If you call it a par 4, it's the fourth toughest hole on the course. If you decide to keep it as a par 5 Ð like it is for resort play and during the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am — it's the easiest hole on the course.
But instead of feeling like they can score an uplifting birdie early in the round, pros will have to grind out a tough par.
"Psychologically, it's going to be a little more daunting because you know if you make 5 there, you're losing a shot to par, even though 5 used to be par," Tiger Woods told the Los Angeles Times before the 2000 U.S. Open. "And you've got to make 4 there every day.
The second hole was converted to a par 4 during the 2000 U.S. Open, and the United States Golf Association will go that route again this year. As a result, Pebble Beach will play as a par 71 instead of a par 72.
"For a par 4, it will be one of the tougher holes at the U.S. Open," said RJ Harper, the senior Vice President of Golf for the Pebble Beach Company.
In 2000, No. 2 played as the toughest hole not set on the ocean. Only Nos. 8, 9 and 17 had higher scoring averages.
The change ultimately didn't affect Woods, who made three 4s and a 3 in his four rounds in 2000.
But this year, the hole has gained an extra 18 yards to weigh in at 502 total, and the drive has been squeezed.
Three bunkers already existed down the right side, and they swallow up many drives that wander off the left-to-right sloping fairway. To keep their drive in the fairway, pros will have to play their tee shots just inside the left bunker.
"The bunkering really was 'Let's make the guy have to work off the tee,' instead of just stepping up and ripping it," Harper said.
The fairway stops 110 yards out from the green, where it is framed by replanted trees and intersected by a deep cross bunker. During resort play, guests decide whether they should carry the bunker and go for the green, or lay up short. Pros may be forced to lay up short if they draw a bad lie in a fairway bunker or the deep rough.
"You must drive the ball in the fairway in order to give yourself a chance of getting over the gully," Woods said. "If you drive the ball in the rough, you have no chance. You've got to lay up and play it as a par 5."
Bunkers also border the left and right sides of the green, leaving a narrow runway in front. Since the hole was converted from a par 5, the green was designed to receive wedges, and it will be difficult to hold long irons.
"If you're going to hit this green in two, you better hit it high, or you better hit it straight," Harper said.
·Yardage: 502 yards
·What's new: What's new: An extra 18 yards and a bunker along the left side of the fairway were added to the fourth-toughest hole in the 2000 U.S. Open.