USGA executive director Mike Davis, who oversaw the course layout,
admitted the length was added in an attempt to make the hole a "true
And at 670 yards, there's no questions it's a three-shotter ... and then some.
Every U.S. Open seems to have at least one controversial hole, and
this year is no different. While most of the players in the field have
been careful not to outright criticize the 16th this week, Phil
Mickelson (big surprise) gave his honest assessment on the extreme
"It's definitely the hardest and arguably the worst," Mickelson said of the longest hole in U.S. Open history.
Never one to mince words, Mickelson went on to say that the par-5 would ... gulp ... play over par for the week.
"I believe that you play 15 holes of really tough, tough golf,"
Mickelson said. "And you finally get your first par-5 and it's the
toughest hole on the course. I think 16 will play more over par stroke
average than any hole on the course. That would be my prediction."
[Related: Five storylines to keep an eye on at the U.S. Open]
Mickelson also noted that it was "a case where longer is not better."
That seems to be the consensus from most of the golfers in the field --
including Bubba Watson, who admitted he couldn't reach the hole with driver, driver on Tuesday.
"You can't reach that hole in two from the forward tee," Watson said.
"I don't know why it needs to be 670 with the deepest rough of the golf
course. There's going to be people that don't get there in three
because they hit it in the rough and the lie is bad."
When one of the longest hitters in golf is lamenting the length of a
par-5, you know something could potentially be wrong with the setup.
We'll find out more about the hole in the days to come, but for the
moment, it has the potential to be a hot-button topic.
[Related: U.S. Open chances: Could Tiger Woods capture his 15th major?]
The 16th doesn't even crack the top 5 of longest golf holes in the
world, however. The top dog is the 841-yard par-6 (yes, 6) 12th at the
Meadow Farms Golf Course in Locust Grove, Va. Yep, that's nearly a
half-mile-long golf hole. Think the PGA Tour pros would take well to