Golfer's hoping to triumph at the US Open later this year are going to have to be hitting the ball out of the middle of their clubs if they are hoping to be in contention, seeing as the course will be playing nearly 7000 metres long.
Graeme McDowell played a practise round on Monday and was not a happy chappy.
"Congressional 7574 yards Par 71 US Open set up," he tweeted during his round. "No-one will break par."
"I'm hoping I got the wrong tee at 11," he said, describing the 494-yard par-4 with the creek down the right side of the fairway. "I can't really see much positive to say about that golf hole. If you're selling four 4s, I'm think I'm buying."
By way of explanation US Golf Association Executive Director Mike Davis said, "We want the U.S. Open to be a rigorous test."
There are eight new tee boxes, set way back to increase the yardage. The par-5 ninth can now play up to 582 metres – and will have worst rough on the course in a gully right in front of the green. Such a layout poses a problem for McDowell, who isn't a particularly long hitter and didn't need to be when he won at Pebble Beach last year.
Ben Brundred Jr., co-chairman of Congressional's US Open committee knew changes were needed when Tom Kite, at age 55, had the lead after three rounds when the Booz Allen Classic was played there in 2005.
"So what are you going to do?" Brundred said. "You've got a 55-year-old guy that's 40 yards longer than he was in his prime. The holes have to change."