SHINNECOCK HILLS GOLF CLUB

Course Architects: Willie Davis (1891), Willie Dunn (1894), C. Blair MacDonald
                   and Seth Raynor (1916-17), William S. Flynn (1929-31).
Year Opened: 1891
Location: Southampton, New York
Slope: 142. Rating: 75.1
Par: 70
Yardage: 6,996
Hole-by-Hole: 1 - Par 4 393 Yds    10 - Par 4 412 Yds
                      2 - Par 3 226 Yds    11 - Par 3 158 Yds
                      3 - Par 4 478 Yds    12 - Par 4 468 Yds
                      4 - Par 4 435 Yds    13 - Par 4 370 Yds
                      5 - Par 5 537 Yds    14 - Par 4 443 Yds
                      6 - Par 4 474 Yds    15 - Par 4 403 Yds
                      7 - Par 3 189 Yds    16 - Par 5 540 Yds
                      8 - Par 4 398 Yds    17 - Par 3 179 Yds
                      9 - Par 4 443 Yds    18 - Par 4 450 Yds
                      Par 35  3,573 Yds     Par 35  3,423 Yds

Awards Won: Ranked 6th by Golf Digest - America's 100 Greatest Courses
            (2001-04),
            Ranked 1st by Golf Digest - Best course in New York (2003-04).

Events Held: U.S. Open (1896, 1986, 1995, 2004),
             U.S. Amateur (1896),
             U.S. Women's Amateur (1900),
             U.S. Senior Amateur (1967),
             Walker Cup (1977).

HISTORY: Just look at the events held at this course and you will know what
kind of history is involved. Let's start with the second U.S. Open of all-time
back in 1896, when James Foulis shot a tournament-best 74 in the second round
for a three-shot win over defending champion Horace Rawlins. The event was
held amidst much controversy, as most of the other 33 players in the field
resented the participation of local African American John Shippen and Oscar
Bunn, a local Native American. The brouhaha died and the event was held. The
86th U.S. Open was staged at Shinnecock Hills and Ray Floyd was the victor
with a score of one-under-par, two clear of Lanny Wadkins and Chip Beck.
Floyd, who trailed Greg Norman by three shots heading into the final day, shot
66 to become the only player in history to win at Shinnecock with an under-par
score. Floyd birdied holes 11, 13 and 16 and held the lead outright for the
first time after making par on 14. Norman would shoot 75 the final day and tie
for 12th, six shots back. Joey Sindelar had a roller coaster event that week,
opening with 81 then shooting 66 in round two. He eventually tied for 15th.
Floyd by the way, a member of the course, shot a course-record 64 back in 1998
when playing with other members. The U.S. Open returned to Shinnecock in 1995
and again Norman was the third-round leader. This time around, Corey Pavin
snatched victory from the "Shark" with a final round 68 to Norman's 73 for a
two-shot win over the Australian. Pavin's historic 228-yard four-wood on the
final hole sealed the win, as he two-putted from five-feet for par and the
win. When the 1977 Walker Cup was staged at Shinnecock, current USGA president
Fred Ridley was a member of the squad which defeated Great Britain and
Ireland, 16-8. Also on that victorious team were Gary Hallberg, Scott Simpson
and Jay Sigel, who defeated a squad that included former Masters champion
Sandy Lyle and Peter McEvoy.

Shinnecock Hills Golf Club opened in 1891 with just 12 holes. Along with The
Country Club (MA), Newport Country Club (RI), Chicago Golf Club (IL) and Saint
Andrew's Golf Club (NY), the five courses formed the United States Golf
Association in 1885. Shinnecock was America's first course to have a clubhouse
and the first 18-hole golf course on the East Coast, as it was expanded in
1895. The clubhouse was designed by famed architect Stanford White, who
crafted the original Madison Square Garden. White, who finished the clubhouse
in 1892, was gunned down in 1906 by railroad and mining heir Harry Thaw, after
having an affair with a 16-year-old chorus girl, who later became his wife.
White was killed during a musical at Madison Square Garden. Shinnecock
Indians, who once occupied much of the land on eastern Long Island, worked as
laborers on the course. Because of new railroad lines and roads, most of the
course was re-routed on land to the north in 1927 and completed in 1931 by
William Flynn. The new layout opened in July of '31, as Flynn incorporated the
now par-3 7th and parts of the par-3 2nd. The Shinnecock Indians continued to
play a prominent role in the maintenance and construction of the course and in
1956, Elmer Smith, a Shinnecock took over as superintendent. Smith passed away
in 1980 and was succeeded by his son Peter. An Ivy League graduate from
Dartmouth, Peter Smith was instrumental in setting up the course for the 1986
and 1995 U.S. Opens. Smith was forced out late in 1999 and was replaced by
former Pebble Beach "super" Mark Michaud. Although roughly 600 members of the
Shinnecock tribe live on a reservation just a mile away, only a smattering
work at the club.

