Course setup information for Round 1 at Merion

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With the first round of the U.S. Open underway, USGA executives released information on how Merion Golf Club will set up for players as they begin the season's second major:

Green Speeds: Today’s green speeds before the rain were in the 13- to 13½-foot range on the USGA Stimpmeter. They will likely settle out in the mid-to-high 12s when play resumes. 

Rough Grass: In anticipation of today’s weather event, the closer-in (roughly 18 feet in width) rough grass in the drive zones, as well as the closer-in (9 feet in width) greenside rough on some of the holes, was mowed last night.  


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Weather Affecting Course Setup Decisions: Hole locations for Round 1 were chosen based on the forecast for heavy rains. Further, teeing grounds and hole locations that have more slope were chosen based on the forecast for winds predominantly out of the south for Thursday. However, winds will switch to predominantly from the north on Friday (when we will likely still be playing Round 1). The intent is to provide fair conditions with the knowledge that there will likely be wind in opposite directions for Round 1.  

Total Course Yardage for Thursday (tee marker settings to flagstick) = 3,760 yards out; 3,206 yards in = 6,966 total yards

Hole-by-Hole Information:

Hole 1 – 340 yards; the hole location is front left, which presents very fast putts coming down the hill from the center of the green. (Green depth 37 paces; hole nine paces on, three paces from the left)

Hole 2 – 567 yards; the hole location is in the right-back portion of the green. (Green depth 37; hole 33 on, four from the right)

Hole 3 – 246 yards; anticipating southerly winds on Thursday, tee markers are placed on the front of the back teeing ground with the hole location in the center, right lower section, hugging the right bunker. (Green depth 47; hole 20 on, six from the right)

Hole 4 – 640 yards; hole location is on the right side; putts coming from the center of the green are very fast. (Green depth 40; hole 25 on, five from the right)

Hole 5 – 499 yards;  the hole location is front left; putts coming from beyond or to the right of the hole are extremely fast. (Green depth 36; hole 11 on, nine from the left)

Hole 6 – 489 yards; the hole location is in the center-left portion of the green, hugging the left bunker. (Green depth 36; hole 16 on, six from the left)

Hole 7 – 382 yards; the hole location is in the center-rear portion of the green. (Green depth 47; hole 43 on, five from the right)

Hole 8 – 360 yards; the hole location is in the front-left portion of the green. (Green depth 23; hole seven on, five from the left)

Hole 9 – 237 yards; the hole location is two-thirds of the way back on the left portion of the green over the front-left bunker. (Green depth 42; hole 28 on, 10 from the left)

Hole 10 – 301 yards; tee markers are on the back teeing ground; from this tee, the players are able to see the flagstick; the hole location is front right just over the subtle false front, up against the back bunker. (Green depth 37; hole 16 on, three from the right)

Hole 11 – 375 yards; the hole location is in the back center; the putts in this area are very flat. (Green depth 30; hole 23 on, nine from the left)

Hole 12 – 386 yards; tee markers are placed in the very front of the back teeing ground anticipating northerly winds on Friday; the hole location is in the front left portion of the green; putts from the center of the green are very fast coming down the hill. (Green depth 37; hole eight on, five from the left)

Hole 13 – 102 yards; tee markers are placed on the very front portion of the right (lower) teeing ground; the hole location is just over the front bunker; this hole location should produce a fair number of birdies and perhaps even an ace. (Green depth 20; hole four on, five from the right)

Hole 14 – 446 yards; the hole location is in the right portion of the green; putts coming from the center of the green are very fast. (Green depth 41; hole 25 on, four from the right)

Hole 15 – 413 yards; the hole location is in the back “trough” on the left side of the green; this area has a pronounced pitch from back to front. (Green depth 33; hole 25 on, six from the left)

Hole 16 – 440 yards; the hole location is in the back left portion of the green. (Green depth 44; hole 32 on, four from the left)

Hole 17 – 243 yards; the tee markers are placed on the back teeing ground; the hole location is on the left portion of the green. (Green depth 40; hole 22 on, four from the left)

Hole 18 – 500 yards; anticipating a southerly wind for Thursday, the tee markers are placed on the front portion of the penultimate teeing ground; the hole location is in the right portion of the putting green, which is difficult to access but rather easy to putt up to. (Green depth 31; hole 16 on, six from the right)