Top 5 most accessible US Open venues

By Erik PetersonJune 3, 2008, 4:00 pm
In 2008 Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla, Calif. joins the short list of public courses to host a U.S. Open. For you, the avid golfer, we’ve put together a rankings system to determine which of them is most accessible to the general public. A 1-10 ranking was assigned in three categories: Affordability, Rounds per year (R.P.Y.) and Awesomeness.

 
No. 5
Pebble Beach
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
 
No. 4
Pinehurst
Pinehurst #2
Pinehurst, N.C.
 
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
 
No. 3
Chambers Bay
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
 
No. 2
Torrey Pines
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
 
No. 1
Bethpage Black
Bethpage State Park, Black Course
Farmingdale, N.Y.
 
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.
 
All Courses & Travel
Email your thoughts to the Courses & Travel Guy
 
Related Links

  • Full Coverage - U.S. Open
  • A video Introduction to Torrey Pines
  • The Lodge at Torrey Pines offers architectural brilliance at a U.S. Open venue
  • Take our interactive, hole-by-hole tour of Torrey Pines South Golf Course
  • Getty Images

    Ortiz takes Web.com Tour clubhouse lead in Bahamas

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:19 am

    Former Web.com Tour Player of the Year Carlos Ortiz shot a bogey-free, 4-under-par 68 Monday to take the clubhouse lead in The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay.

    Four other players - Lee McCoy, Brandon Matthews, Sung Jae Im and Mark Anderson - were still on the course and tied with Ortiz at 6-under 210 when third-round play was suspended by darkness at 5:32 p.m. local time. It is scheduled to resume at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday.

    Ortiz, a 26-year-old from Guadalajara, Mexico, is in search of his fourth Web.com Tour victory. In 2014, the former University of North Texas standout earned a three-win promotion on his way to being voted Web.com Tour Player of the Year.

    McCoy, a 23-year-old from Dunedin, Fla., is looking to become the first player to earn medalist honors at Q-School and then win the opening event of the season.

    Getty Images

    Randall's Rant: Can we please have some rivalries?

    By Randall MellJanuary 16, 2018, 12:00 am

    Memo to the golf gods:

    If you haven’t finalized the fates of today’s stars for the new year, could we get you to deliver what the game has lacked for so long?

    Can we get a real, honest-to-goodness rivalry?

    It’s been more than two decades since the sport has been witness to one.

    With world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week, an early-season showdown would percolate hope that this year might be all about rivalries.

    It seems as if the stars are finally aligned to make up for our long drought of rivalries, of the recurring clashes you have so sparingly granted through the game’s history.

    We’re blessed in a new era of plenty, with so many young stars blossoming, and with Tiger Woods offering hope he may be poised for a comeback. With Johnson, McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler among today’s dynamic cast, the possibility these titans will time their runs together on the back nine of Sundays in majors excites.

    We haven’t seen a real rivalry since Greg Norman and Nick Faldo sparred in the late '80s and early '90s.

    Woods vs. Phil Mickelson didn’t really count. While Lefty will be remembered for carving out a Hall of Fame career in the Tiger era, with 33 victories, 16 of them with Tiger in the field, five of them major championships, we get that Tiger had no rival, not in the most historic sense.


    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    Phil never reached No. 1, was never named PGA Tour Player of the Year, never won a money title and never dueled with Woods on Sunday on the back nine of a major with the title on the line.  Still, it doesn’t diminish his standing as the best player not named Tiger Woods over the last 20 years. It’s a feat so noteworthy it makes him one of the game’s all-time greats.

    We’ve been waiting for an honest-to-goodness rivalry since Faldo and Norman took turns ruling at world No. 1 and dueling in big events, including the back nine of multiple majors. 

    In the '70s, we had Nicklaus-Watson. In the '60s, it was Nicklaus-Palmer. In the '40s and '50s, it was Hogan, Snead and Nelson in a triumvirate mix, and in the '20s and '30s we had Hagen and Sarazen.

    While dominance is the magic ingredient that can break a sport out of its niche, a dynamic rivalry is the next best elixir.

    Dustin Johnson looks capable of dominating today’s game, but there’s so much proven major championship talent on his heels. It’s hard to imagine him consistently fending off all these challengers, but it’s the fending that would captivate us.

    Johnson vs. McIlroy would be a fireworks show. So would Johnson vs. Thomas, or Thomas vs. Day or McIlroy vs. Rahm or Fowler vs. Koepka ... or any of those combinations.

    Spieth is a wild card that intrigues.

    While he’s not a short hitter, he isn’t the power player these other guys are, but his iron game, short game, putter and moxie combine to make him the most compelling challenger of all. His resolve, resilience and resourcefulness in the final round of his British Open victory at Royal Birkdale make him the most interesting amalgam of skill since Lee Trevino.

    Woods vs. any of them? Well, if we get that, we promise never to ask for anything more.

    So, if that cosmic calendar up there isn’t filled, how about it? How about a year of rivalries to remember?

    Getty Images

    McIlroy: 2018 may be my busiest season ever

    By Will GrayJanuary 15, 2018, 6:28 pm

    With his return to competition just days away, Rory McIlroy believes that the 2018 season may be the most action packed of his pro career.

    The 28-year-old has not teed it up since the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in early October, a hiatus he will end at this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. It will be the start of a busy spring for the Ulsterman, who will also play next week in Dubai before a run of six PGA Tour events leading up to the Masters.

    Speaking to the U.K.'s Telegraph, McIlroy confirmed that he will also make a return trip to the British Masters in October and plans to remain busy over the next 12 months.

    "I might play more times this year than any before. I played 28 times in 2008 and I'm on track to beat that," McIlroy said. "I could get to 30 (events), depending on where I'm placed in the Race to Dubai. But I'll see."

    McIlroy's ambitious plan comes in the wake of a frustrating 2017 campaign, when he injured his ribs in his first start and twice missed chunks of time in an effort to recover. He failed to win a worldwide event and finished the year ranked outside the top 10, both of which had not happened since 2008.

    But having had more than three months to get his body and swing in shape, McIlroy is optimistic heading into the first of what he hopes will be eight starts in the 12 weeks before he drives down Magnolia Lane.

    "I've worked hard on my short game and I'm probably feeling better with the putter than I ever have," McIlroy said. "I've had a lot of time to concentrate on everything and it all feels very good and a long way down the road."

    Getty Images

    What's in the Bag: Sony Open winner Kizzire

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 15, 2018, 6:05 pm

    Patton Kizzire earned his second PGA Tour victory by winning a six-hole playoff at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Take a look inside his bag.

    Driver: Titleist 917D3 (10.5 degrees), with Fujikura Atmos Black 6 X shaft

    Fairway Wood: Titleist 917F2 (16.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Blue 95 TX shaft

    Hybrid: Titleist 913H (19 degrees), with UST Mamiya AXIV Core 100 Hybrid shaft

    Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB (4), 718 CB (5-6), 718 MB (7-9), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

    Wedges: Titleist SM7 prototype (47, 52, 56, 60 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

    Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo Tour prototype

    Ball: Titleist Pro V1x