The Loop

Cog Hill doesn't bring out best in players

September 11, 2010

It could have been a worse scenario for Cog Hill this week during the BMW Championship.

Just imagine how players would be reacting to the golf course also knowing they'd be headed back there for the 2017 U.S. Open. That last part was avoided when the USGA announced it would be going with Wisconsin's Erin Hills for the national championship in seven years, but the criticism of Cog Hill has still been particularly harsh, even by the fickle standards of the PGA Tour.

"The short answer is it's just not that enjoyable to play," Geoff Ogilvy told reporters in Lemont, Ill. "Look, if your mission is to really punish a slightly bad shot and make it really hard all day, then it's a success. If your mission is to create a place people enjoy playing, then it's a failure."

With the Open in its sights, Cog Hill underwent extensive renovations by Rees Jones prior to last year's BMW. The golf course was stretched to 7,616 yards, bunkers were redone, and a Sub-air system was put in under all 18 greens. Many of those changes have been resisted by players, especially with conditions suffering from a brutal summer in the Chicago area.

"I just don't think I'm good enough to play this golf course," Phil Mickelson said.

*-- Sam Weinman