U.S. Women's Open: Dynamic 11th hole in Charleston has Civil War roots

USGA/John Mummert

U.S. Women's Open: Dynamic 11th hole in Charleston has Civil War roots

LPGA Tour

U.S. Women's Open: Dynamic 11th hole in Charleston has Civil War roots

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CHARLESTON, S.C. – There’s a grandstand to the right of the 11th tee box at Country Club of Charleston that sits in the shade. If there’s a place to be during the steamy 74th U.S. Women’s Open, that’s it. Seth Raynor’s Reverse Redan is the kind of par 3 that stops you in your tracks.

“I feel like that hole, anything can happen,” said 2018 U.S. Women’s Open champion Ariya Jutanugarn.

And it has.

Sam Snead once carded a 13 on the hole and Ben Hogan said it needed “about five sticks of dynamite.”

Beth Daniel grew up at Country Club of Charleston and would go for the top shelf if she had the perfect club in her hand. Otherwise, she laid up to avoid disaster. That’s right, she laid up on a par 3.

“I hit it short left, right over there,” she said, “into the slope, rolls down and give yourself a chance to make par. Worst you’re going to do is bogey.”

The tee box on the 11th is built up because it served as a cannon mount in the Civil War.

“If you think about it,” said Daniel, “it protected the mouth of the river so they couldn’t escape. They were either stuck in the harbor or they had to go out to the ocean.”

Emma Talley watches her tee shot from No. 11 during the 2013 U. S. Women’s Amateur at Country Club of Charleston. (Golfweek File)

Stacy Lewis looked at Monday’s practice round tee sheet and signed up to play alongside Emma Talley, the 2013 U.S. Women’s Amateur champion. Talley played nine rounds of competitive golf here the week she won.

“I’m no dummy,” said Lewis as she made her way to the 11th tee.

The official yardage on the 11th this week is 172 yards. Talley never came up short during the Women’s Amateur. The target, she said, is the left side of the tower behind the green.

“You basically try to land in the same spot every day,” said Lewis, “which is 5 to 7 over the top of the ridge and you take what you get from there. Over the back is fine.”

While other players, including Talley, hit balls from the bottom of the severely sloped green, Lewis went straight to the top and spent her extra time out of the right greenside bunker and behind the green.

“I’m not gonna hit it there,” she said of being short.

Speaking of those grandstands, it’s better to get a drop from them than be short in the right greenside bunker. The left greenside bunker could spell catastrophe.

“It’s kind of weird to think about missing a green on a par 3,” said Pressel, “where you have your best opportunity to make an up and down, but you definitely need a different mindset going into that hole.”

Inbee Park had trouble carrying the ridge on No. 11 and then trying to stop the ball.

“I kind of have to look kind of into the hill, like last two, three yards of it,” she said, “and then try to jump it up from there. But the greens are actually firm enough that even if we hit into those hills, it kind of jumps up unless like you hit it too far below it.”

It should make for must-see theater this week.

“I think, like any other hole, we’ll watch hole locations, we’ll watch firmness,” said senior managing director of championships John Bodenhamer. “I can guarantee you the players are thinking about where they want to miss it, and that isn’t left.”

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