What does it take for a player to win the US open? Length, short game, discipline? Don’t look too far, the answer is all of the above.
US Open courses are set up nearly the same way every year. They let the rough grow to about 6”, players face 500+ yards par-fours and greens are at a lightening fast 14 on the stimp meter. Erin hills doesn’t disappoint in regards to these aspects.
Players have 10 feet of rough before the 2’ fescue comes into play. That stuff is a hazard, if not worse. On top of that, every green at Erin Hills is elevated, therefore trying to get it close or even on the green from somewhere other than the fairway is a task not many will do successfully. It seems as if a player needed to be in perfect control of every aspect of their game for 4 rounds in order to be in contention. The slightest of flaws in a player’s game can be majorly exposed this week.
What does it take?
Well, first key to competing at a US Open is keeping your ball in play, especially around Erin Hills. The fescue is so penal that a player can literally take himself out of the mix in one hole, after hacking 3 or 4 times before finally bringing the ball back in play.
Now keeping the ball in play is one thing but players also need to place their ball according to hole locations. The greens are so tricky that coming in from the wrong angle can make it impossible to get it anywhere on the green. Players who can hit their targets off the tee will be highly favored.
The second key to contend at Erin Hills is obviously the short game. Players will miss numbers of green and will have lengthy putts for Birdies and for Par or even Boguey. Those who will make up and downs and dial down the speed of the greens will have a clear advantage over the ones that focus on other parts of their game like length.
However, no matter how good these stats are, these players as well as every other one in the field will need to have their A-Game if they want to be a factor in this year’s US Open at Erin Hills.