MAMARONECK, N.Y. – The last time the U.S. Open was played on Winged Foot’s West Course the temperatures hovered in the mid-80s most of the week, the humidity was high and the wind was never really factor. It was June in New York, exactly what one would expect.
What to expect at a September U.S. Open has been a common topic leading up to this week’s championship, with USGA officials pointing out some obvious differences with 2 ½ fewer hours of daylight, no fans and no grandstands to frame the course.
But it’ll be the weather that will most impact play, with lows in the mid-40s starting on Friday and a north wind that promises to make things even more demanding.
It will, simply put, be a different course.
“The greens are better this year. I remember Friday afternoon last time the greens being really not great as far as rolling. It was like they were a little fast and beat up and it was hard to keep it on the ground,” Lucas Glover said. “Everything is more uniform this year from the rough and not having any fans.”
But if the West Course will have a different feel for the September version there will be one familiar theme – degree of difficulty.
Glover said the course will play a little more difficult than it did in 2006 particularly because of thicker rough compared to the rough during the summer which he said was “straw-like.”
“It’s a tough golf course no matter when you play it,” said Henrik Stenson, who played his first U.S. Open in 2006. “The guys were saying the greens were definitely a little iffy back in ’06 but the rough is as U.S. Open-like as it can be. It’s going to be major championship golf, no question.”