The 2010 / 2011 / 2012 US Open Championship golf courses
“Enjoyed the open bar & really liked the 4-Course Dinners. You run a top-notch event!"
– Campbell Soup
“You guys ran a great event, all our guests left happy.” – Radian Guarantee
Pebble Beach Calif.
Congressional Country Club
June 14-17 Olympic Club, San Francisco
The United States Open Championship, commonly known as the U.S. Open, is the annual open golf tournament of the United States. It is the second of the four major championships in golf and is on the official schedule of both the PGA Tour and the European Tour. It is staged by the United States Golf Association (USGA) in mid-June, scheduled so that, if there are no weather delays, the final round is played on the third Sunday, which is Father's Day. From 2008, it will also be an official money event on the Asian Tour, with 50% of Asian Tour members' earnings counting towards the Order of Merit.
The U.S. Open is staged at a variety of courses, set up in such a way that scoring is very difficult with a premium placed on accurate driving. U.S. Open play is characterized by tight scoring at or around par by the leaders, with the winner emerging at around even par. A U.S. Open course is seldom beaten severely, and there have been many over-par wins (in part because par is usually set at 70 except for the very longest courses). Normally, an Open course is quite long and will have a high cut of primary rough (termed "Open rough" by the American press and fans), hilly greens (such as at Pinehurst No. 2 in 2005, which was described by Johnny Miller of NBC as "like trying to hit a ball on top of a VW Beetle"), and pinched fairways (especially on what are expected to be less difficult holes). Some courses that are attempting to get into the rotation for the U.S. Open will undergo renovations to have these features. Rees Jones is the most notable of the "Open Doctors" who take on these projects. As with any professional golf tournament, the available space surrounding the course (for spectators, among other considerations) and local infrastructure also factor into deciding which courses will host the event.
The U.S. Open is the only one of the four major championships which does not go immediately to a playoff if two or more players are tied at the end of the four rounds. Instead, the players play a fifth 18-hole round the following day (Monday), but if a tie still exists after the round, then a sudden death playoff is held. Only three times has the U.S. Open gone to sudden death after the playoff round, most recently in 2008 when Tiger Woods defeated Rocco Mediate on the first playoff hole.
Coverage of The U.S. Open is broadcast on television by NBC and ESPN, with additional online coverage of a marquee group provided by ESPN via the U.S. Open's official website. Of golf's broadcast television partners, NBC is the only one to provide four days of major tournament coverage (CBS and ABC, which air the Masters, the British Open, and the PGA Championship between them, only provide weekend coverage of their respective tournaments).
The 2008 edition of the Open ended in a tie between Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate, forcing an 18-hole playoff the following day. After completing 90 holes over five days, both players were still tied, marking only the third time in Open history that a winner was determined using sudden death. On the first sudden death hole (the seventh), Woods won the tournament with a par to defeat Mediate, who made a bogey. The victory made Woods the sixth player to win three or more U.S. Opens.