A hole-by-hole look at Chambers Bay, site of the 115th U.S. Open to be played June 18-21:
No. 1, 496-598 yards, par 4-5: For the first time in U.S. Open history, a hole will have a different par depending on the round. As a par 5, the fairway is plenty generous off the tee and should be reachable in two depending on the wind strength and direction off Puget Sound. As a par 4, the landing area is much tighter and the green will be more difficult to hold with a mid-iron. The USGA expects the scoring average to be roughly similar regardless of par.
No. 2, 399 yards, par 4: Players likely will hit iron off the tee to avoid a knob in the landing area that could send shots left or right. A short iron will be left to a green that has a slope off the right, and a large sand area left of the green.
No. 3, 163-198 yards, par 3: A short or medium iron is likely to this Redan green that slopes from the front right to the rear left. The bunker complex on the left side of the hole is deep and dotted with deep fescue. The green features a small ridge, and with contours on the putting surface, players can get creative to try to get close to various pin positions.
No. 4, 495 yards, par 4: This starts the tough stretch on the front nine. It played as a par 5 for the U.S. Amateur. The landing area is generous. The safe shot is down the left, which makes the hole slightly longer. The right side requires the player to take on a massive bunker complex that stretches all the way to the green. The second shot is uphill and could require a long iron or metal. What helps is a natural backstop for shots that go long. The green has contours that move the ball from left to right.
No. 5, 488 yards, par 4: A magnificent view with an elevated tee and Puget Sound in the background. The fairway narrows just beyond 300 yards off the tee, and the landing area is framed by bunker complexes. The fairway slopes to the left, which could send tee shots into sand and leave a partially blind shot. A deep pot bunker guards the front of a green that slopes severely from back to front. For the U.S. Amateur, there was another green about 300 yards from the tee. That has been eliminated.
No. 6, 495 yards, par 4: The hole has been lengthened by some 100 yards. It features a partially blind tee shot to a landing zone with contours that send the ball in multiple directions. A shot down the left side leaves a longer approach, but a clear view of the green. The putting surface is framed by dunes and long bunkers down each side of the long, narrow green. The green slopes from back to front, and it will be important to keep the ball below the hole.
No. 7, 508 yards, par 4: This plays slightly uphill and bends slightly to the right. An aggressive play off the tee will move from left to right to take on the large bunker complex down the right side. The USGA has grown light rough in down the left side, which is safer, but leaves a tougher shot because of two large, rough-covered hillocks obstructing a clear view of the green. The elevated green slopes from back to front and has multiple tiers. It has been softened since the Amateur.
No. 8, 614 yards, par 5: The longest hole at Chambers Bay is the only one without a bunker. It is framed by a hillside on the left and a steep drop off to the right. With subtle contours, players likely will have uneven lies for their second and third shots. The hole gradually rises all the way to the green, which is long and narrow and has several ridges that will make it critical to have the right distance depending on the pin position.
No. 9, 217-224 yards, par 3: No other par 3 offers two distinct shots depending on the tee. The main tee features a 100-foot drop in elevation. The USGA created another tee that makes this hole slightly uphill. The angle of the lower tee provides a distinct backstop behind the green. A large bunker complex is short and to the right of one of the largest greens on the course. The green has contours that, if played properly, can funnel the ball toward the hole.
No. 10, 436-468 yards, par 4: Different tees made this drivable on some days at the U.S. Amateur. The landing area tightens as the fairway rises toward the green. The approach is set between dunes and sand and sits diagonally. The green slopes away from the dunes and back to front with multiple sets of contours.
No. 11, 500-537 yards, par 4: One of the toughest par 4s on the course, this elevated tee shot requires a right-to-left shape to avoid a large hillock that is situated in the middle of the fairway. The green is slightly elevated and generally moves right to left, but the contours are such that any misplayed shot will roll quickly off the green and could leave players some 40 yards away.
No. 12, 281-311 yards, par 4: This short, uphill hole allows for multiple options off the tee. The fairway is narrow and fairly easy to hit. Most players will be able to reach the green — the largest on the course — but there is a big bunker short and left of the green. The green is severely sloped from back to front and set in a punch bowl, so misplayed shots will repel away from the green. The green has distinct quadrants, and the right distance with shots into the green is critical.
No. 13, 534 yards, par 4: The fairway is nearly 115 yards wide — more than four times as wide as a typical U.S. Open fairway. The aggressive play is to the right side toward a bunker complex and will shorten the approach. Getting to the green is not a problem. It's holding the green. A deep bunker is front of the green, and a nob on the left repels shots. A slope on the right also sends golf balls away from the green.
No. 14, 521-546 yards, par 4: The longest par in U.S. Open history features an elevated tee some 200 feet above sea level. The tee shot drops at least 50 feet and must cover the largest bunker complex and native area at Chambers Bay. Adding to the difficulty is a bunker in the middle of the landing zone that must be avoided. The green features a pronounced ridge in the middle.
No. 15, 123-246 yards, par 3: This could be the longest or the shortest par 3 at Chambers Bay depending on the tee that is in use. The only tree on the course, a Douglas fir, is behind the green. The putting surface has two sections. The left side slopes from back to front and is easier to hold, presumably for the longer shot. The front side repels just about any shot that is not struck precisely.
No. 16, 423 yards, par 4: The rail and Puget Sound are to the right of this hole with a fairway that slopes from left to right and becomes more narrow just short of 300 yards. The green is small, framed by bunkers on both sides, and is pear-shaped. It's twice as wide at the front as it is in the back. The back sliver of the green has bunker on both sides. The tees could be moved forward to allow players to try to drive the green.
No. 17, 172-218 yards, par 3: The only par 3 at Chambers Bay that is neither uphill nor downhill. It's a long carry across a bunker complex and native area to a green that is divided into two sections. The more friendly side is to the left, which slopes from front to back. This will be used for the longer shot. The right side is elevated and framed on three sides by a bunker, with the ridge in the green on the left side of the section.
No. 18, 525-604 yards, par 4-5: This will be a par 4 or par 5, the opposite of whatever par is chosen for No. 1 so that Chambers Bay plays to a par 70 each round. As a par 5, players will try to carry as much of the bunker complex as possible on the right to allow a chance to reach the green in two. As a par 4, the goal is to avoid a deep cross bunker. The USGA added a bunker about 120 yards from the green that is some 10 feet deep. It probably won't come into play unless a player gets into trouble off the tee. The green is among the severely contoured on the golf course. The decision is whether to make this a par 4 or par 5 for the final round.