You can clearly see my backswing impact and follow-through positions. (The ball in front of my clubhead illustrates my normal ball position while the ball behind the club is the ball position for my escape punch shot.)[image:13984441]
Even if you aim perfectly to allow for the exact break of a putt if you then roll your ball too fast it will miss above the hole. And if you roll it too slowly it will likely miss below the cup.
Then for the next 25 seconds I watched the ball slowly amble away from me down the green and past the hole. It eventually rolled off the front of the green stopping only after it had traveled 10 yards back down the fairway. Unfair? Maybe. Difficult? Absolutely! But this is the U.S. Open. This is Shinnecock.
The goal of my visit was to paint a picture of the challenges that await the best players in the world so you can better appreciate the drama sure to unfold before your eyes during the playing of the 118th U.S. Open whether you’re there in person or catching it on TV.
This hole will surrender its fair share of birdies but not to those who find the sand off the tee. The bunkers short and right of the green sit 12 feet below the putting surface. Good luck.