site, make sure to visit Straight Down in the merchandise site. You can also shop our official U.S. Open selection here.


Mike Rowley

Leave a comment