Next up on the tee for the US Open: The Country Club of Brookline

Next up on the tee for the US Open: The Country Club of Brookline

The historic Brookline club is next on the tee for the 122nd US Open, marking the first time in 34 years that the Boston area has hosted a golf major. The event runs June 13-19, and weekly tickets were sold on the USGA website on Friday.

“It’s going to be huge for the atmosphere of having a big sporting event in our backyard,” said TCC executive director Kristen LaCount, who met USGA representatives in Torrey Pines this week. “It will be the first since the pandemic to return to normal. What a great thing for us to be able to host it. “

It will be the 10th US Open in Massachusetts history, the fourth in the history of the TCC, and the first golf major for the Boston area since the 1988 US Open when Curtis Strange defeated Nick Faldo in a playoff at the TCC.

The club is also the site of two of the most memorable events in golf history – the 1913 US Open, won by Brookline amateur Francis Ouimet (made famous by the film “The Greatest Game Ever Played”) and the 1999 Ryder Cup, in which a rowdy US team made an unlikely Sunday comeback against the Europeans, crowned 17th by Justin Leonard’s remarkable 40-foot putt.

“I literally get stopped at least once a week, and for a few years after that, it felt like someone was saying to me once a day, ‘Yeah, I was there,'” said Leonard, now NBC golf commentator. “I was only back one more time to film for the Ryder Cup. Of course it’s something I’m really looking forward to. “

Justin Leonard (left) celebrates with Tiger Woods (with sunglasses) and Tom Lehman (far right) and other teammates on the 17th green after the American team won the Ryder Cup in 1999.Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis

The USGA is also excited to bring its national championships back to the Country Club, which was one of the USGA’s five founding members in 1894. Next year’s Open will mark the 17th USGA Championship to be played at the TCC, the last being the 2013 US Amateur Championship won by Matthew Fitzpatrick.

“We use the term ‘the cathedrals of the game,'” said Jeff Hall, USGA’s Managing Director of Rules and Open Championships. “It’s a founding club of the USGA, it has history and we’re just excited to go back and continue that story.”

Eric Mills, the USGA’s championship manager for the US Open 2022, has been on-site at the TCC since last October and said the tournament has already enrolled 3,100 volunteers, 1,100 of whom are on a waiting list.

“We really feel the local excitement. People want to be a part of it, ”said Mills.

There is also the possibility that a given golfer will be back in competition next year, although no one can predict how he will recover from a traumatic leg injury.

“Everyone holds their breath – is tiger [Woods] Are you back next year? ”Said LaCount.

The 2022 championship offers a rare glimpse behind the gates of the TCC. Most fans will not have seen the course in 23 years and most golfers will not know it either. Only a handful of participants from the ’99 Ryder Cup are still playing. Phil Mickelson said he has not been on the course since then. Younger golfers like Justin Thomas and Xander Schauffele have not been on the course since the amateur in 2013.

“I remember playing it because I thought it was one of my favorite courses that I played – just old school golf, right in front of you, little greens,” said Thomas, who missed the 2013 cut. “It’s one of those places where you walk through the clubhouse and the grounds and understand everything and its peculiarities.”

Will Fulton, TCC member and general chairman of the Open next year, said the club felt it was important to reopen its doors. In the same light, The Country Club allowed its course to be included in a video game for the first time (like Augusta National), EA Sports’ PGA Tour 2022, announced last week.

“It’s not a place that the public goes to every day and I think that’s an important aspect,” said Fulton. “It is in our ethos to give back to golf and this is one way of doing it.”

If previous championships are any indication, next year’s Open could be a thrill. In addition to the wild 1999 Ryder Cup, all three previous US Open at the TCC ended in a playoff – Ouimet over Harry Vardon and Ted Ray in 1913, Julius Boros over Jacky Cupit and Arnold Palmer in 1963, and Strange over Faldo in 1988 The fact that none of the golfers will have much experience with the course should the tournament open wide.

“The golf course has such a big history,” said Mickelson. “But the most impressive thing about the golf course is the architecture and how it has stood the test of time. I can’t wait to come back. “

As in previous events, the Open will be played on the TCC’s “Composite Course”, a mix-and-match of holes from the club’s Clyde and Squirrel main course and its 9-hole Primrose course. A new hole is used for the first time in the championship game – the 12th hole of the main course becomes the 11th hole of the compound course, replacing the old fourth hole. It’s a tricky par 3 that measures 131 meters downhill and is protected by four bunkers and a thick fescue.

The 11th hole for the US Open 2022 is actually the 12th hole on the main course of the Country Club, which is a composite course of all the holes available for championship events.The 11th hole for the US Open 2022 is actually the 12th hole on the main course of the Country Club, which is a composite course of all the holes available for championship events.James Sylvia | MembersFirst

The par 70 course is played at 7,312 yards, more than 300 yards shorter than this year’s event in Torrey Pines. But TCC is a tough test of golf, known for tight fairways, protruding boulders, postage stamp-sized greens, and of course the USGA’s infamous thick rough.

Some of the par-4 greens may be drivable for players like Bryson DeChambeau or Brooks Koepka, but failure is severely punished.

“It was probably then – until now – one of the coolest courses I’ve ever played,” said Schauffele. “I remember the rough around the green was extremely thick. If you are out of position off the tee, you cannot really run up a ball on a green. There are a lot of really cool design features of the property. ”The customer review has been automatically translated from German.

The course renovations began shortly after the 2013 US amateur tournament. Several greens have been expanded to their original size, allowing for more pin placements (and more roll-offs). New tea boxes were installed to extend the course. The sand trap was revitalized and a new drainage system was installed. And this summer the rough is as thick as it will be for the championship next summer.

The USGA will visit the TCC for a few days next week for a test run. Tents and other facilities won’t be built until March, but the site is now ready for the US Open.

“The fact that the club hasn’t hosted a major in over 30 years now towers above all else,” said LaCount. “The enthusiasm is definitely starting. It will come true. “

The Brookline Country Club is five miles southwest of Boston.  It will host the US Open 2022 golf tournament.The Brookline Country Club is five miles southwest of Boston. It will host the US Open 2022 golf tournament.James Sylvia | MembersFirst

Ben Volin can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @BenVolin.


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