There have been a lot of complaints from players about Chambers Bay, the site of this week’s US Open.
Many of those complaints center around the conditions, which are hard and fast, as well as an inability to distinguish between the fairways and the greens.
But those complaints would be less worrisome if the greens weren’t already incredibly difficult. Like a traditional links course, many of the greens are large and in some cases they are covered in hills and mounds, leading to putts whose final destination will be anybody’s guess.
Frank Nobilo of Fox Sports spent some time at the green on hole No. 4 to show just how crazy these greens can be, describing it as a “roller coaster.”
The hole, formerly a par-5, is now a par-4 that measures just under 500 yards. Adding to the difficulty is that it is a raised green, so the players are going to have to play a longer club on their approach.
If a player can’t get his approach shot close, that is when the fun starts.
The green itself is enormous (see above). But things are much different when the hole is placed on the right edge. That area of the green is almost like a completely different green in and of itself. It’s much smaller and surrounded by a bunker on three sides and a mound on the other.
Nobilo stood on the far left side of the green and showed just how hard it is to get close to the hole from the other side. If you try to take the direct route, you are in danger of ending up in the bunker.
Nobilo noted that the back edge of the green was banked, basically like the racetrack at Daytona International Speedway. A player can actually ride the “track” around the outer edge of the green, even off the green, and hope to lag the ball to a playable distance for the second putt.
But one of the dangers of playing putts near the edges of greens is the presence of sprinklers, which are unusually close to the greens at Chambers Bay. It is just another variable the players have to consider.
Maybe the only way to play this hole location close is to use the back of the green as a backboard, and instead of riding the Daytona track, take a more direct route to the back edge and hope the ball comes down the ridge without too much speed.
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