Looking Ahead: The Next 5 U.S. Open Venues

Aug 17, 2016

A-Swing method
Image: Roger Rowlett/CC BY-SA 2.5

So with the 2016 edition and Dustin Johnson's great triumph in the rear view mirror, let's look ahead to the next five U.S. Open sites.

2017: Erin Hills Golf Course – Hartford, Wisc.

Of the next five U.S. Open venues, not only is Erin Hills the only one making its debut, it is the newest course by decades. But despite its relatively young age, it exudes a throwback look, with rough-hewn bunkers and elusive, undulating greens. But for the prodigious power of today's best, it will also be the longest and most variable U.S. Open venue to date, with many holes that could play as much as 100 yards longer or shorter than the previous day, depending on the whims of the USGA's Mike Davis, who has described the course as "Shinnecock Hills on steroids."

2018: Shinnecock Hills Golf Club – Southampton, N.Y.

This site of thrilling U.S. Opens in 1986 (won by Raymond Floyd), 1995 (won by Corey Pavin) and 2004 (won by Retief Goosen) will get a chance to leave new memories for players and spectators after a confluence of stronger-than-expected overnight winds and aggressive maintenance practices rendered some greens unplayable for parts of the course's last turn in the U.S. Open rota. This time, expect less onerous putting conditions, but plenty of the wind, undulation and firm and fast surfaces that make Shinnecock one of the very best golf courses in the world – for championship golf or for everyday member play.

2019: Pebble Beach Golf Links – Pebble Beach, Calif.

West-Coast U.S. Opens have become very popular, as they give the eastern half of the United States the opportunity to see big-time golf in primetime. And the opportunity to see it at Pebble Beach, the most spectacular seaside golf course in the United States, is even more attractive for the millions-strong golf viewing public. Front-nine holes like the tiny par-3 seventh will steal the show early on, but the cliff-hanging par-5 18th remains one of championship golf's great finishing holes, with the Pacific Ocean lurking down the left side all the way.

2020: Winged Foot Golf Club (West Course) – Mamaroneck, N.Y.

Winged Foot was the site of one of the great multi-stage collapses in golf history. It is most remembered for Phil Mickelson's bizarre and tragic 72nd-hole double-bogey, which handed the trophy to Australia's Geoff Ogilvy, but people forget that Padraig Harrington, Jim Furyk and Colin Montgomerie also had late chances to win the tournament as well. This time around, look for the winning score to be a bit better than the five-over-par total that Ogilvy posted in 2006. Mickelson will turn 50 years old early that week — will he have it in him to exact his revenge on Winged Foot?

2021: Torrey Pines Golf Course (South Course) – La Jolla, Calif.

It is hard to imagine that Torrey Pines' second chance at hosting the U.S. Open will pale in comparison to its first. After all, the 2008 U.S. Open featured one of the most courageous and spellbinding performances in the mesmerizing career of Tiger Woods, who needed 91 holes to win that championship from Rocco Mediate and did so on one good leg, the golf world learned later. He has not won a major since. Woods will be 45 when the U.S. Open returns to southern California. Will his aging, long-stressed body allow him to contend? If so, it just might top his 2008 triumph.

It's never easy to foresee the story lines that will play out at one of the most exciting major events of the year, so who knows who we will see as champions over the next few years. Still, it's always exciting to look forward to each summer.

Are one of these courses on your must-play list? Or do you think there are some other amazing courses that should be hosting our national championship? We love talking golf, so be sure to follow us on Facebook, join the conversation on Twitter and keep up with us on Instagram!