The 15th hole of the US Open will provide an interesting peculiarity for the third major in golf

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In a week when tough 400-yard drives could be de rigueur, it’s a small hole that could throw golfers into fits at this week’s US Open.

The 15th hole at Los Angeles Country Club is listed at 124 yards. That’s unquestionably short by modern standards, but for at least one day this week tournament officials are expected to adjust the hole to just 78 yards, making it the shortest hole in living memory of major championships. golf.

«Even though it’s short on the card, it still requires an incredible shot,» architect Gil Hanse recently told Fox News. «And that level of precision is ultimately how we challenge the best players in the world.»

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The US Open logo at the Los Angeles Country Club prior to the golf championship in Los Angeles, California, USA, on Thursday, June 8, 2023. (Eric Thayer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Hanse was part of a design team that renovated the course more than a decade ago and is deeply interested in how it will hold up to the best players in the world.

«It’s one of those things where precision is required, even though it’s a short club, the margin of error is very small because that green is literally, I think, seven paces wide,» Hanse said.

Promotional materials provided by the United States Golf Association devote significant space to the longest holes and courses in the tournament’s 123-year history. There has been much debate of late about the ability of modern golfers to hit the ball great distances, leading golf administrators like the USGA to propose limitations on how far golf balls can or must travel. This same material does not mention the shorter holes played.

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The LACC will host the US Open

The Los Angeles Country Club before the US Open in Los Angeles, California, USA, on Thursday, June 8, 2023. (Eric Thayer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

«Hey, you’ve got to play a shot here,» USGA’s Jeff Hall said of the 15th hole. «You’ve got to play a shot to this very small area with a club that’s probably a little bit of something. Right? I don’t. It’s… A complete shot for these guys.»

Hall’s official title is managing director, rules and open championships, but he is probably best seen as the man ultimately responsible for presenting the course every day.

LACC’s large teeing areas on most holes and deep greens give Hall and the rest of his team the daily ability to adjust how each hole is played. For the 15, that means, like an accordion, the hole could play almost 150 yards when extended and almost half that when contracted.

«I think we always want to use the flexibility that is provided within the golf course and within the holes of the golf course,» Hall said.

But he also cautioned that while there is a desire to see players challenged at least once on the 15th with tee markers placed forward and a hole cut into the right front section of the green, weather and soil conditions will be considered.

US Open Merchandise

Merchandise for sale at the Los Angeles Country Club ahead of the US Open golf championship in Los Angeles, California, USA, on Thursday, June 8, 2023. (Eric Thayer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

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«You don’t want the good shots and the bad shots to end up in the same place,» Hall said. «That’s not a signature ability. So we have to try to get the yardage right. Maybe if it’s a little bit windier, you know, maybe the right yardage is 86 yards and we’ll achieve the same goal.»

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