The BWD Major Tournament Hole of the Day: The 9th at Erin Hills, Home of the 117th U.S. Open

Tournament: 117th U.S. Open Championship – Erin Hills, Erin, WI
Hole: 9th – Par 3, 135 Yards
Architect(s): Michael Hurdzan, Dana Fry, and Ron Whitten – 2006

Architectural Summary:

The front nine at Erin Hills concludes on a challenging par three measuring 135 yards, making it the shortest hole on the course. Strategy and club selection will be emphasized as the short hole is significantly affected by wind conditions and offers a variety of teeing grounds and pin placements. From the elevated tee, competitors will play roughly 25 feet downhill to the green which is nearly fully surrounded by seven “erosion” style bunkers. Small tightly mown areas are located between the sand hazards on the right, but there is not much room for error around the green as bunkering and short grass areas give way to the course’s dense fescue, giving the hole a look of a land-locked island green. Any competitors that miss the green will face a demanding recovery, likely from a deep bunker that will offer a difficult uneven lie. The putting surface features a false front and mostly slopes from front left to back right. A small low area in the middle right portion of the green is not pinnable and any shots finding this zone will roll off the green between two bunkers. The long, yet narrow green measures 40 yards deep by 23 yards wide. Regardless of hole location most competitors will look to find the center of the green to ensure their shot remains on the putting surface. The ninth hole will vary from day-to-day depending upon which of the six teeing grounds are used and the pin placement, but in order to score well competitors must ensure that they find the green in regulation.

Statistical Analysis:

During the 2011 U.S. Amateur stroke play qualifying rounds, the ninth hole played to a scoring average of 3.20 (46 Birdies, 183 Pars, 67 Bogeys, 12 Double Bogeys, and 5 “Others”).

Fun Facts:

  • The Wisconsin course is just the sixth public course to host a U.S. Open championship. Others include Chambers Bay, Bethpage, Pebble Beach, Pinehurst and Torrey Pines.
  • Sinnecock Hills will host the 2018 U.S. Open Championship and the last time Shinnecock Hills followed a first-time Open venue was 1896, when there had been only one U.S. Open ever.
  • Erin Hills’ Irish themed clover logo was inspired by the old bell on the course imported from Europe.