BROOKLINE — Thousands of golf fans will storm onto the grounds at The Country Club on Thursday for the long-awaited 2022 U.S. Open.
But many golf enthusiasts, especially those who are not familiar with the private club in Brookline, won’t know where to go. Finding the perfect spot to post up initially will be difficult to determine. Even those who might have been to The Country Club in the past — perhaps the 1988 U.S. Open or 1999 Ryder Cup — will see some changes to the layout.
There’s certainly a lot to see on the par-70 course measuring 7,254 yards. And that’s why some amateur attendees might want to let the professional golfers help.
“I would probably get here early and walk it,” Scottie Scheffler, the World’s No. 1 golfer, said Tuesday while speaking with the media. “If I hadn’t been here before, I would probably walk the course and maybe watch one of the early groups where there’s not too many people and try to get to see everything.”
Scheffler, though, has been to The Country Club. The course hosted the U.S. Amateur in 2013, and Scheffler remembered the experience and course all too well.
“There are so many good holes out here,” Scheffler said. “I could post up on (No. 8). I could post up on (Nos.) 10 and 11, kind of out there by the green and watch shots going into 11, watch shots coming into 10 and see some carnage on No. 10 and then maybe a few lower scores on No. 11.”
The par-4 10th is one of the most iconic holes on the property and appropriately known as “Himalayas.” The slim fairway sits between two massive rocks and the green is built onto a steep hill. The 10th usually plays as a par 5 for TCC members, so playing it as a par 4 in the U.S. Open depicts the challenge Scheffler acknowledged. And who doesn’t like to see one or two professionals look like they’re competing in the weekly men’s league every now and then?
The Country Club is composed of three separate courses, with holes from each being intertwined on the current layout. The par-3 11th hole is a fun beneficiary of that, as it will return to U.S. Open competition for the first time since Francis Ouimet’s win at TCC more than a century ago in the 1913 U.S. Open. With a wedge in hand, golfers will go at the pin approximately 130 yards downhill. It will play as one of the shortest holes in tournament history, which, from a fans’ perspective, means the chance to witness birdies — and maybe even a hole-in-one.
“There’s a lot of good spots out there,” Scheffler emphasized.
Keegan Bradley, a graduate of Hopkinton (Mass.) high school after growing up in Vermont, never played at The Country Club while growing up in New England. He did refer to the course as the region’s “crown jewel,” though. Bradley has some 25 family and friends coming to witness his homecoming, and he’s recommending they pick a spot on the back nine and park it.
“Well, the whole back nine is pretty — a lot of grandstands, a lot of fun places to hang,” Bradley said. “The USGA does a great job of spreading the tee times out. On the Tour it will be — the premier pairings will be off 10 in the morning and 1 in the afternoon. But here in the U.S. Open, they do them all around. There’s going to be action everywhere. It’s going to be a lot of people, I think, so you better pick a spot and hang there.”
The par-4 13th also will provide an Instagram-worthy spot as players hit over a pond to a wide green guarded by a large bunker on the left and another on the front-right. But that’s not to overshadow the longest hole on the course, the 625-yard par-5 14th hole. As so many holes do in Brookline, the 14th presents the chance for golfers to see an array of outcomes, which might interest fans looking to see both failures and successes.
Par 3s tend to be popular for fans given that it offers the chance to see tee shots and birdie putts. For that crowd, the 220-yard par-3 2nd, the 197-yard par-3 6th and the 211-yard par-3 16th might fit the bill.
You can follow along throughout the U.S. Open with NESN’s coverage from The Country Club here.