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FOCUS ON GOLF / U.S. OPEN

Olympic Venues

June 18, 1998

The 18 holes that make up the Olympic Club's Lake course feature narrow, tree-lined fairways, smal greens, only one fairway bunker and, like Riviera, no water hazards whatsoever. Combined they are less than 6,800 yards, but are also what Ben Hogan called "the longest short course in the world." A look at the holes where the Open championship will be decided.

1

par five, 533 yards

In 1987, the last time the Open was played at Olympic, this was the easiest hole on the course. Many players will reach the green in two with an iron.

2

par four, 394 yards

Most players will hit three-wood or one-iron off the tee. It's important to keep the second shot below the hole because the green slopes severely back to front.

3

par three, 223 yards

The Golden Gate Bridge is visible from the tee. The tee shot is downhill to a well-bunkered, narrow green that runs away at the back. It's wise to stay short.

4

par four, 438 yards

The first of two exceptional par fours in a row, it's a downhill dogleg. Many won't hit driver to avoid running through the fairway, then will have a blind approach.

5

par four, 457 yards

Another long downhill hole with a green that is very fast back to front. Many say Nos. 4 and 5 are among the toughest consecutive par fours anywhere.

6

par four, 437 yards

The crook of this slight dogleg left features the only fairway bunker on the course. Most players will carry it, leaving a short to middle iron to the green.

7

par four, 288 yards

One of the great short par fours in golf. It features a fiercely trapped, three-tiered green that is still driveable, as Greg Norman showed in the '87 Open.

8

par three, 137 yards: Six bunkers surround a green that slopes severely from back to front so any tee shot above the pin could be troublesome. It's uphill, but still a birdie hole.

9

par four, 433 yards

The drive should be left to right to follow the dogleg but also counteract the right-to-left slope. The green slopes from right to left and front to back.

10

par four, 422 yards

A left-to-right dogleg with slight downhill approach. The firm green slopes from front to back, so some players might run their shots onto the green.

11

par four, 430 yards

One of the few driver holes on the course since prevailing winds make the hole play longer. Shots in the deep bunker front and right of the green make par difficult.

12

par four, 416 yards

The approach shot into a quartering right-to-left wind makes any right-side pin placement treacherous because of a right-front bunker.

13

par three, 186 yards

This is a straightforward, one-shot hole that is bunkered at the front, right and left. The green is narrow and deep.

14

par four, 422 yards

Any drive hit to the left is essentially dead. The approach must avoid a deep, front-right bunker. The green is very fast from back to front and right to left.

15

par three, 157 yards: Aggressive players must watch out when hitting front left and back left because of two deep bunkers and back right because of a steep slope behind the green.

16

par five, 609 yards

Length keeps it from being an easy birdie hole, and a ball in the rough on the drive or second shot can make par tough. Bunkers front and right of the green.

17

par four, 468 yards

The approach is long, uphill and into a prevailing wind. It was the toughest hole in '87 when it was 40 yards shorter, this should be the pivotal hole of the championship.

18

par four, 347 yards

A long-iron downhill tee shot to the flat part of the fairway will leave a short-iron to a narrow, well-bunkered green. It's important again to stay below the hole.

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