U.S. Open at Olympic preview in pictures, Monday and Tuesday edition
By Stephanie Wei under Behind the Scenes

Reach for the sky...

I’m sure you’ve seen the videos by now. Right? RIGHT?  Well, some of them show conversations of a player and his caddie talking course strategy and game plan. Now it’s picture time. I haven’t walked Nos. 10 through 15 yet, but I’ll try to tomorrow. I need to see why some people are fussing over No. 13. I understand it’s a difficult hole, but I’ll let you in on a *secret* that Lee Janzen, who won the U.S. Open in ’98 at Olympic, told me.

There were lots of issues with slow play in ’98 (shocking — no doubt it’ll be even worse this week) and it sounded like just about every group on Sunday was put on the clock at some point. Lee wanted to make sure he and Steve Stricker weren’t out of position, so he walked to the edge of the 12th green and watched the guys in front of them hit their tee shots on the 13th.

“It certainly was very helpful because I watched both of them hit their ball in the middle of the green and they ran right through the green into the rough behind the pin, so I realized I needed to land the ball pretty far short of it, which I did, and it rolled up there about eight feet and I made birdie,” Janzen told me two weeks ago. “I got to walk over to the edge, which is ten yards away or it’s pretty close.”

Now obviously the course has been changed and I’m not sure what’s been done to No. 13 (if that much at all). It’s a hard hole — because it’s not like the other 17 aren’t. Point is, little things like Lee described can help.

Alright, on Monday and Tuesday I took pictures from just about every tee box. As you may have seen via my tweets and ‘grams, Olympic is gorgeous. Let’s start the tour!

Welcome to the opening hole -- the par-4 No. 1 -- of the most challenging 6-hole stretch...ever.

Charlie Wi on No. 2 FW from layup area (if he has to punch out from the rough after a less-than-perfect tee shot)

View between No. 2 green and No. 3 tee

Par-3 no. 3

Par-4 no. 4

Par-4 no. 5

Par-4 no. 5 view from the fairway

Par-4 No. 6...the last of the brutal 6-hole stretch. Phew. Because it gets *so* much easier! /sarcasm

Charlie Wi mock-throwing his club in disgust after knocking it to 4 feet ...with a big smile on his face.

Par-4 No. 7

Par-4 No. 7

Par-3 no. 8

Par-3 No. 8 (with Instagram filter)

Par-3 no. 8 -- view from back of the green

Par -4 no. 9

Alistair Presnell showing off his slapband watch on No. 8

Par-5 No. 16

Par-5 No. 17 (clouds suddenly rolled in and temperature dropped and wind picked up significantly)


Par-4 No. 18


Tuesday’s Stray Shots…

The 18th hole in the yardage book...

No. 18: Can you see the letters the bunkers make? #IOU

Grounds crew on 18 not wasting any time to roll the fairways and greens at the end of the day.

The last word: "I just think 16 is a bad hole..."

Mike "Fluff" Cowan doing some extra homework -- here, on No. 9, he's pacing the distance from the middle of the fairway through the rough.

Check out those bags...dare you to name which belongs to whom (from left to right)

Sea Island mafia trekking down the 16th...

Lucas Glover, Brian Harman and Hunter Hamrick (who is playing in his first tournament as a pro) sign autographs for fans after finishing on 18

Thanks for the game, kids!



360 Panorama Shots

These have been a huge hit on Twitter. The 360 app lets you take a picture that gives you a 360-degree panoramic view. When you upload it online, drag the mouse across the picture in the interactive viewer and you can see all-around. It’s cool for golf courses because sometimes it’s hard to get a sense of what’s where and where the tee is relative to the green, etc.

You can also select to see the panorama from a  bird’s-eye view, along with the worm’s eye view (the opposite). Below are screenshots of the 8th hole on Monday, and go HERE to check out the 360-degree interactive version. It’s pretty much my new favorite app, but for some reason I keep forgetting to use it until the last hole on both Monday and Tuesday. D’oh.

And go HERE to see all the view points of No. 18 on Tuesday.

I’ll do my best to borrow a caddie’s yardage book and take pictures of the holes and their notes…anyone interested?