2015 USGA Amateur Four-Ball Championship
April 29-May 6, 2015

Official U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Updates and Scores can be found at USGA.org


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The inaugural U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship is scheduled for April 30-May 6, 2015. Both courses (Lake and Ocean) at The Olympic Club will host the 36-hole stroke-play qualifying from May 2-3, with the championship’s match-play bracket being contested on the famed Lake Course. It will be the 10th USGA championship hosted by The Olympic Club, and the fourth USGA amateur championship – three U.S. Amateurs: 1958 (won by Charles Coe), 1981 (won by Nathaniel Crosby), 2007 (won by Colt Knost) and one U.S. Junior Amateur in 2004 (won by Sihwan Kim). Five U.S. Opens have been contested on the Lake Course, including Jack Fleck’s three-stroke playoff victory over Ben Hogan in 1955 and Billy Casper’s four-stroke playoff win over Arnold Palmer in 1966. Webb Simpson (2012), Lee Janzen (1998) and Scott Simpson (1987) each produced come-from-behind victories.




Ocean Course - Hole Descriptions and Pictures

Descriptions courtesy of Chris Stein, head golf professional, Olympic Club


  • #1 - 549 Yards, Par 5
    • This dogleg left par 5 is reachable in two for the long hitter. Stay away from the two fairway bunkers on your second shot, this will leave you with an uphill third shot guarded by a deep bunker on the front right of the green. If the hole location is in the front left, keep your approach shot short of the hole.


  • #2 - 194 Yards, Par 3
    • This par 3 has a two-tiered green and is well bunkered on the right side of the green. Keep your ball below the hole to avoid a tricky downhill putt.


  • #3 - 419 Yards, Par 4
    • The tee shot on this par 4 should favor the right side of the fairway as a large Cypress tree guards the front left side of the green. Your second shot must carry on the green as there is a slight uphill slope in front of the green which will keep the ball from releasing on the green


  • #4 - 561 Yards, Par 5
    • This slightly uphill par 5 will be reachable for the long hitters. It’s a good time to let the shaft out as you have a pretty wide open fairway. On your second shot, bunkers guard the left side of the fairway and tall native grasses guard the right side of the fairway. The green slopes back to front so keep you ball below the hole.


  • #5 - 170 Yards, Par 3
    • A downhill par 3 which plays two clubs less if it is a calm day. Club selection is most important as the green is well guarded by bunkers. Over the green will leave you with a difficult up and down.


  • #6 - 360 Yards, Par 4
    • This short par 4 has a two-tiered fairway and a fairway bunker. The ideal placement of your drive should be on the left side which will leave you with a visibly easier second shot. The left fairway bunker is strategically placed and you want to stay out of the bunker which will be a difficult second shot. The green slopes from back left to the front right, so keep your second shot short right of the hole if the hole is located on the left side of the green.


  • #7 - 447 Yards, Par 4
    • The tee shot on this hole must require a right to left shot as the hole sweeps downhill to the left and any shot to the right of the fairway may be a lost ball. The second shot will be played on a downhill lie with a downhill shot. Players usually will play one less club for their second shot. There is plenty of room right of the green and an easier up and down. The green slopes back to front and is guarded by two bunkers on the left side of the green.


  • #8 - 424 Yards, Par 4
    • The ideal tee shot is to play to the left side of the fairway, as the fairway slopes left to right. The right side of the fairway is guarded by a bunker and a row of trees. The green is slightly elevated and your second shot must carry onto the green or your ball will come up short of the green. If the hole location is in the back of the green, it is best to keep your second shot short of the hole.


  • #9 - 402 Yards, Par 4
    • A three wood with a slight right to left shot would be the best play off this tee. This will leave you with a short iron into a two-tiered green that has no bunkers surrounding the green.


  • #10 - 183 Yards, Par 3
    • A tricky par 3 that plays a half club longer. As you are on the tee, you will not feel much breeze as you are protected by trees, but as the ball passes the trees the wind coming from the right will knock your ball down and move it to the left. The green is very narrow from front to back and missing the green on this hole will be a difficult up and down from anywhere.


  • #11 - 532 Yards, Par 5
    • An uphill par 5 plays into the wind and will require a 225-yard tee shot just to get to the fairway. There are two fairway bunkers guarding the right side off the tee. There is a fairway bunker that is 25 to 30 yards short of the green, so if you lay up make sure you lay far enough back of this bunker. In the middle of the green, there is a tier that divides the left and right sides of the green. Make sure your third shot is on the correct side of the green where the hole is and keep your ball below the hole.


  • #12 - 387 Yards, Par 4
    • This par 4 has two beautiful fairway bunkers that guard the left side of the fairway. Your ideal line is at the second bunker with a left to right shot. If your tee shot is to the right of the right cart path, it will result in a lost ball. The green is elevated and has a deep swale in the front, left and right hand side of the green.


