Is Shinnecock Hills unfair?
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After some extreme conditions and some even more extreme scoring, Neil Tappin asks is Shinnecock Hills unfair?

The main talking point so far at the 2018 US Open is the golf course. Scoring is high, even for a US Open and the set up of the golf course has led players and pundits to ask is Shinnecock Hills unfair?

Let's begin by saying that golf is not and never has been 'fair'. Sideways bounces, spike marks, divots and ricochets are just some of the ways in which the natural landscape creates a constant element of luck. Never has a round of golf been played when good and bad fortune haven't played their part.

US Open Leaderboard

Having said that, Shinnecock Hills appears to have been taken to the extreme. In particular, the pin placements have received most of the criticism when people as is Shinnecock Hills unfair. Here are a selection of tweets explaining the issue:

On numerous occasions, the USGA has placed pins on the edges of slopes and this has been regularly cited when people answer is Shinnecock Hills unfair. As a result there have been instances where truly great shots, that would have finished two feet past the pin, resulting in a certain birdie have run 30 yards off the green. The line between successful and failure is so close it's blurred.

Of course, it is the same for every player in the field and as such it is hard to describe those pin placements as unfair. However, if they persist and the greens become even harder and faster, the USGA are in danger of making the tournament somewhat laughable.

US Open Betting Tips

The US Open is a unique test and it is interesting to see how the best players fair on an extremely tough golf course. However, golf does not need reinventing. Great shots can be made average by bad bounces but extreme pin placements are a man-made, artificial danger. It's golf, but not as we know it.

Neil Tappin

In July 2023, Neil became just the 9th editor in Golf Monthly's 112-year history. Originally working with the best coaches in the UK to produce instruction content, he has also presented many Golf Monthly videos looking at all areas of the game from Tour player interviews to the rules of golf. 

Throughout his time with the brand he has also covered equipment launches that date back well over a decade. He clearly remembers the launch of the Callaway and Nike square drivers as well as the white TaylorMade driver families, such as the RocketBallz! If you take a look at the Golf Monthly YouTube channel, you'll see his equipment videos dating back over a decade! He has also conducted 'What's In The Bag' interviews with many of the game's best players like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm. Over the years, Neil has tested a vast array of products in each category and at drastically different price-points. 

Neil is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus Fairway Wood: Titleist TSR2 Hybrid: Titleist TS3 Irons: PING Blueprint S (4&5), PING Blueprint T (6-PW) Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 50˚, 54˚, 60˚ Putter: Odyssey Triple Track Ten Ball: Titleist Pro V1X