US Open qualifying is ramping up over the next few weeks and there are some big names in the hunt. Golfers like Ryan Palmer, Marc Leishman, and Charles Howell III will likely have to play their way into their country's open championship via qualifying.
Local qualifying is complete for the men and some sectional qualifying is complete for the ladies (you saw the 11-year-old who qualified, yes?) but there is still quite a bit of golf left to be played.
With that, I wanted to call your attention to a few of the courses these qualifiers will be played on. Some have hosted major championships, most have not, and hey look, there's one I've played.
Here are five of the most notable courses for US Open qualifying.
1. Southern Hills (Tulsa, Okla.): This was amateur hour (literally) for Southern Hills as it has been home to seven (!) men's major championships. I played that track in the fall and it is every bit the bear it presents itself as on your television screen. An impressive 71 from Greg Mason took home medalist honors.
3. Old American Golf Club (The Colony, Tex.): I played this course a few weeks ago, just before the qualifier, and oh boy, it was a rough and tumble time.
The course itself is tremendous and the holes are more than fair. But it's long and the natural bunkers and native grasses can eat you up. If the wind is blowing, you can forget about it.
Of course the wind wasn't blowing when I played and I hit it pretty good (I am not a good golfer) and even nearly made my first ace:
Good times at a great track.
4. Lakeside Country Club (Houston, Tex.): Jordan Spieth missed qualifying for the 2012 US Open in a four-for-two spots playoff at this course. It will host a sectional qualifier at the beginning of June.
5. Long Cove (Hilton Head, SC): A Pete Dye course that I haven't played but looks about as fun as you would expect a Pete Dye course to look. These pre-US Open tests are certainly a foreshadowing for the real thing.