- The Washington Times - Monday, July 2, 2007

John Lyberger, the director of golf at Congressional Country Club, breaks down the Blue Course:

No. 1

Par 4, 402 yards

This straightaway par 4 features bunkers on either side of the landing area, and only the longest hitters will clear the bunker on the left. The relatively flat green is guarded by yawning bunkers in front and back right and requires a mid- to short-iron approach.

No. 2

Par 3, 211 yards

Six strategically placed bunkers — front, right and left — protect this large, bowl-shaped green. The fast, undulating putting surface slopes from back left to front right with a ridge across the center.

No. 3

Par 4, 455 yards

Three bunkers lie to the right of the fairway landing area, and large pine trees border the left. The approach plays to a large, undulating green flanked by large and small bunkers to the left and two small pot bunkers to the right.

No. 4

Par 4, 427 yards

Trees grow close to the fairway on both sides of this dogleg right, creating a tight, demanding driving hole. Longer tee shots find a more narrow landing area. Bunkers guard the front of this moderately sized rolling green, requiring a high approach.

No. 5

Par 4, 407 yards

An elevated tee leads to a sloped fairway on this dogleg-left hole. Three fairway bunkers on the left of the landing area can cause trouble on the short approach shot. Bunkers left, front right and behind guard the green, which sits 30 yards deep.

No. 6

Par 4, 488 yards

This tough hole plays as a par 5 for members but as a par 4 for the pros at the AT&T.; The tee shot must avoid a grove of trees along the left and bunkers, a stream and out-of-bounds on the right. The pond guarding the right side of the green poses a danger on the long, demanding second shot.

No. 7

Par 3, 174 yards

The second par 3 on the course plays to a double-terraced green guarded by deep bunkers short left and front right. The shape and slope of this troublesome green provide a stern putting test.

No. 8

Par 4, 354 yards

The shortest par 4 on the course is this dogleg-right hole. Bunkers and trees on the right of the fairway should keep players from cutting the corner. Five bunkers surround this small (30 yards deep), firm and fast green.

No. 9

Par 5, 602 yards

Bunkers guard both sides of the fairway off the tee at No. 9, one of the most demanding holes in U.S. Open history. Players must lay up to avoid the deep ravine in front of the green, a hazard that makes any attempt to reach the green in two unwise.

No. 10

Par 3, 218 yards

The wide green here is protected by the largest lake on the course to the front and by three bunkers, two to the back and one to the front right. A spine divides the green in half with a front-right collection area. The slope in front of the green guarantees that any shot that comes up short will get wet.

No. 11

Par 4, 489 yards

The elevated tee at No. 11, another converted par 5, overlooks a tight landing area that slopes from left to right. Bunkers frame the right side. Any second shot requires great accuracy to negotiate the connected water hazards on the right and the bunkers on the left.

No. 12

Par 4, 415 yards

Trees guard the left side of the fairway on this rather severe dogleg-left hole, and a large bunker protects the right side. The fairway slopes from right to left. The second shot plays a little downhill to a green protected by bunkers on both sides.

No. 13

Par 3, 187 yards

This par 3 possesses a narrow entry to a green with several hole locations. Three large bunkers protect the front left and right of the green, and a large mound beyond can cause problems if shots go long.

No. 14

Par 4, 454 yards

The right side of the fairway falls off quickly, and a wayward drive to the left may find deep rough or the out-of-bounds fence. Most players face long second shots from a slightly downhill lie.

No. 15

Par 4, 439 yards

Four bunkers protect the right side of the landing area. The second shot plays uphill to a treacherous green that slopes from back to front and left to right with a ridge in the middle. Three deep bunkers guard the front right side of the green.

No. 16

Par 5, 579 yards

Few players will reach this green in two shots, if for no other reason than the drive must be hit into the face of a hill. Bunkers on the right threaten the second shot, and a huge bunker at left and trees along the right make the approach difficult.

No. 17

Par 4, 437 yards

Club selection is important off the tee. A shot played too far might find the rough on the down slope through the fairway landing area, 150 yards from the green. Bunkers nearly surround this green.

No. 18

Par 4, 466 yards

Congressional”s signature hole sets up perfectly for a long, right-to-left tee shot. Anything too far right could find trouble as well as a thick grove of cedars. Bunkers right of the green combined with water on three sides make the second shot a test of courage.

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