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Going into the 123rd US Open, all eyes were on Los Angeles Country Club, with the exclusive course opening its doors to the world's elite, something which, up until now, golf fans had rarely seen, aside from the 2017 Walker Cup.
Many were excited to see what the Beverly Hills venue would bring, especially as it would play slightly differently to the typical US Opens of the past. So, what has the reaction been from those playing the men's third Major of the year?
Well, in all honesty, it has been mixed, with some enjoying it and some not so much...
Beginning with the World No.1, Scottie Scheffler, who was a big admirer of Los Angeles Country Club, with the 26-year-old stating: "I definitely like the golf course a lot. I think it's a very interesting place to play golf. I think some of the setup stuff has been also a little bit interesting. It can be frustrating at times with how firm the greens are and how much softer the fairways are. Like 11 is a good example of a hole in which I hit a shot -- let's go back.
"...At the end of the day, it's golf and you get good breaks and bad breaks. I like that the golf course is challenging. I like that the greens are really firm. There can just be some frustrating aspects to it when golf courses get this challenging. It's just the nature of the game."
Padraig Harrington was also very complimentary, specifically about LACC's greens, with the three-time Major winner claiming that "these are probably the best greens we've ever putted on in a Major." He then went on to add: "I'm telling you, these are just a pure bent surface which is beautiful to putt on. If you produce good greens, you're going to get good scoring."
Another player to heap praise was Harris English on Thursday, who stated: "I like this track. I played it a couple times before this week and it's fun. A couple blind shots out there - I'm not a huge fan of blind shots, but it is what it is. It's kind of an old school golf.
"It's that way for everybody. You got to visualize it in your head and get up and pick a good line and hit it. But it's just a fun course. It's a cool place, right downtown Beverly Hills, we don't get a chance to play in huge cities like this. So it's a cool track."
One last player was Phil Mickelson, with Lefty claiming on Thursday that "the course was incredibly setup." Although the six-time Major winner was one of the big names to miss the cut, the 52-year-old was a big fan, as he went on to add: "They moved some tees up and they had some soft pins to let us get off to a good start, but it'll play a lot harder as it goes on.
"But I think it's such a great setup, that granted, the scores are a little bit lower with greens being receptive and so forth, but there's a lot more teeth in this course if they want to use it, and still, it's fair."
Following the first day and the low scoring, many wondered if the US Open set up was too easy. Certainly, on the Thursday, many players felt that and, as the week progressed, many weren't changing their opinions, with Brooks Koepka the first to claim that he wasn't a fan of the course.
"I'm not a huge fan of this place. I'm not a huge fan of blind tee shots, and then I think there's just some spots that no matter what you hit, the ball just ends up in the same spot.
"I think it would be more fun to play on just like a regular round than it would be a US Open. I mean, there's, what, two 8s (62) yesterday. That doesn't happen."
Reigning US Open champion, Matt Fitzpatrick, has also had his say, with the Englishman explaining on Friday that: "I think the big issue around this place is you miss the fairway by a yard and you got to chip out. I just think that's the course setup.
"We played a lot of places recently that have been like that. I think it's very poor when golf courses are set up like that. You can hit it 40 yards off line and you got a lie."
On Saturday, he once again commented on the course, as he added: "I just think the golf course is interesting, to be polite, I think. There's just too many holes for me where you've got blind tee shots and then you've got fairways that don't hold the ball. There's too much slope.
"I think the greens certainly play better when they're firmer. I definitely think that's the case. They're rolling really, really well. Some of the tee shots are just, I think they're a little bit unfair. You hit a good tee shot and end up in the rough by a foot and then you're hacking it out. Meanwhile someone has hit it miles offline the other way and they've got a shot. Yeah, not my cup of tea."
The last two players to give a thumbs down to LACC were Viktor Hovland and Bryson DeChambeau, with both speaking after their third rounds.
In Hovland's case, the Norwegian explained that: "I'm not a big fan of this golf course, to be honest. I think there's some good holes. I don't think there's any great holes. I think there's a few bad holes. I think No. 9 is probably the best hole out here in my opinion."
"It's more linksy, a lot more rolling aspects to it," he said. "I try to have 3,000 spin on my driver to curb the firmness, but it doesn't matter. You land it in the fairway and it's still rolling forever. No.1 was a perfect example. No.18 I pulled it just a little bit left, it drew, and bounced in the rough.
"So just numerous holes where you've got to play the correct shot shape with how the fairway moves and everything, and there's some off-wind holes where it's off the left. It's just diabolical. It's a completely different test of golf than a normal US Open."
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Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.
Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.
Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?
Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°
Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°
Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°
Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW
Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°
Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
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