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14 U.S. Open Golf Courses You Can Play Right Now

by Craig Better

USOpen Courses

The USGA takes its share of heat over various golf issues, but you have to give the Far Hills fraternity credit for at least one of its recent initiatives.

Its goal to open up the U.S. Open was more than just talk.

Consider this:

From its start in 1895 until 2000, the U.S. Open was played almost exclusively on private courses.

How to fix a hook

Golf is a cruel game. Sometimes the swing you want produces the very ball flight you were trying to avoid. Such is the case with a hook. If you're afraid of hitting the ball left of your target, your tendency is to slow your body turn. You think if your upper torso turns left of the target, the ball will follow.

Ironically, the opposite is true. By slowing or even stopping your turn toward the target (inset), your arms and hands whip through the hitting area and shut the clubface, producing that dreaded snap hook.

How to hit a Power Fade

A power fade is a driving, left-to-right tee shot that you hit on purpose, not because you left the clubface wide open at impact or cut wildly across the ball (the errors you make when you slice).

When to Use It

It's ideal on holes that turn hard to the right or when most of the trouble is up the left side. It's a trustworthy play because it's easier to pull off then a dead-straight drive or one that draws.



Tiger still recovering from back surgey

Sunday will mark the six-year anniversary to the day of Woods, hobbling around on a left knee ripped to shreds, defeating Rocco Mediate in a playoff at Torrey Pines to earn his third U.S. Open. We know this anniversary will come and go without a repeat performance this week because Woods is again injured—this time to the second most-important part of a golfer's body.

Matthew Rudy demonstrates 5 Pinehurst-centric shots you'll see players hit this week, and how you can play them

With its roughless, sandy framing, sea of pine straw and shaved green complexes, Pinehurst No. 2 has a radically different look than any other recent U.S. Open venue. That means you'll see tour players hitting a variety of less-common shots during championship. As the Pinehurst Golf Academy's director of instruction, top-50 teacher Eric Alpenfels has lots of experience both on No. 2 and hitting the shots Donald Ross' historical showpiece requires.

3 signs that Pinehurst is teetering on the edge of insanity


PINEHURST, N.C. -- If you've paid any attention this week, you know the hype: Pinehurst No. 2 looks amazing with its rusticity and absence of snooze-inducing Bermuda hay. Old Donald Ross' handiwork is playing as tough as anything the flatbellies have seen and will provide some unprecedented entertainment value in the form of artistic (or not) recovery shots.

Bubba Watson calls Pinehurst's greens 'unfriendly'

PINEHURST, N.C. -- Calling the greens "unfriendly" and referring to the area outside the fairways as "weeds," Masters champion Bubba Watson expects a long week at Pinehurst No. 2, where the U.S. Open begins Thursday.

Watson will attempt to become the rare player to win the Masters and U.S. Open in the same year, but he was making no bold predictions after a couple of days of practice.

US Open Begins today in Pinehurst

USGA's most talked about event is kicking off today in Pinehurst NC. The course has been updated (moving it back more to it's original conditions) and some holes lengthened. Scattered thunderstorms have been hitting the Carolina's the last week so will that soften things up a little bit? We'll see.

Television: (All times Eastern)

Thursday, Round 1
9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. ESPN
3:00-5:00 p.m. NBC
5:00-7:00 p.m. ESPN 2

Friday, Round 2
9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. ESPN
3:00-5:00 p.m. NBC
5:00-7:00 p.m. ESPN 2

Golf Digest's 75 Toughest Courses in America

1. The Ocean Course, Kiawah Island, S.C.
2. Pine Valley (N.J.) G.C.
3. Oakmont (Pa.) C.C.
4. Spyglass Hill G. Cse., Pebble Beach
5. Bethpage State Park (Black), Farmingdale, N.Y.
6. Whistling Straits (Straits), Haven, Wis.
7. TPC Sawgrass (Players Stadium), Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
8. PGA West (TPC Stadium), La Quinta, Calif.
9. Winged Foot G.C. (West), Mamaroneck, N.Y.
10. Pinehurst (N.C.) Resort (No. 2)
11. Butler National G.C., Oak Brook, Ill.
12. Shinnecock Hills G.C., Southampton, N.Y.

Golfers are a loyal lot, particularly when it comes to their golf ball

By Mike Stachura

There are 1,308 balls on the USGA's conforming list, but a Golf Datatech study suggests despite all the alternatives, most consumers aren't interested in switching what they play.

The firm's semi-annual study of serious golfers shows 97 percent use their favorite ball brand more than half the time. Moreover, three of four typical golfers play their favorite more than 80 percent of the time. That's an increase from 66 percent when the same question was asked in summer 2012.

Donald Trump 'buys' a Major

Donald Trump has confirmed to Golf.com that he purchased the Turnberry Resort in Scotland on Monday night. Speaking by phone, Trump said that he wasn’t looking specifically to buy the Open venue on Scotland’s west coast, but he couldn’t pass it up after an inquiry revealed it might be on the market.