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US Open 2022

With a pro caddie to guide us, we played The Country Club. Here’s the hole-by-hole report.

Globe reporter Jim McBride got some sage advice along the way as he bravely took on The Country Club.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

It was the brightest highlight on a day filled with sparkling moments.

As I stared at a 40-foot putt for par on the 10th hole at The Country Club in Brookline, caddie Paul Driscoll casually asked if I wanted a read on what I was positive would be an eventual three-putt double bogey.

“Sure,” I said with equal parts confidence and skepticism.

“Here’s your spot,” said Driscoll, using the flagstick to point to a location about 7 feet above the hole. “Make it die right here.”

I hit the ball as instructed, and almost miraculously, when it reached Driscoll’s area, it took a hard left and rolled dead center into the cup.


Day made.

As I hustled to Driscoll for a fist bump, he smiled.

“Now you can tell everyone you conquered ‘The Himalaya,’ ” he said, referring to the hole’s unofficial nickname.

[ Read all the Globe’s golf coverage here ]

Getting a chance to tour the storied 18 at The Country Club — one of the world’s most historic and magnificent tracks — is a thrill for any golfer.

Here is a look at what it’s like to experience the course. Caddie comments provided by Kenny Gore, who along with Driscoll provided professionalism, insight, and some comic relief along the way.

Yardages are from the TCC scorecard.

No. 1: 495 yards, par 4

A slight dogleg left with a bunker at the bend. This opener demands accuracy off the tee, so consider leaving the big dog in the bag here. Any approach shot is tricky, as the green is well-protected by three front bunkers.

Caddie: “I would say hit your tee ball just right edge of the bunker, like 5 yards off the right edge.”

No. 2: 220 yards, par 3

A bit of a blind uphill tee shot that features bunkers guarding the green front and left. There’s not a ton of room behind the green, where the terrain is thick and where every pitch will require the commitment to get through the rough stuff but also a gentle touch.


Caddie: “The miss is short here. Don’t miss long.”

No. 3: 504 yards, par 4

The first truly intimidating look off the tee. The narrow fairway is in a valley, and if you don’t land in the short stuff, it’s nearly impossible to get on the dance floor in two because you’ll have an awkward, unbalanced stance for your second shot.

Caddie: “I’m not really used to that sightline because they’re playing it back 5-10 yards [for the US Open]. I would say the miss is short.”

No. 4: 497 yards, par 4

Rated the No. 1 handicap hole, there’s a new elevated tee box that no professional has ever played in competition. It’s a blind tee shot that requires accuracy over distance, as anything not in the middle will require a magician’s touch to get it on the green from the gunch. Also, it’s the trickiest green on the course, as putts from every angle seem to pick up steam and chug past the jar.

Caddie: “Make sure you hit the fairway, because you’re not going to stop the ball on the green from the rough.”

The venerable course can be hazardous, but if you keep your head down and persevere, you can manage, as our intrepid author did here.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

No. 5: 310 yards, par 4

It’s an uphill tee shot, and if you’re feeling good about your driver, then grip it and rip it and an eagle putt could be your reward. Of course, the risk is spraying it right, which could quickly turn into a bogey, man.


Caddie: “One of the few birdie holes. Hit driver up around the green and take your chances.’’

No. 6: 197 yards, par 3

A little par-3. No biggie, right? Uh-uh. This little stretch of pricey real estate comes with plenty of beachfront property, though there’s no ocean view. If you miss the green, you will likely find yourself in one of the four greenside bunkers.

Caddie: “Hardest hole on the course. Make sure you hit the green. It’s tough to have one strategy because I don’t know where the pin’s going to be. It’s all flag-dependent.”

No. 7: 378 yards, par 4

Beautiful view from the tee box into a narrow valley fairway. Large bunkers guarding the left and right of the green mean you’d better be accurate with your uphill approach shot.

Caddie: “Hit a 3-wood and keep it in play. You don’t need driver. Should be a lot of birdies here.”

No. 8: 567 yards, par 5

A slight dogleg left with an inviting wide fairway gives you a boost of confidence on the tee. A sextet of bunkers — two on the fairway right and four more around the green — can get in your head, however.

Caddie: “Another one of the few birdie holes — if you hit a good drive.”

No. 9: 425 yards, par 4

Standing on the tee, you’ll want to hit driver, but it’s not the smartest play because danger lurks, as water and sand — I found both — protect a green that’s slick and nasty.

Caddie: “Just hit a 3-wood and avoid the right because the hill leads to the pond.”


No. 10: 513 yards, par 4

Another elevated tee that leads to a narrow valley fairway with rocky tundra on both sides. The approach shot is to an elevated green, and you’re lucky if the flagstick is visible. If you’re even luckier, you’ll sink a 40-foot putt.

Caddie: “Par’s a good score here.”

No. 11: 131 yards, par 3

A new hole for this layout, it looks innocent enough, but if you don’t land it on the dance floor, there’s a massive bunker in the front and three more left. If you go long or right, the rough will swallow your wedge.

Caddie: “If it’s windy, the amount of players that hit the green will be way less. If there’s no wind, it should be a birdie hole.”

No. 12: 478 yard, par 4

A slightly uphill tee shot with bunkers waiting if you go ever so slightly right. The penalizing sand is front left on your approach shot.

Caddie: “Most underrated hole on the course. Have to hit a good drive, and it’s a tricky green.”

Globe reporter Jim McBride stares down a shot at The Country Club.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

No. 13: 478 yards, par 4

A blind tee shot. Either hug the menacing pine tree on the right or hit a draw. The reward for a good tee ball? An approach shot over water to a green guarded by two bunkers.

Caddie: “This is the hardest driving hole. You need to be able to hit a draw.”

No. 14: 612 yards, par 5

They pushed the tees back for this one, so you’re basically standing in the backyard of the house Tom Brady once owned. This beast has a two-tiered fairway and requires consecutive uphill bombs. Then you still have a blind shot to the green.


Caddie: “The second shot’s the most important. You’ve got to be up on the plateau. Probably unreachable for 95 percent of the field.”

No. 15: 515 yards, par 4

A decent-sized fairway with plenty of trouble because of the rough on both sides. Even if you miss the short stuff by a smidge, you might need a scythe to find your ball. Oh, and there are bunkers surrounding the green on all sides.

Caddie: “A hard driving hole. Probably my favorite hole on the course.”

No. 16: 211 yards, par 3

Not a lot of room for error with the stands to the left and a green that is protected by sand traps all around.

Caddie: “Probably going to see a two-shot swing on Sunday, right? You might see a swing on that hole that might cost someone — or win someone — the tournament.”

No. 17: 370 yards, par 4

A dogleg left with bunkers dotting the left side of the fairway and rough right. They added an extra bunker back left of the green — and I found it.

Caddie: “If the pros scout the course, they’re going to learn that you can make birdie by hitting driver. I think there will be a lot less birdies with people laying up. You can hit a draw off the tree line 300 yards, just short, chip up and make a putt.”

No. 18: 455 yards, par 4

There are bunkers on the left that will collect tee shots. The approach shot will be intimidating because it will have a stadium atmosphere with bleachers on the left and corporate tents on the right. There’s a crest at the front of the green that will come in handy if you’re above the hole, as it acts as a sort of backboard.

Caddie: “Avoid the rough off the tee and avoid the bunker in front.”

Read the rest of the Globe’s special section about the 122nd US Open in print on Sunday, June 12.

Jim McBride can be reached at james.mcbride@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @globejimmcbride.