Pebble now USGA anchor site with 4 men’s and women’s Opens

Apr 19, 2022, 11:12 PM | Updated: Apr 20, 2022, 12:36 pm
FILE - Daniel Berger putts on the seventh green of the Pebble Beach Golf Links during the final rou...

FILE - Daniel Berger putts on the seventh green of the Pebble Beach Golf Links during the final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am golf tournament Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021, in Pebble Beach, Calif. Pebble Beach is the third course to become an anchor site for the U.S. Open, with the USGA announcing Wednesday, April 20, 2022, four U.S. Opens and four U.S. Women's Open over the next 26 years.(AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

(AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

Pebble Beach is the third course to become an anchor site for the U.S. Open, with the USGA announcing Wednesday four U.S. Opens and four U.S. Women’s Open over the next 26 years.

Pebble Beach joins Pinehurst No. 2 and Oakmont Country Club as anchor sites, a strategy that allows the USGA to return to its most famous U.S. Open courses more frequently.

The USGA made sure the women were not left behind.

The U.S. Women’s Open will be held on America’s most famous seaside course for the first time next year, and then it will return three more times in 2035, 2040 and 2048.

Pebble Beach, which opened in 1919 and first hosted a USGA event in 1929 with the U.S. Amateur, was the first public course to host the U.S. Open in 1972. That Open was famous for Jack Nicklaus hitting the pin with a 1-iron on the par-3 17th on his way to victory.

John Bodenhamer, the USGA’s chief championships officer, recalled a conversation with three-time major champion Nick Price who told him it matters where a player wins a U.S. Open.

“There are certain places you go and stand out on them, they’re meant for a U.S. Open or a U.S. Women’s Open. You play Pebble Beach, it is a bit of a religious experience,” Bodenhamer said at a news conference overlooking the 18th hole.

“We’re going where players want to win.”

Other big moments at Pebble Beach include Tom Watson chipping in on the 17th to beat Nicklaus in 1982, and Tiger Woods delivering his greatest performance when he won the 2000 U.S. Open by 15 shots, the widest margin in major championship history.

It most recently held the U.S. Open in 2019, when Gary Woodland chipped from one end of the 17th green to the other for a remarkable par save on his way to his first major.

Pebble Beach also hosts a PGA Tour event every February dating to 1947. It once held a PGA Championship (1977) and the precursor to the Tour Championship (1988).

“This relationship with Pebble Beach, long considered a national treasure, is a historic step forward for golf,” said Mike Whan, the CEO of the USGA. “In addition to elevating our Open championships, the USGA and Pebble Bach are committed to working together to ensure a more diverse, welcoming and accessible game.”

Spyglass Hill, regarded as the toughest of the Pebble Beach courses in relatively calm conditions, will host the U.S. Senior Women’s Open and the U.S. Senior Open in consecutive weeks in 2030.

As part of the commitment, the USGA and Pebble Beach plan to create internships and other career opportunities in golf, along with research into turf grass and water conservation.

“Supporting youth education is a pillar of our community outreach and this partnership will great expand opportunities for young people to pursue a career in this industry,” said David Stivers, CEO of Pebble Beach Co.

The U.S. Open now has only 10 open slots through 2051, with the next available year in 2028.

Of the current anchor sites, Oakmont has hosted the U.S. Open nine times, the most of any club, and the U.S. Open returns to the Pittsburgh-area course in 2025, 2033, 2042 and 2049.

Pinehurst No. 2 in North Carolina is the newcomer, first holding the U.S. Open in 1999 and returning in 2005 and 2014. It has the U.S. Open in 2024, 2029, 2035, 2041 and 2047. Pinehurst also was chosen as a secondary headquarters for the USGA.

The USGA still could have a fourth anchor site. Among the clubs said to be under consideration are Shinnecock Hills and Winged Foot, both in New York. Shinnecock Hills is hosting its sixth U.S. Open in 2026.

Bodenhamer spoke only of multi-year commitments the USGA has. Oakland Hills outside Detroit recently was awarded U.S. Opens in 2034 and 2051, while Merion outside Philadelphia has 2030 and 2050.

“There so many exciting things to come down the road,” he said. “Every one of these long-term relationships are different. You’ll see more.”

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Pebble now USGA anchor site with 4 men’s and women’s Opens