U.S. Open Should Have Set 4 Courses

I personally think the U.S. Open should rotate between a set of 4 courses. This would nearly eliminate, in my opinion, the chances of having new/old courses who host under perform.

We’ve had a some courses recently that did not live up to the U.S. Open standards. I believe Chambers Bay, Torrey Pines, and even Shinnecock were let downs. Shinnecock was by no means easy but I feel like they went out of their way to make it as challenging as possible.

The 4 courses I think should be in the rotation are Oakmont, Pinehurst, Pebble Beach, and Merion. All are different in their own way and you know what you will get with each of them. I’m certainly for even straying away from Pebble Beach because it is not as exciting as it used to be. Also, reevaluating the set of 4 courses every 16 years or so makes sense to me because each can host 4 times. Let me know your guys’ thoughts.


I could be down for a rota, but not 3 East Coast and 1 West Coast. You’re gutting the majority of the country and there are a LOT of good courses that would be left out.


Welcome to the Refuge! Hell of an opening post.

I think the US Open and the PGA Championship at the very least need to deconflict. US Open courses should focus on courses originally built prior to 1960, and focus on tough, strategic golf. The PGA Championship should be played on modern, longer courses, and preferably would only be played on courses open to the public.


Merion and not Brookline?

1 Like

Erin Hills was huge swing and a miss

instead of this move, I would prefer to see 4 permanent former pro golfers with resumes that pop take charge rather than the USGA

1 Like

Rota, sign me up (with a small caveat)

Those four courses, hard pass.

Oakmont, of course.
Pinehurst, of course
Pebble, of course (though I want them to restore and reroute it so badly)
Merion, no
Shinnecock, yes
Torrey, yes (I personally think the course is boring as hell to watch on TV, but they can turn it into a test without issue)

I’m excited for LACC, so maybe that could make a 3/3 east/west rotation.

I’m also of the opinion that Chambers and Erin Hills got unlucky on the weather front (I don’t think that’s too controversial). That isn’t the fault of those courses. I also don’t care that they “aren’t US Open courses”, as that means different things to different people. That being said, they wouldn’t make my rota. (Though Erin Hills would fill a midwestern spot to break up things up every once in a while.)

*My caveat would be that every rotation needs one or two new courses. So every eight years you get six standard courses and two non-standard.


Yeah I agree with that, I’m from Pittsburgh so I"m a little biased with the Pennsylvania courses.

This is a great idea, but will prevent the USGA from charging big TV bucks when it is set at prestigious courses like Olympic.

Speaking of olympics I think that in the same vain the summer Olympic Games should rotate between Asia, Europe, and USA (LA, Paris, Beijing).

Back to topic, as a huge proponent of public golf, all U.S opens should be on public courses and spead around the USA, not just in PA.

  1. Bethpage NE
  2. Pinehurst South
  3. Torrey Pines West
  4. Erin Hills Mid-west

I agree with @RobertHunter, I’d love to see the US Open go to all classic courses, ones that don’t get seen the rest of the year (bye Pebble and Torrey), rotating around the US. (Obviously the June date is tough for Southern courses)

My submission for a 9 course Rota:
Northeast: Winged Foot
Mid-Atlantic: Congressional
Oakmont: Oakmont
Midwest: Medinah No. 3
Southeast: Pinehurst No. 2
Southwest-ish: Southern Hills
Mountain West: Cherry Hills
West Coast: Olympic Club
West Coast: LA - North


I’m thinking Hazeltine for the Midwest. Place has holding major championships in its mission statement and is an ideal set up for huge events (from the perspective of the USGA/PGA).


I’ll admit to being a bit of a homer here, but I completely disagree.

Erin got very unlucky with a combination of weather and overly conservative set up by the USGA. If the championship was played a week earlier the scores would have been over par. The scores were low because the the USGA slowed the green surrounds down for the tournament, selected easy pin placement, the wind was down, and finally the course got a couple inches of rain early in the week with out a sub-air system so the greens were unusually receptive. It would be very easy for the USGA to make the course play tougher if they had sub-air.

I disagree with the width argument. Andy (Fried Egg) had a good post recently about how rough shrinks the disparity of iron play between good and (relatively) poor iron players. The wider fairways didn’t result in a bombers tournament, instead it allowed a short hitter to complete with Brooks by providing multiple ways to play holes. This contrasts to Marion that was completely tricked up, devoid of strategy and was a bombers tournament because of the narrow fairways and long rough.

I also disagree with the rota. We essentially have that now with a new course every once in a while. I think the choices are decent and should be moved around rather than three in the north east and pebble.


Growing up, my hit list contained so many new tracks, only from seeing them as major venues on tv. I wish they moved around every year. I’d hate to see majors become the masters (not knocking this for the masters, one major doing this is fine) where certain guys play well and use that to bolster themselves far more than it deserves.

Can I suggest another course for the Oakmont region?

I like the idea, though it seems harsh to limit the Northeast to just WF. I also don’t see them ever giving up on Pebble, and would question Medinah.

Thank you for your defense of EH. You did a better job than I would have.

My ideal U.S. Open rota:

Winged Foot
Pebble (plays very different than the pro-am with USGA set-up and summer weather)
West Coast Option #2 (Under consideration: LACC, LA North, Rivera)
Midwest Option - You can sell me on any number of them)
Special Occassions (Merion, The Country Club)

1 Like

In the same vain mentioned above, my submission for a PGA Championship rota:

Northeast: Bethpage - Black
Southeast: Kiawah Island - Ocean
Southeast: Streamsong - Black
Midwest: Erin Hills
Midwest: Whistling Straits - Straits
Southwest: Shadow Creek
West Coast: Chambers Bay
West Coast: Bandon Dunes
West Coast: Torrey Pines


Totally agree with spreading out the courses across the country. I like giving Erin Hills another shot. In my opinion, Pinehurst and Oakmont are musts. Oakmont has held the most majors for a reason, other than Augusta obviously, and is set up so bombers don’t always win. DJ did win there last but that’s because he was due and at the top of his game. Pinehurst is also self-explanatory and anyone can win there. If Marty Kaymer can do it, anyone can.

Yeah I think you could add this column in and make it an every 10 years type deal.

Northeast: Merion/Brookline/Shinnecock (alternating)

I know they won’t stop holding it at Pebble, but we already see Pebble so much.

Yeah the midwest is tough. Everyone hates Medinah, I think you could easily swap in Hazeltine/Olympia Fields - *North/Cog Hill for that one.


You mean north, right?


I’ll go do some in person research at Hazeltine tomorrow and report back on whether we should include in the Refuge Rota.