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Round 61: The Country Club

Round 61 in my quest to play them all brought me to one of my White Whales: The Country Club. ⠀

What a golf course. We got the full treatment during a member-guest. Swag, history lectures, and a Q&A about the US Open set-up.⠀

We played the white tees on the Main Course, a routing dotted with short par 4s. Holes 2, 4 ,6 , and 10 all provide chances at birdie if you're sharp. Holes 4 and 6 are drivable, whereas 2 and 10 put a long iron in your hand off the tee. ⠀

The greens on the entire course are incredibly tiny, some even feel claustrophobic with four players and two caddies squeezed onto the surface. The rough was thick and nasty, balls nestled down making iron shots tough and chip shots often a hack-and-hope situation.⠀

I am delighted the short par 3 12th hole will be in the US Open routing for the first time since the famous 1913 US Open. ⠀

The back 9 is probably my preferred set of holes. There really isn't a bad hole on the course, but the 10-18 stretch is just a cut above. ⠀

The 13th might be my favorite hole on the course. A longish par 4 dogleg right that plays slightly downhill to a sloped, round, tiny green that's set in a mini amphitheater. ⠀

The par 3 7th is wonderful, too. A mid-iron shot from the white tees to the biggest, most dramatic green on the course. The 7th tee sits in the middle of the land, offering a great view of a lot of the front nine.⠀

Of course the 3rd hole is another gem. From the tee, the flag can be seen over a large hill, but the pathway to get there is anything but direct. There are a few choices off the tee, and the chatter during our round was proof of the design strength of the hole. Driver? 3 wood? Hybrid? What's the wind doing?⠀

The second shot is striking. Hitting from a small valley over a cross bunker and to a green set just in front of a pond. If your tee shot is wayward, the cross bunker requires a lot of thought on the lay-up, as it's right where a player might like to lay-up or try to cover and run the ball up close to the low-lying green. ⠀

Don't sleep on the fifth hole either. A monster of a hole.⠀

An incredible day that is certainly a highlight of the quest to this point.

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