2016 U.S. Open: The 5 Hardest Holes at Oakmont

The winner of the 2016 U.S. Open trophy will need to successfully navigate some of the most difficult holes in all of golf. Credit: USGA

The US Open is often called the toughest test in golf. Jordan Spieth recently remarked that Oakmont the “toughest venue.”

So with all the talk of Oakmont’s historic prowess, we thought it’d be interesting to highlight the five most difficult holes at this historic venue. Coincidentally (or not), these were also five of the 11 toughest holes on Tour in 2007, when Oakmont last hosted the U.S. Open.

5th Hardest Hole – No. 8

Par 3 – 288 Yards

This grueling hole is the longest Par 3 in US Open history. Depending on the weather, and the yardage set by the USGA, the club selection here can vastly vary over the four days. A cross bunker, just out into the fairway about 8 feet short of the green. Any ball landing beyond that should roll onto one of the putting green. The green is probably the most generous at Oakmont and has the least amount of undulations.
2007 Stroke Average: 3.45 | Rank: 5

4th Hardest Hole – No. 9

Par 4 – 477 yards

At the 1994 US Open, this hole was played as a Par 5 but was changed to a Par 4 in 2007. The players will face a blind uphill tee shot which is protected by a ditch on the left and fairways bunkers on both sides. But finding the fairway is not everything on this hole. The green is enormous with severe slopes and funnels. Landing the ball in the wrong place can lead to a difficult two-putt. The back portion of the 9th green is used as the practice putting green.
2007 Stroke Average: 4.50 | Rank: 4

3rd Hardest Hole – No. 1

Par 4 – 482 Yards

The opening hole at Oakmont is probably the most demanding and unwelcoming opening hole in Championship golf. The tee shot is played to a narrow fairway which is well guarded by deep bunkers on both sides. The approach shot is downhill to a green which completely slopes away from the players. You will find a lot players landing their balls well short of the green and using the gradient to take the ball to the hole.
2007 Stroke Average: 4.52 | Rank: 3

2nd Hardest Hole – No. 10

Par 4 – 462 Yards

The opening hole on the back nine is quite similar to the first hole. The tee shot is downhill to a fairway that is narrow and slopes from right to left. You’ll see a lot of balls simply running out of fairways. The approach shot is also quite similar to the first and you’ll find quite a few players landing their balls short of the green. The green is one of the most difficult at Oakmont and slopes severely from front right to back left.
2007 Stroke Average: 4.53 | Rank: 2

The Hardest Hole – No. 18

Par 4 – 484 Yards

The finishing holes is one of the most challenging finishing holes in Championship Golf. With ditches and bunkers situated on both sides of the fairway, it’s narrower than what players see from the Tee. The approach shot is blind to an elevated green. Although the green is fairly large, in 2007 only 33% of the players hit it.
2007 Stroke Average: 4.60 Rank: 1

The Numbers From The 2007 U.S. Open At Oakmont

RankHoleParYdsAvg ScrEagleBirdieParBogeyDbl Bogey
3144824.51501821217627
14243414.1530512809510
9344284.37504222414027
17456095.0552802687113
12543824.2404626310915
11631943.30203925312318
6744794.4313321415828
5832883.45501722218018
4944774.49401722915334
21044624.52902921214345
131143794.20414627010415
71256675.41204521613633
151331833.110622788413
181443584.051852568212
81545004.38902623915118
101632313.32302925314113
161743134.0662852459311
11844844.60202718517931

SOURCES: USGA, GOLFSTATS

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