Tiger Woods says shaping shots is key to success at U.S. Open

Tiger Woods has made a living out of being able to “shape” is golf shots. Nobody in the history of golf has even done it better. The Olympic Club, site of this week’s  U.S. Open, demands a player shape is shots, which isn’t as easy as it looks because today’s high-tech golf balls basically want to go straight.

Three-time U.S. Open champion Tiger Woods

“I think this (U.S. Open) probably tests the player more than any other championship,” the Striped One said today. “We have to shape the ball.  We have to hit the ball high.  We have to hit the ball low.  Our short games have got to be dialed in.”

“You have to curve it more off the tees here than any other golf course that we play.  Even to the greens, you’ve got right‑to‑left slopes of fairways and greens, and you have to cut it, so you’re going against the grain.  It’s the same thing on the flip side.  That’s the neat thing about this golf course. It seems like the majority of the doglegs kind of run away from you.  And it puts a big premium on shaping the ball.  But also it puts a big premium on game planning, what you want to do, where you want to hit it. 

Woods praised U.S. Golf Association Executive Director Mike Davis with overseeing a course layout that’s different than past U.S. Open venues.

“In (the) past it was always, miss the green, automatic lob wedge.  Now with some of these runoff areas, we can play bump and runs, we can play skip shots, we could flop it if we want to,” Woods said. “We have different options.  So I think what Mike has done has been remarkable at testing us.

“In the U.S. Opens prior to when Mike took over, it was very simple – the tee locations were always the same.  And it was always the same golf course for four straight days.  Now we’ve got to make adjustments.  He moves different tee boxes.  He throws different wrinkles at you.  But overall I think this is just the most demanding test that there is in golf.”

A test Eldrick said he welcomes.

“I’ve always preferred it to be more difficult, there’s no doubt,” he said. “And I’ve always preferred it to be fast.  I just like a fast golf course.  Because then you have to shape shots.  You have to think.  You can’t set up and hit your ball to a number and have it plug.”

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