‘Different Than What You Expect From a Los Angeles Golf Course’

For much of Collin Morikawa’s life, the Los Angeles Country Club was a mystery.

The course, designed in 1921 by George C. Thomas Jr. with its North Course restored by the architect Gil Hanse in 2010, was off-limits to most — even Morikawa, a son of Southern California and one of its most promising golfers.

But entering this week’s U.S. Open, he is one of a handful of professionals with meaningful experience at the club, which has not hosted a PGA Tour event since 1940 and has never been in the spotlight of a major tournament. Its most recent high-profile competition was the 2017 Walker Cup, an amateur team event played every two years. The United States won that year with a team that included Scottie Scheffler and Morikawa, who first got to play the course when he was a student at the University of California, Berkeley.

“It’s demanding — it’s very different than what you expect from a Los Angeles golf course,” Morikawa said in an interview. “The grasses are very different. The West Coast is known for Kikuyu grass and very sticky poa annua greens, bumpy greens in the afternoon. That’s not what Los Angeles Country Club is.”

Instead, players will confront a course of Bermuda grass, with bentgrass on greens that Morikawa sees as PGA Tour-like because of their slopes and designs. This year’s Open will include five par-3 holes for the first time since 1947, when Lew Worsham beat Sam Snead in an 18-hole playoff at St. Louis Country Club.

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