Michael Hurdzan, Dana Fry & Ron Whitten (2006)/Dana Fry (2013)
Despite the rumor, Erin Hills wasn’t designed specifically to host a U.S. Open. Its original concept was to be a simple, affordable, lay-of-the-land layout, to prove Mother Nature is indeed the best golf architect. The concept changed – some greens moved, one blind par-3 eliminated – as the quest for a U.S. Open grew. The dream has come true. After trial runs hosting the 2008 U.S. Women’s Public Links and the 2011 U.S. Amateur, Erin Hills hosted the U.S. Open in 2017, the first time the event had ever been in Wisconsin. Brooks Koepka won with a 72-hole score of 16-under, leading some to conclude Erin Hills was too wide and defenseless. In truth, what it lacked that week was the usual gusty winds that would have effectively narrowed the slanted, canted fairways.
100 Greatest History: Ranked since 2015. Highest Ranking: No. 42, 2015-2016. Previous ranking: No. 44
“Many courses are architecturally interesting. Many are great tests of championship golf. This course combines the two on a big, bold scale. Lots of interesting choices of biting off corners versus playing it safer.”
“Absolutely one of the prettiest settings in the Midwest, with characteristics of an Irish or Scottish countryside course with rolling hills and omnipresent fescue grass.”
“It offered a number of challenges for every shot, and each view and look on the course was different from the one before it. It was beautiful with very tough rolling hills that punished the mishit shot.”
“Design variety is excellent and with fast greens and back tees this is everything a scratch player could ask for. At the same time the course was very playable for higher handicappers as long as they pick the right tees.”
“I suspect the pros will like Erin Hills much better than Chambers Bay as a U.S. Open venue. Supreme ball-striking is rewarded, and there won't be any issues with the greens like the poa-annua at Chambers Bay. And what the USGA and Mike Davis will like is the elasticity of the tee boxes. There's great flexibility, given the day's wind direction, to move tees forward or back.”