U.S. Open That Almost Didn’t Happen

One of the U.S.G.A.’s most cherished courses, the Country Club is tucked away in an exclusive neighborhood with little room for the demands of a modern major.

The Country Club, the site of this year’s U.S. Open, had come close to not staging the major tournament at all until the club realized there was something to the adage of being the smallest house in the nicest neighborhood.

The Country Club is on the short list of the United States Golf Association’s most cherished institutions.

One of the five clubs that banded together in the 1890s to form the association. It was the site of arguably the most important moment in American golf history.

In 1913 U.S. Open was won by the amateur Francis Ouimet in a playoff over the celebrated British professionals Ted Ray and Harry Vardon.

The P.G.A. of America awarded the club its 2005 championship, but it decided it would be too much and pulled out.

In July 2015, the U.S.G.A made it official: The Country Club would hold its fourth U.S. Open, in 2022, and put on a U.S.G.A. event for the 17th time.

“The players love this place,” Bodenhamer said. “The ghosts of the past matter. You can’t buy history. You can only earn it. And the Country Club has it.”