REVIEW: How about walking out of the clubhouse right onto the first tee. A
perfect setting, as the opening hole traverses downhill, bends to the right
and is just 393 yards, the second shortest par four on the course. Driver is
not needed here as placement is key, as the fairway is extremely narrow. A
short iron is left to a sloping green guarded left and right by sand. If you
can hit the green, you will leave yourself with a certain birdie chance of no
longer than 15-20 feet. The longest par three on the course, the second hole
can be stretched to 240 yards if the pin is placed in the back. Playing
uphill, a long iron will be needed to hit this well-bunkered green. The
putting surface slopes from the center to the front and from the middle to the
back. Missing this green will most likely result in bogey. The third is a
straightaway, lock-and-load type hole. The length of the hole has been
increased 25 yards since the 1995 U.S. Open to 478 yards. The par four borders
the National Golf Links of America on the left. Your tee shot must carry 200
yards just to reach the fairway, as a series of bunkers and native grasses
protect the entrance to the short grass. The landing area is extremely narrow,
with an ideal tee shot reaching the bottom of the final hill. Easier said,
than done. A short iron will be left if you kept it in the fairway. The green
is the simplest on the course, flat and circular in depth. Make par and move
on. The fourth hole has been lengthened some 30 yards to 435 from the tips.
Doesn't seem like much, but the hole usually plays into a stern wind, so you
will still need to hit driver. The hole bends to the right, with a pair of
large bunkers guarding the landing area. Bailing out left will leave a longer
approach to a very undulating putting surface that slopes seemingly every
which way. The green is elevated, which may make an up-and-down extremely
difficult. A definite birdie chance, the par five fifth is certainly reachable
in two. Just 537 yards in length and despite the addition of a new tee, the
player must capitalize on the first of only two par fives on the course. A
myriad of sand protects the landing area, left, front and right, but most will
not come into play, as the hole usually plays downwind. The green is hard to
hold and protected by a pair of bunkers in the front. Closely mown areas front
and back will give players fits, but will not be difficult for the best
golfers in the world. Another long par four, the sixth proves to be most
challenging due to the landing area which cannot be seen from the tee. Use
your caddie wisely, as he will give you a target to shoot for. Three metal
will probably be the play here, as the longer you hit your drive, the less
room is left to hit. Through the fairway results in sand (four bunkers) and
right is deep and thick grass. Now you're left with 200 yards over a water
hazard which will only come into play if you're laying up. The green slopes
back to front, but miss long and it falls off to the back and right. A very
long and deep bunker protects the left section of the putting surface, a must
to avoid. One of the true remaining holes from the C.B. MacDonald days, the
seventh is a spectacular test. Not overly long, the par three is generally
played into a stiff wind, making club selection next to impossible. The green
slopes right to left and is protected by two deep bunkers on the left. Bail
out right and you'll find more sand or worse, deep rough. Short, and you'll
roll off the green, long and you'll get more of the same. Bogey's not so bad.
Although a short hole, the eighth has been lengthened 30-plus yards to 398 and
plays directly into the wind. Sand and deep rough protects the left and more
sand guards the right on this hole that twists to the right. The landing area
is blind from the tee, but driver is still needed despite the narrow fairway.
A short to mid-iron awaits to an elevated green. Three deep bunkers protect a
green that slopes from back to front. Missing this large green long is no
bargain either, as the closely mown chipping area falls away from the surface.
Birdies can be made on a benign day, but par is the norm. The closing hole on
the front side, could very well be the finishing hole at any venue in the
world. Some people actually mistake number nine as the 18th. Only 443 yards
from the tips, the hole plays much longer than the yardage indicates due to
the highly elevated green that sits adjacent to the clubhouse. A 204-yard
carry from the tips is needed just to reach the fairway. From there, a long
iron or fairway metal will be required to reach the deck of this green that
slopes severely from back to front. As you reach the putting surface and catch
your breath, take a look around at the amazing beauty of Shinnecock and the
surrounding Great Peconic Bay. Now that you're back to reality, you're
probably faced with a slick downhill putt to a front pin placement...good
luck. Don't be embarrassed if you happen to three-putt...or worse, it could
happen.

