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Learn about the US Open with ESPN's guide to the premier golf event

U.S. Open Golf

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The USA is a veritable hub for golfers - both playing and spectating - and is host to three of the year’s four men’s “Major Championships.”

The second of these is the US Open, or United States Championship, which is staged over four days in summer, with the final round falling on the third Sunday of June (barring rare weather delays), which coincides with Father’s Day. The competition is televised worldwide and attracts players and golf-lovers from all over the world to play and watch.

The tournament’s venue changes year on year and takes in the country’s toughest courses so that even the world’s finest golfers struggle to score freely, making it arguably golf’s most taxing major.

For the 156-strong field, accurate driving and disciplined iron play are a must and dead-eye putting non-negotiable. The field is made up of the Top 60 golfers in the world and all recent major winners, with the other slots available to any professional golfer who competes successfully in various qualifying tournaments, as well as a few leading amateurs from recent USGA events.

US legends such as Arnold Palmer, four-time winner Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson have lifted the famous trophy, alongside celebrated active pros such as Tiger Woods, Ernie Els and Jim Furyk, while current World No.1 Rory McIlroy won in 2011. Fan favourite Phil Mickelson is the event’s perennial nearly man, having finished runner-up a record six times.

The US Open offers quite the experience for visiting fans. There’s the givens, like the world’s top golfers doing battle on an immaculately kept course in a beautiful part of the country, but there’s plenty more besides, too. At each tournament the USGA presents the Spectator Square, a central hub of visitor services, with all sorts, from the practical: shops and food and drink vendors, to the more outlandish: fans can work on their swing with a pro, comparing it with the players competing in the tournament, take in the history of the competition, pick up autographs at scheduled signings and have their picture taken with the US Open trophy.

In 2014, Germany’s Martin Kaymer won the US Open at Pinehurst, North Carolina and in 2015 he will defend his title at Chambers Bay in University Place, near Tacoma, Washington as the event is held in the Pacific Northwest for the first time ever. The following year, the tournament returns to the iconic Oakmont Country Club in suburban Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for a record ninth time.

The site of the 2017 U.S. Open will be the challenging and picturesque Erin Hills Golf Course in Erin, Wisconsin and a year later, the U.S. Open returns to Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in New York State, which has hosted the tournament on four previous occasions, including the second ever edition in 1896.

Meanwhile, legendary Pebble Beach Golf Links course in Pebble Beach, California (a golfing paradise where Tiger Woods won the first of his three U.S. Open crowns in 2000) will welcome the competition for the sixth time in 2019. Even non-golfers can experience the majesty of Pebble Beach from the comfort of their own vehicle by taking it in as part of California’s famous 17 Mile Drive.

Wherever in the country it may be, we invite you to attend Golf's U.S. Open, the experience of a lifetime.