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Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Preview of the U.S. Open Course

I just wanted to pass on a link today. This is from the U.S. Open website, and it's a quick look at the new setup for Congressional.

Of course, this all goes back to Graeme McDowell's tweet early in May that said, “Congressional 7574 yards Par 71 US Open set up. No-one will break par.”

Will the course really be as bad as Graeme says? Probably not. Even the USGA, which embraces the concept that only torture can determine the best golfer, never sets up a course to play from the tips. And the course is actually set up as a par 71, not 70. How often does that happen?

The article will give you an idea of what changes have been made to Congressional for this Open. It will also remind you how easily your mindset can affect your game. I once heard Jack Nicklaus say that, before each tournament, he walked through the locker room and just listened to what players said about the course. Whenever he heard a player talking about how hard the course would play, he mentally struck them from his list of contenders.

Just for the record, since 1980 only 2 Opens have finished over par. They were 2006 at Winged Foot (remember Phil's disaster on 18?) and 2007 at Oakmont; both finished at +5. Four others -- 1995, 1998, 2005, and 2010 -- have finished at even par. Ten others have finished between -5 and -12. That means that in 31 Opens, only 2 have ended over par and roughly 80% have been at least one stroke under par.

In a couple of weeks we just may get a clear example of what Jack was talking about. And remember not to let negativity sabotage your game before it even begins.

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