  • #13 - 370 Yards, Par 4
    • This short par 4 has a large fairway bunker guarding the left side of the fairway. A 3-wood or Hybrid off the tee would be the correct club choice, which will keep you out of a fairway bunker on the right side of the fairway. The green is two-tiered left to the right side of the green. Any shot over the green will be a difficult up and down.


  • #14 - 352 Yards, Par 4
    • This newly renovated par 4 plays uphill and into the wind. A three wood off the tee will keep you out of the fairway bunkers and will still leave you a short iron into this green that has a huge deep bunker guarding the front left of the green.


  • #15 - 473 Yards, Par 4
    • This long par 4 is the most demanding on the golf course. There is a large cypress tree that guards the left side of the fairway. Tall native grasses surround the green and there is little room for error on your second shot. The only bail out area on your second shot is short left of the green.


  • #16 - 430 Yards, Par 4
    • The wide open fairway on this par 4 allows you to go with your driver. Your second shot will be faced with a slightly uphill shot into a two-tiered green. Stay short of the hole on your second shot.


  • #17 - 206 Yards, Par 3
    • On this long par 3 that is well guarded by bunkers, the wind blows from left to right and the green has many subtle breaks.


  • #18 - 426 Yards, Par 4
    • You have a couple of choices off the tee. You may either hit a three wood and lay up on top of the hill, which will leave you a middle iron to the green or you may hit a driver to the bottom of the hill and have a flip wedge to an elevated green. The tee shot must be played to the left side of the fairway as there are a group of trees on the right side that could block your second shot. The green slopes from back to front, so leave your second shot below the hole.



Lake Course - Hole Descriptions and Pictures

Descriptions courtesy of Chris Stein, head golf professional, Olympic Club


  • #1 - 533 Yards, Par 5
    • A reachable par 5 in two, the tee shot calls for a fade and the second shot will be a downhill approach to a small green. Be aware of the wind as it usually blows left to right on your second and or third shot. The two fairway bunkers are positioned 50 yards short of the green. If you need to lay up make sure you have the correct yardage so you stay short of the fairway bunkers. This is a birdie possible eagle hole, but it could see its share of bogeys, too, as Tom Watson made bogeys on the final two days of the 1987 U.S. Open, which cost him the win.


  • #2 - 430 Yards, Par 4
    • A three wood off the tee is the play for the longer players, the target is the left green side bunker with either a straight or slight fade shot off the tee. The second shot is uphill so you may need to take an extra club. Try and keep your second shot left of the hole, which will give you an uphill putt as the green slopes drastically from right to left.


  • #3 - 247 Yards, Par 3
    • Any where on this green is a good iron shot. You may not feel the wind on the tee, but as you hit your tee shot and the ball gets above the trees, the wind will tend to move the ball from left to right. Aiming toward the left side of the green would be a good target. The green slopes front to back and is well bunkered on the left and right side of the green.


  • #4 - 430 Yards, Par 4
    • In order to hit this fairway, you will need to take a couple of things into consideration. A three wood or long iron off the tee is a smart play. A driver may put you through the fairway with no shot to the green. The ideal tee shot would be a slight draw to hold the left to right sloping fairway. You are left with an uphill second shot that requires one extra club. Try and keep your ball short right of any hole location on your second shot.


  • #5 - 498 Yards, Par 4
    • The fifth hole is just the opposite of the fourth hole and has been lengthened 40 yards. The target off the tee is to play left of the small flat top tree with a fade. A three wood off the tee is a smart play for the longer players. The second shot may play a little shorter because it is slightly downhill and the wind is usually at your back. You will want to keep your ball short left of any hole location on this green.


  • #6 - 490 Yards, Par 4
    • The first of the par 4 holes on the Lake Course where you can go after your tee shot with a driver. The only fairway bunker off the tee on the course, if you play to the right of it you will have a medium to short iron shot into the green. The second shot will also play a little shorter as it is slightly downhill and usually downwind. There is a slight false front to this green. Try and keep your ball just short and left of most hole locations. If the hole location is front left, you may need to put your ball past the hole so you stay away from the false front.


  • #7 - 294 Yards, Par 4
    • The shortest par 4 on the course at 294 yards is a risk/reward hole. The long players may try and reach the three-tiered green off the tee, others need to lay up with a two or three iron off the tee. If you try and reach the green it is best to keep your ball slightly left or in the front bunkers, any ball right of the green will be a difficult par. For those who lay up, ideally you would want a 70- to 90-yard shot into this green, which is an easier shot to put your ball on the correct level. If your ball is on the wrong level above the hole, you are looking at a good chance of a three putt. I expect a lot of birdies on this hole.


  • #8 - 200 Yards, Par 3
    • Re-designed six years ago, this hole is now one of the toughest par 3s on the course. It can play over 200 yards as it is an uphill tee shot that is well guarded by Cypress Trees and two deep bunkers in the front left and right of the green. One of the longer greens on the course, it slopes back to front and has a false front which may cause your ball to roll off the green and down 20 to 30 yards short of the green.


