San Francisco Treat: The Olympic Club's Lake golf course to host new USGA Four-Ball Championship

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Lake Course at The Olympic Club has always been one of America's premier tournament venues. The club -- host of five U.S. Opens, three U.S. Amateurs and two Tour Championships -- will add to its legacy by holding the first U.S. Amateur men's Four-Ball Championship May 2-6.

The new national championship run by the United States Golf Association features two-man teams playing best ball to determine which side advances past stroke play on the Lake and Ocean Courses into match play on the Lake Course for a shot at a newly commissioned trophy.

Some great match-play holes will test a player's decision making and skills. The 294-yard par 4 seventh hole climbs so severely uphill that only the long hitters might drive the green. A new forward tee added to the famous par-4 18th hole (343 yards) could tempt some players to hit driver, bringing the three "IOU" bunkers near the green into play.

The Lake Course is a classic test loaded with demanding doglegs and elevated greens. The 6,981-yard par 70 plays much longer than the yardage due to the heavy ocean air.

The chance to compete at such a prestigious club motivated 2,234 teams to attempt to qualify, surpassing participation numbers for every other USGA event except the U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur. Future sites -- Winged Foot Golf Club in New York in 2016, Pinhurst Resort & Country Club in 2017 and Jupiter Hills Club in south Florida in 2018 -- will likely help the Four-Ball championship grow in popularity as it ages.

Apr 10, 2015

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Jason Scott Deegan

Senior Staff Writer

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.