Olympic is one of the most venerable clubs in golf, nestled on an immaculate track between the Pacific Ocean and Lake Merced. The cluster of courses surrounding Lake Merced nearly rivals the embarrassment of riches just to the south in Monterey.
Olympic provides one of the toughest tests in a Championship known for consistently providing the most challenging week in golf. It was built on a sand dune, which creates some of the fastest and firmest conditions in golf. With Mike Davis and the USGA tending care to the Lake Course, you can be sure the pros will be dealing with some of the most difficult but fair greens they'll face in their careers.
Recent Players Champion Matt Kuchar was out on the course this week and reported to Steve Elling of CBSSports.com that the greens are already running ridiculously fast. Kuchar even suspected the maintenance crews poured some water on them to slow them down a bit, something they'll have to keep an eye on over the next week. Via Elling:
"The greens on Wednesday were so firm, I saw some of the USGA guys out there on the course and I was telling them how amazed I was at how firm and fast it was," Kuchar said by phone from California. "The greens were just, incredibly firm.
"Thursday, it seemed like they realized they were too firm, too early, and dumped some extra water to soften them up a little bit."
Golf course architecture expert Geoff Shackleford considers Olympic the fastest and firmest U.S. Open venue, which is an incredible statement considering the courses in the regular Open rota. While the greens will be slick, the USGA has been extremely vigilant to make sure things don't get away from them and become too extreme after the disaster at Shinnecock in 2004.