US Open betting tips & predictions – the US Open is the second of the four major championships in golf and is an official tournament of both the PGA and European Tours. It is staged by the United States Golf Association (USGA) in mid-June and it is scheduled so that the final round is played on the third Sunday, which is Father’s Day.
From a course difficulty perspective the US Open Championship is traditionally the hardest of the four Majors to win.
The US Open is staged at a variety of courses and set up in such a way that scoring is difficult. US Open courses are typically characterised by low scoring, are long, have a high cut of primary rough, undulating greens and tight fairways.
This year the 117th US Open is heading to the north central United States. Erin Hills is the host course and is located in Erin, Wisconsin (55 km northwest of Milwaukee). It will be the sixth public access course to host the tournament joining Pebble Beach, Pinehurst, Bethpage, Torrey Pines and Chambers Bay.
Erin is the poetic name for Ireland and the Erin Hills’ course has a very strong Irish feel. The course features an array of picturesque greens set against a backdrop of rolling hills that one could mistake for the landscape of Ireland. The club logo is a three leaf shamrock, with further shamrock fixtures placed around the course and at every tee box. There is also an Irish pub within the complex.
Erin Hills opened for play in 2006 and was designed by architects Dr. Michael Hurdzan, Dana Fry and Ron Whitten. Its original concept was to be a simple, affordable, lay-of-the-land layout. The course has hosted the 2008 US Women’s Public Links Championship and the 2011 US Amateur Championship.
Erin Hills was built by Wisconsin developer Robert Lang who used his own money to fund the course. His determination to bring the US Open to Erin Hills ultimately put him in financial difficulty and forced him to sell the course.
In 2009, Andrew Ziegler, co-founder of Artisan Partners LLC, purchased the course for $10.5M. An avid golfer and single-digit handicapper, Ziegler had this to say about the course;
“It’s not heathland, it’s not parkland, it’s not links-land. It’s what it is. It’s Erin Hills.”
This year’s 117th US Open is the first USGA regular men’s event ever awarded to a course owned by one person.
Erin Hills is routed over spectacular glacial features in the scenic Kettle Moraine area of Wisconsin. The Kettle Moraine is a highly glaciated area with hilly terrain and glacial landforms. The ground consists of unsorted glacial sediment of sand and small rock. Fine fescue was used for the fairways to emphasize the natural contours of the course and provide a firm playing surface that plays shorter than its length on the scorecard.
The Par 72 layout measures a colossal 7,800 yards. The scorecard is intimidating with all Par 5’s playing over 600 yards from the back tees. The closing hole is a mouth-watering 663 yards. Five of Par 4’s are 464 yards or less and the other five average out at over 490 yards.
The stock Par 3’s will be no bargain either with three of the holes playing over 200 yards. The 165 yard Par 3 9th hole is the shortest on the course and is nicknamed “the shortest Par 5 in the world“. Even with the prevailing wind and the fescue fairways running fast and firm, Erin Hills has a lot of real estate to cover.
The course is practically treeless and the wind can blow in any direction. There is flexibility, depending on the day’s wind direction, to move tees forward or back. Worth keeping an eye on the weather as Mother Nature will no doubt have a role to play this week. Good course management will be a factor with lots of choice for cutting off corners versus playing it safer.
The fairways at Erin Hills are both generous in width and contoured. Superior ball-striking skills will be rewarded this week particularly for those who drive the ball long and well from the tee. Missing fairways will be penalised and invariably forcing players to lay up. The greens complexes will have closely mown run-off areas and are well protected by bunkers. Salvaging pars after wayward approaches will be challenging this week making scrambling a key statistic to consider.
The greens are well contoured and tiered. Distance control will be important and trying to hold the greens with long irons will be challenging. There is plenty trouble around Erin Hills and trouble means deep, sprawling bunkers, heavy rough or wispy, gnarly fescue that can go from ankle to knee high deep.
Important factors this week will be good strategy, hitting the right parts of the green and avoid haemorrhaging shots to the field with a ‘card-wrecker‘.
Like with all Majors, it is worth holding back some wager money to have a bet in running after 36 or even 54 holes are completed.
Dustin Johnson 13/2, Jordan Spieth 12/1 and Rory McIlroy 14/1 are the Bookmakers favourites for this week’s US Open
US Open Betting Tips 2017