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. 9.
The 485-yard 9th begins a three-hole stretch of blind or obstructed-view approach shots and it’s one of the better three-hole stretches in golf. Then again, Shinnecock features no average stretches of golf, but for those who appreciate the challenge of a well-designed uphill approach shot, the 9th-10th and par-3 11th are as good as it gets.
The big issue here in 1986 for PJ Boatwright? An unreachable 9th with a north wind and its 447 yard distance.
If the wind comes out of the northeast, the players might not be able to drive to the bottom of the huge swale in the fairway, in which case they would be left with an impossible long shot rom a downhill lie to the elevated green. So if we get a prediction of a northeast wind, we will move the tee-markets up.
For some, this will be the least likable hole at Shinnecock because of the severe stances and uphill approach severity.
Here is the video flyover, via the USGA: