US Open: Why trying out a brand new course is a familiar concept

ERIN, Wis. — To drive along the two-lane roads that wind through Wisconsin pastures on the way to Erin Hills, to see the rolling terrain of a golf course built on 652 acres that opened only 11 years ago, is sure to pose a natural question.

What is the U.S. Open doing here?

Forget for a moment that very few Americans were even aware of golf at the time, and the same could have been said about that two-lane road that led to Shinnecock Hills when it first hosted the U.S. Open.

Then again, that was in 1896. The U.S. Open was in its second year.

What raises questions about Erin Hills is that it’s the second time in three years for golf‘s second-oldest championship to go somewhere new. And it’s even more pronounced because the U.S. Open now has 121 years of history behind it.

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“Listen, if you look at our next 10 U.S. Open venues, they are historical, tried-and-true sites that have these wonderful names associated with them,” said Mike Davis, the USGA’s executive director. “But we relish the idea of occasionally introducing a new golf course, because when you think about it, there’s no country in the world that has as many great golf courses as the United States,

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