  • #9 - 449 Yards, Par 4
    • A downhill tee shot to this right to left sloping fairway requires a fade off the tee with either a driver or three wood to keep the ball in the fairway. From there, you will be faced with a slight side hill lie with a mid to short iron. Your second shot must be short left of the hole in order to have a straight uphill putt.


  • #10 - 422 Yards, Par 4
    • This dogleg left par 4 is one of my favorite holes. Aiming a driver down the left side of the fairway with a slight fade is an ideal tee shot as the fairway slopes left to right. You have more room left than you think off this tee. Your second shot will be with a middle- to short-iron and this green tends to run away from you so play your second shot to land on the front part of this green. Once you’re on the green, it is a fairly flat putting surface.


  • #11 - 430 Yards, Par 4
    • A straight away par 4 into a prevailing wind will require a driver off the tee. A medium- to long-iron second shot to a two-tiered green is one of the toughest second shots on the course. Your second shot should be just short right of any hole location located left side of the green and short left if the hole location is located on the right side of the green.


  • #12 - 451 Yards, Par 4
    • This tee shot has a very narrow opening as the tall Monterey pine and cypress trees hover 100 yards off the tee. This hole has been lengthened about 35 yards and now is one of the more difficult holes on the back nine. The tee shot should be directed at the left rough line with a slight fade. You will be left with a middle- to long-iron second shot into a very small green. This green has a fairly flat putting surface.


  • #13 - 201 Yards, Par 3
    • This 186-yard par 3 usually plays downwind and is guarded by two deep bunkers in front and left of the green. Playing a tee shot to land just over the front bunker will enable the ball to hold this green. Any shot short left of the hole will give you an uphill putt.


  • #14 - 417 Yards, Par 4
    • This dogleg left par 4 will require you to play your tee shot to the right side of the fairway to have a clear shot to the green. Playing down the left side of the fairway will leave you a shorter second shot to the green but you are bringing trouble into play. Keeping your ball short of the hole on this green will leave you with an uphill putt.


  • #15 - 157 Yards, Par 3
    • This par 3 requires an accurate tee shot to a well-bunkered green, the wind will usually blow from the players right to left, so aim your tee shot to the right side of the green. Missing this green is a difficult up and down. Any shot short of the hole will leave you an uphill putt as the green slopes back to front.


  • #16 - 622 Yards, Par 5
    • This 620-yard par 5 that is a gradual dogleg left will require a draw off the tee, any drive hit straight or slightly right will go through the fairway. Since this hole is not reachable in two, some players may want to hit a three wood off the tee to make sure you hit the fairway. Any ball hit into the rough off the tee will make hitting this green in regulation difficult. Your second shot should be aimed towards the right side of the fairway so it opens up your third shot to the green. This green is fairly flat and is sloped back to front.


  • #17 - 522 Yards, Par 5
    • This par 5 will be reachable in two for the longest hitters. The tee shot should be placed on the left side of the fairway as the steep slope from left to right will move the ball to the right side of the fairway. The second shot will be either be a layup shot, which you will need to stay short left of the fairway bunker, or hitting a fairway wood or long iron into a very small elevated green that is well surrounded by deep bunkers. This green severely slopes from the back left to the front right and it is extremely important to keep your ball short right of any hole location. Any second shot that is hit right of the right bunkers will be nearly impossible to get up and down. A four on this hole is a very good score.


  • #18 - 347 Yards, Par 4
    • One of the greatest short holes in golf. With the clubhouse and amphitheater in the background, this hole makes for a great finish. A three wood or long iron is the play off this tee. The target off the tee is the left greenside bunker and let the wind move your tee shot to the middle of the fairway. A short iron to this uphill green must be kept below the hole. A forward tee will be used at some point during the championship which will allow the players to go for the green; it will require a player to carry the ball 270 to reach the front edge of the green. A great risk/reward shot for this great finishing hole. Four bunkers surround the smallest green on the course.








Olympic Club Press Kit Fact Sheets here


Olympian
magazine feature introducing Four-ball in 2014:

For first time in 20 years, the USGA is adding a new Championship and The Olympic Club will be be the first club to host it. The inaugural U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship will be the 10th USGA event hosted by The Olympic Club.  “We are beyond delighted and excited that The Olympic Club will be hosting the inaugural Four-Ball Championship,” USGA Executive Director Mike Davis told the Olympian. “When we were thinking about this championship one of the things we really wanted to do was really come out with a splash and maximize the ‘wow’ factor. So, what better place to do it then a club that treasures amateur sports and has hosted U.S. Opens. We couldn’t be happier.”    

Play will begin on April 30th, 2015 with 128 two-player teams competing in 36 holes of stroke-play qualifying on both the Lake and Ocean Courses.  You may read the entire feature here

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