The USGA has this thing for finishing holes—it likes 'em long and nasty, and if there's a chance to convert a par-5 into a par-4, well, that's about as good as it gets. So it's little wonder that the 18th at Oakland Hills has the blue blazers all atwitter. It's long (470) and nasty (you call that narrow strip a fairway?), and club members play it as a par-5. George Lucas, who mapped Oakland Hills for SI (this sketch of the 18th is exactly the same as the one that will appear in the yardage books the players will use next week), went so far as to call it the toughest closing hole in championship golf.
"The hole is a grizzly," Lucas says, "and it's weird because the landing area at the dogleg is skinny, then gets fat beyond, where guys like John Daly will try to bang it. That's a hard visual for players to get comfortable with."
Lucas says each of the final four holes at Oakland Hills is a beast. "Even mapping them out was hard and took a lot longer than usual," he says. "I wish the boys luck, lots of very good luck."