Quick 9: Most brutal US Open courses
The Olympic Club, 1955
Jack Fleck, a little-known municipal course pro from Iowa, pulled off one of golf’s greatest shocks and on one of the toughest courses in US Open history in 1955. Both Fleck and Ben Hogan finished with a score of 287 (seven over par). But Fleck would pull off an unbelievable shock by defeating Hogan in an 18-hole play-off, apparently using clubs manufactured by Hogan’s company. The rough at the Olympic Club came under heavy scrutiny. Sam Snead said of the rough: “The strongest man in the world can’t hit the thing 10 feet out of some of this grass.”
Southern Hills, 1958
Dubbed the Blast Furnace Open for the baking hot weather and high winds in Tulsa, only three players broke 290 at Southern Hills. It was Tommy Bolt who would beat the heat to win with a score of three-over-par 283.
“They ruined a good farm when they built this course,” said American Dave Hill of the test at Hazeltine in 1970 – and he finished second. The course, which hosted last year’s Ryder Cup, had only opened eight years earlier. Many players suffered a torrid first day as 35mph winds – gusting past 40 – swept away their chances. But England’s Tony Jacklin withstood the challenge to land his second Major title thanks to an impressive seven-under 281.