U.S. Open Hole 16 preview -- Chambers Bay, 18 holes in 18 days
In the 18 days leading up to the June 18 start of the U.S. Open Golf Championship, FOX Sports.com and Golfweek will preview the Chambers Bay course -- one hole at a time.
Today’s hole: No. 16 -- Par 4, 423 yards
This is a wonderful hole, located on the low side of the property 200 feet below the 14th tee. The 16th unfurls on a little spit of land that slopes toward the railroad tracks and Puget Sound on the right. The key here is hitting a narrow green with a transverse ridge that separates a little back quadrant of the putting surface only 6 yards wide and just big enough for a wicked hole location on a Sunday afternoon. Usually playing into the wind, this is nonetheless a hole where most players will back off a little and play a long iron or fairway metal into a fairway that calls for a left-to-right shot. Drive it too long and too far left, and the approach is hidden by an intruding dune that projects out across the fairway.
A good approach must hold the line, and smart players (there are a few out there) will opt to run the ball in with the proper “weight” and play the ground game. Aerial approaches to this green, as thin-waisted as a Barbie doll, can easily come up short left, leaving a delicate downhill chip, or rocket clear across the entryway into steep bunkering on the right. As with the 2010 U.S. Amateur, the tees can be moved up to 323 yards and the hole played to that wild back hole location on the rear shelf. My bet is they do this Sunday to set up a wickedly entertaining, drivable par 4 with an impossibly inaccessible pin. If so, it will be absurd theater watching some guys making 2 here and others ping-ponging their way to a 7.
Golfweek's complete preview