Despite sunny US Open forecast, golfers could struggle with dry, fast greens

By Courtney Spamer, AccuWeather meteorologist
June 15, 2018, 5:20:01 AM EDT

No rain is in the forecast in Shinnecock Hills through the weekend as the best golfers on the PGA Tour look to score a major championship win.

The 118th U.S. Open began on Thursday, June 14, and continue through Sunday at Shinnecock Hills on Long Island, New York.

"Dry and comfortable conditions are in store for the U.S. Open this year," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Edwards.

At this point, sunshine is expected each day, so both players and fans should be prepared to bring protective clothing, sunglasses and sunblock in order to remain protected from the June sunshine.

Gusty winds buffeted the course on Thursday. The winds provided an additional challenge for the players and made it somewhat more difficult to hold the green on approach shots.

Shinnecock 1st round static

Temperatures will start out in the morning for the early tee times near 60 F and slowly climb to the lower to middle 70s F each afternoon. These conditions are normal for Long Island in mid-June.

However, the long stretch of dry weather could make for difficult greens for players throughout much of the tournament. Without any moisture on the course, the golf balls tend to roll faster, making it harder to stop them.

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"Some light rain fell on the course on Wednesday, but it was not enough to allow moisture to linger on the course for very long," Edwards added. "Wednesday's rain will have little to no impact on course conditions."

If the course ends up too dry with all of the June sunshine, officials could decide to water the fairways and greens more frequently to keep the course conditions in check.

The Shinnecock Hills Golf Club is no stranger to the Open and has been the site for the tournament four times in the past. The last time the club hosted the U.S. Open was 14 years ago in 2004.


Phil Mickelson putts for birdie on the third green during the third round of the U.S. Open, Saturday, June 19, 2004, at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y. Mickelson made the putt, but finished second in the tournament overall. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)

"Many will remember the last Open at Shinnecock Hills as a difficult one," said AccuWeather meteorologist Kyle Elliott.

"Champion Retief Goosen and runner-up Phil Mickelson were the only two players to end the tournament with scores below par," Elliott added.

Mickelson, with a win at this year's Open, would become only the sixth golfer in history to win all four major championships during their career.

Since 2004, several changes have been made, including widening the fairways and lengthening the course by nearly 500 yards.

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