ERIN, Wis. (AP) — One of the many quirks at Erin Hills is what was originally called the Bye Hole — a devilish, downhill par-3 positioned between the old ninth and No. 10. It was initially built to be just for fun and wasn’t supposed to count on the official scorecard.
By the end of the U.S. Open, a lot of these players might wish the course architects had kept it that way.
The old ninth hole is now No. 8, and the Bye Hole is now No. 9. The 135-yard par-3 is what the makers of Erin Hills consider their answer to one of the world’s most picturesque golf holes — the short, downhill seventh at Pebble Beach.
“We didn’t have the ocean, so we put in erosion bunkers,” said writer/architect Ron Whitten, who helped design Erin Hills.
They also designed a rolling, multi-sectioned green that, in places, is near-impossible to hold, along with a tee box on an exposed, wind-swept hill.
As is the case at Pebble Beach, where the seventh measures 109 yards, on most days the shot requires nothing more than a pitching wedge. But where No. 7 at Pebble Beach ranked as the third-easiest hole at the 2010 U.S. Open, No. 9 at Erin Hills is designed to cause more trouble than that.
“Honestly, there are a couple spots where you just do not want to be,” said Garrett Osborn, a onetime regular on the Web.com Tour who qualified for his first U.S. Open this year.
No. 9 has been described — and we’ll keep it just to the printable things — as the shortest par-5 in golf, the hole with the scariest second shot at Erin Hills (if you miss the green on the first) and, as Alex Noren of Sweden said, “a hole where there’s no way you can just hit a…
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