What To Know About This Weeks U.S. Open Course Torrey Pines South?

Jun 16, 2021, 4:18 PM | Updated: Dec 8, 2022, 3:57 pm
Charl Schwartzel of South Africa plays a shot from a bunker on the fourth hole during a practice ro...
Charl Schwartzel of South Africa plays a shot from a bunker on the fourth hole during a practice round prior to the start of the 2021 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course on June 16, 2021 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Torrey Pines South is one of the most challenging golf courses in the world, which should come as no surprise when you heard that is was hosting this week’s U.S. Open.

History At Torrey Pines

Prior to the golf course opening in 1957, the land was used for other reasons. It was a military camp, Camp Callan to be exact, that opened in 1941 shortly before the Pearl Harbor invasion. Roughly 15,000 people lived on-site during WWII, however, after the war, the government sold the land back to the city of San Diego.

The city then transformed the land into a Grand Prix Racecourse that was used to host some of the biggest names in racing at the time. The last race was in 1956, a year before the land was then turned into the golf course that stands today.

Today’s golf course is vastly different from what the course looked like in 1957. In fact, the golf course has been remodeled on a number of occasions, most recently in 2019.

Today’s Golf Course

There is only one body of water on the course that runs in front of the 18th green.

This year will mark the second time that Torrey Pines has hosted the U.S. Open with the first occurring in 2008 when Tiger Woods won his third U.S. Open of his career beating Rocco Mediate in the first hole of a sudden-death playoff. His finishing score was one-under-par.

The golf course is home to three par 4’s that run over 500 yards. The most challenging hole in 2008 was the 501 yard par 4 12th hole that often plays into the wind. The easiest hole in 2008 was the par 5 18th hole that measures 568 yards. It is also home to the infamous Tiger Woods putt in which commentator Dan Hicks will forever be quoted saying “expect anything different?”

What makes Torrey Pines ever more unique is the fact that it is a municipal golf course. The public is welcome any time of the year as amateur golfers test their abilities against one of nature’s most grueling stretches of land.

This year, the key for golfers will be to keep the ball out of the long Kikuya rough. The winning golfer in 2021 will likely find more fairways than the rest of the field, allowing them to control their approach shots into the slick and fast greens.

The golf course will play over 7,700 yards, further emphasizing the need to find cut grass more often than not.


Kyle Ireland and Tom Hackett, KSL Sports

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What To Know About This Weeks U.S. Open Course Torrey Pines South?