It’s a tradition here pre-U.S. Open: counting down the holes until Shinnecock Hills hosts a fourth modern-era U.S. Open over its magnificent William Flynn design.
Here is a look at No. 10.
The 10th features a tee shot that is difficult visually and one that once enjoyed some strategy. It’s hard to imagine today’s players laying up 220 yards or so for a better view instead of taking the turbo boost down a slope to the leave a flip sand-wedge for most. Even if the lie is in the first cut of rough.
This was P.J. Boatwright’s theory in 1986 before players started doing their Crossfit.
Although it’s not an especially short hole, we anticipate that players will lay up off the tee so that they’ll play into the green from a relatively level lie rather than play a shorter iron from a downhill lie. The pretty and small green sits up on a knob. An approach shot which lands just short of the green will likely roll down the steep slow and leave the player with a tough pitch shot. The green is likely to be firm, so a well-struck iron shot is essential.
The 10th was famously a difficult green in 2004 when it dried out too much. Players expecting this and the exposed, elevated 11th green to be the same speed and firmness of the others should probably book flights out on Friday night.
The 10th hole was 409 yards for that first U.S. Open, now it’s 415 in 2018. (If only Stanford White hadn’t put that pretty clubhouse in the way of more back tees! No vision!)
Here is the video flyover, via the USGA: