The USGA announced on Monday that the U.S. Open will return to Winged Foot in 2020.
Winged Foot, located 25 miles north of New York City in Westchester County, is an A.W. Tillinghast designed course which opened for play in 1923. The course has hosted five U.S. Opens, one PGA Championship, two U.S. Amateurs, two U.S. Women’s Opens and one U.S Senior Open.
”Winged Foot offers a spectacular setting in a dynamic market, and has justifiably earned its reputation as one of the premier U.S. Open venues in the nation,” USGA Vice President Thomas O’Toole Jr. said. ”And it joins an impressive lineup of future U.S. Open Championship locations that players and fans alike can eagerly anticipate.”
Winged Foot initially arrived on the national golf stage in 1929, when, after blowing a four-stroke lead with just four holes to play, Bobby Jones sunk a miraculous downhill sliding putt on the 72nd hole to force a playoff with Al Espinosa. Jones dominated the 36-hole playoff, defeating Espinosa by a mindboggling 23 strokes.
In the modern era Winged Foot is most associated with Davis Love III’s PGA Championship victory, where a rainbow appeared off in the distance as Love approached the 72nd green, and of course Phil Mickelson’s epic U.S. Open meltdown on the 72nd hole in 2006.
Winged Foot is a 7,264 yard course known for its sharp doglegs, severe slopes on the greens, very difficult bunkering and, of course, incredibly thick rough.
The USGA has historically used Winged Foot’s West Course to bring the meaning of the word “difficult” to a whole new level.
Fuzzy Zoeller was the only man to break par at a Winged Foot U.S. Open when he posted a four-under-par 72 hole score of 276 back in 1984.
Geoff Oglivy won the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot with a six-over-par score of 285.
The USGA has thrown two new golf courses into the U.S. Open rotation in the coming years (Chambers Bay in 2015 and Erin Hills in 2017) but has offset them with trips back to some of the most historically significant golf courses in the country through 2020—Merion (2013), Pinehurst No. 2 (2014), Oakmont (2016), Shinnecock Hills (2018), Pebble Beach (2019) and Winged Foot (2020).
Little is known about Chambers Bay and Erin Hills as they have never hosted a professional major, but the stretch of U.S. Opens from 2018—2020 should be utterly entertaining as the top players in the world visit three of the most iconic yet brutally difficult courses on the planet.