Hole 14 isn’t known for making or breaking rounds or US Championships like other Winthrop Gold holes. But, this year’s modifications to the hole could make things a little more interesting down the stretch.
First, the Kansas hole, as it’s known, was modified by tightening the hazard rope, which now begins right behind the tee and then forms a noticeably slimmer fairway all the way to the green. Drives landing short and left will now flirt with danger more so than the last five years.
Along with that, Hole 14, now joins holes 9, 10, and 12 with elevated pins. The top of the basket’s metal cage is roughly three feet higher than before. The pin is placed on a slope, so how high you have to putt can vary depending upon your lie.
In the past, competitors’ drives often landed on the right side of the green, which slopes downward toward the basket and after it. This year when players make that shot they’ll be faced with a tricky, elevated putt for birdie. Focus will be key, because an errant putt here now has a greater chance of rolling into the hazard.