The inward nine starts out with an outstanding par four of just 412 yards.
Don't be fooled. There is a huge drop-off in the fairway, some 250 yards from
the tee. The players must make a decision whether to go for the gusto or layup
to the top of the crest. Going for broke will leave an awkward pitch of 120
yards straight up the hill to a very narrow green. Laying back is the sensible
play, as you will be able to see the putting surface from 160 yards out. The
green is quite difficult, as an approach shot that lands short of the flag
will most likely spin back off the green while a long second will roll down
off the back of the surface. Play for the center of the green, two-putt and
move on. The par three 11th has been called the shortest par five in the
country. Just 158 yards from the tips, the hole plays uphill to a small
elevated green that will create havoc for the first-time player or the
experienced member. Wind is always a problem, making club selection next to
impossible. Miss short -- deep sand bunker. Miss right -- two deep sand pits.
Miss left -- you guessed it, more sand. So long and left seems to be the
play...wrong. The greens falls away from the hole and will leave an extremely
awkward pitch to a surface that slopes from left to right. Birdie...no,
par...maybe, bogey or worse...most definitely. You most certainly will be able
to get some frustrations out on the 12th. The longest par four on the back
nine, the 12th plays downhill and usually downwind, so lock and load. After a
successful tee shot, a short iron will be left to a large and somewhat flat
putting surface, although short will roll back off the green. No sand protects
the green, so getting up and down should not be a problem and making birdie
could be a possibility. One of the more scenic spots on the course is the
teeing area of the par four 13th. Look to your right and you'll see the beauty
of Shinnecock and the surrounding area. The shortest two-shotter on the
course, the 13th plays from an elevated tee to a narrow fairway that bends
slightly to the right. Usually into the wind, the second shot will be played
uphill to an elevated green that is crowned. Most approach shots will roll off
the surface, especially when pin placement is back right. Thinking this is an
automatic birdie hole will probably leave you with bogey. Long and lean. That
certainly fits the 14th hole to a tee. Your opening shot is played from an
elevated tee and must be placed quite precisely to a narrow landing area. Miss
the fairway right and you have no chance of getting home due to rough and
severe slope. A bunker 300 yards off the tee looms large, but is a perfect
target to shoot at. The approach shot will play uphill to a green that's
protected by four bunkers short left and right. The putting surface slopes
from front to back with the easiest pin position back-center, leaving a
definite birdie opportunity. Cut off as much as you dare on the par four 15th.
This downhill dogleg to the right puts a premium on the tee ball. With an
accurate shot, the player will be left with just a short iron. However, miss
right and you'll have virtually no chance of reaching the green, even if you
are just 100 yards away. The putting surface is protected in front by six
bunkers, but is fairly simple, so birdie can be made. Missing long will leave
an easy pitch back to the green. "S" for Shinnecock -- the 16th is not your
typical par five. Most players will think birdie, however this hole plays
directly into the wind and is virtually unreachable in two. In fact, due to
the prevailing breeze, each shot will be a chore to pull off. Sand protects
each corner of the S-shaped hole, in fact there are 20 bunkers that occupy the
hole, 10 of which surround the green. The putting surface is very narrow and
slopes from back to front. Down the stretch, this is no hole to fool with,
just make par and move on. The last realistic chance for birdie will come at
the par three 17th. Although the surface is well guarded by four large
bunkers, the green is fairly flat and should pose little problems as far as
slope. In 1995, this hole played seven yards longer with a tee box slightly to
the left of its present location. Norman's chance for the title ended here
with bogey. The best play here would be a shot from right to left setting up
your best chance for a deuce. You will be hard pressed to find a better
finishing hole in golf. Pebble Beach, Merion and Bethpage Black come to mind.
First of all, 450 yards. Second, dogleg left. Third, into the wind. With the
championship on the line, this hole will separate the men from the boys. The
long sloping fairway features many hills and valleys as it reaches the
elevated green. Thanks to technology, a mid to long iron will now be required
to reach the surface in two, unlike Pavin's remarkable 4-wood in 1995. "It's
the most pressure I ever faced on a golf course," said Pavin in triumph. "I
just tried not to rush anything. Then I hit it, knowing it was good. I
couldn't help but go running up the hill, to see just how good it was going to
be." The green slopes from back to front and is protected by a deep bunker
left and two small traps right. You must leave your approach below the hole to
have any chance at making a putt. Now you can take a breath.

Billed as one of the top-10 courses in the world, Shinnecock Hills is just
that. From start to finish, there is no let up. Just driving the ball will not
get you there. You must be precise with your irons, you must be able to get up
and down and your putting, well, no matter how good you putt, expect a few
three jacks. Let's start with tradition. When your one of the founding courses
that made up the USGA and the first 18-hole layout in the country, well you
certainly passed that test. Next, conditioning. I've got to tell you, not a
blade out of place, greens as pure as glass. Even the rough is spectacular.
Just immaculate. How about amenities. Enormous driving range, awesome
clubhouse and accommodating staff, what more could you ask for. Finally, let's
talk about the course itself. As true a links-style course in the United
States that you will find. The elements are always a factor. Wind, cold, rain,
you name it. Shinnecock is exposed to it all. It comes as no surprise that in
the history of this storied venue, only one person has finished under par.
Former U.S. Open champion Johnny Miller commented that "It's the greatest
course in America as far as tee to green shot values and the wind and the
gnarliness of it." You WILL use every club in your bag. You WILL hit shots
that you never did before. You WILL pull your hair out on occasion. And you
WILL want to come back again and again. If you had to describe Shinnecock with
one word -- Awesome. Phenomenal. Amazing. Great. One of my most favorite
courses of all time.