Pebble Beach Golf Links
Pebble Beach, Calif.
U.S. Open: 1972, 1982, 1992, 2000, 2010
Affordability: At $495 it’s the filet mignon of public golf. The problem is that most people can’t afford this piece of meat. 1.
R.P.Y.: Obviously the price isn’t scaring anyone away. At 60,000 rounds per year it’s one of the busiest courses in America (the average course gets about 27,000). 2.
Awesomeness: Jack Nicklaus said it best: “If I only had one more round to play, I would choose to play it at Pebble Beach. I loved this course from the first time I saw it. It’s possibly the best in the world.” A quote like that from the game’s ultimate champion warrants a 10 from the Awesomeness judges.
Total score: 13
U.S. Open: 1999, 2005, 2014
Affordability: At $450, it’s more affordable than Pebble, but not by much. 2.
R.P.Y.: 35,000 rounds per year is better than some, but during peak season it’s not exactly wide open. 6.
Awesomeness: Tough to beat golf in the heart of America’s golfing mecca. 8.5.
Total score: 16.5
Chambers Bay Golf Course
University Place, Wash.
U.S. Open: 2015
Affordability: $170, which is about as high as a new public course in the Pacific Northwest can charge. 4.
R.P.Y.: N/A. Of all the U.S. Open venues, Chambers Bay is the most accessible. Just call 90 days in advance and you should be good. Large groups can be booked even further in advance. 8.
Awesomeness: Tough to put it ahead of any other courses in our Top-5 because it’s still a young pup. By the time 2015 rolls around, it will be on most avid golfers’ Must-Play list. 5.
Total score: 17
Torrey Pines Golf Course
La Jolla, Calif.
U.S. Open: 2008
Affordability: $165. 6.
R.P.Y.: 92,000. Holy smokes, it’s busy! Very fair policy, though. Just call in advance and you should get the time you’re looking for. Be advised, however, it’s located in one of the most concentrated golfing areas in the U.S. 4.
Awesomeness: It’s definitely the best municipal course on the west coast, and second only to Bethpage in the U.S. 9.
Total score: 19
Bethpage State Park, Black Course
U.S. Open: 2002, 2009
Affordability: $49-$100 on the weekend is probably close to what you paid at your local course last weekend, and it’s certainly less expensive than the private club you might belong to. Pretty amazing! 9.
R.P.Y.: 40,000. Sure, it might be necessary to sleep in your car in the parking lot to get first dibs on a tee time but hey, that only adds to the experience! 7.
Awesomeness: Bethpage definitely doesn’t have more scenery or history than its contemporaries, but it’s no slouch. And come on! What’s better than a U.S. Open venue that’s owned and operated by the State Parks Association and has a blaring sign next to the first tee that reads: “The Black Course is an extremely difficult course which we recommend only for highly skilled golfers.” 9.5.
Total score: 24.5
Editor’s note: Dating back to the first U.S. Open Championship in 1895, there have been 53 different host sites… In 1972, Pebble Beach became the first public course to host the U.S. Open.
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Sharma closes on Monday, wins Joburg Open
JOHANNESBURG – Shubhankar Sharma won his first European Tour title by a shooting 3-under 69 Monday in the final round of the weather-delayed Joburg Open.
The 21-year-old Indian resumed his round on the eighth green after play was halted early Sunday afternoon because of storms. He parred that hole, birdied No. 9 and made par on every hole on the back nine.
Sharma finished at 23-under 264, three strokes ahead of the pack, and qualified for next year's British Open, too.
''I actually wasn't going to come here about a week ago ... so I'm really happy that I came,'' said Sharma, who shot 61 in the second round. ''I don't think I'm ever going forget my first time in South Africa.''
Erik van Rooyen (66) was second, three strokes ahead of Shaun Norris (65) and Tapio Pulkkanen (68).
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates:
No. 5: Dec. 12
No. 4: Dec. 13
No. 3: Dec. 14
No. 2: Dec. 15
No. 1: Dec. 18
Sharma among three Open qualifiers at Joburg Open
Shubhankar Sharma earned his first career European Tour win at the rain-delayed Joburg Open and punched his ticket to The Open in the process.
Sharma returned to Randpark Golf Club Monday morning after storms washed out much of the scheduled final day of play. Beginning the re-start with a four-shot lead, he hung on to win by three over South Africa's Erik Van Rooyen.
Both men can make travel plans for Carnoustie next summer, as this was the second event in the Open Qualifying Series with three spots available for players not otherwise exempt who finished inside the top 10. The final spot went to Shaun Norris, who tied for third with Finland's Tapio Pulkkanen but had a higher world ranking (No. 192) than Pulkkanen (No. 197) entering the week.
The Joburg Open was the final official European Tour event of the year. The next tournament in the Open Qualifying Series will be the SMBC Singapore Open in January, where four spots at Carnoustie will be up for grabs.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 6, Dustin Johnson
Only Dustin Johnson could win four times in 2017 and it still feels as though he underachieved.
That’s unfair, perhaps, but it’s a testament to Johnson’s awesome ability – and his incredible run of form last spring – that observers can’t help but shake the feeling that his year could have been even better.
In February, he rose to the top of the world rankings for the first time, the culmination of a long, bizarre journey in which he often battled himself (through major blunders and, reportedly, drug-related suspensions) as much as his peers. Johnson’s blowout victory at Riviera was his first of three consecutive titles (including two WGCs), as he achieved Tiger-like levels of dominance and rolled into the Masters as the prohibitive favorite.
Expectations for this star-crossed talent are always different, and so the surprise wasn’t that he blew that major but that he didn’t even give himself a chance. In one of the biggest stunners of the year, Johnson’s manager announced on the eve of the first round that his client had suffered a back injury while slipping on a set of stairs in his rental house. Just like that, the year’s first major was thrown into chaos, with Johnson unable to play – the line of demarcation in his good-but-not-great year.
Though he added a playoff victory at the end of the season, Johnson failed to factor in any of the remaining three majors and was surprisingly inconsistent, perhaps because of swing compensations after the injury.
Would DJ have denied Sergio Garcia a green jacket? Would he have created even more separation at the top of the world rankings? Would he have defended his Player of the Year title? Unfortunately, we’ll never know.
In typical DJ fashion, he left us to ponder what could have been.
Johnson becomes world No. 1, starts season with three straight wins
Johnson enters Masters as odds-on favorite, withdraws after falling down stairs
DJ welcomes second child with fiancée Paulina Gretzky
This and that: DJ and Paulina in 2017
Johnson adds fourth win of season, blows chance at fifth