U.S. Open: A virtual simulation of Erin Hills

Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports /

The Golf Club video game Erin Hills makes is possible for gamers to play the 117th U.S. Open track.

It’s U.S. Open week, and after having the opportunity to visit Erin Hills on Tuesday morning, I will say that it’s a beautiful golf course. With the power of video games, I decided to play a nice replica of the course on The Golf Club.

Although the surroundings and such aren’t perfect replicas, the bunker placements, and green sculpting are spot on. Plus, the beautiful graphics in TGC enhances the experience, bringing the U.S. Open host course to life.

Here’s a video of gameplay of the front nine at Erin Hills, beautifully replicated by user, “rsuslow”.

As you can tell, right off the bat, Erin Hills features some tasty holes. The first hole seems drivable, so players teeing it up immediately have to apply good strategy.

To lay up, or to not lay up? That is the question. Of course I decided to be bold and go for the green. I made it but was given a short iron to chip it closer. That didn’t work out so well.

The rest of the front nine features wide fairways but smartly placed bunkers. If you’re a long hitter, a bunker may be awaiting you in the distance.

One thing that makes Erin Hills special is that there are many holes that focus on fairway hazards. A ton of courses are heavy-duty on bunker placement around the greens, but Erin Hills wants to punish those mis-hit drives.

The greens are also very fast. If you chip off the green, make sure it’s a light hit, as the ball will roll but you can certainly knock it close with smart play.

Arguably the most famous hole at Erin Hills, and certainly one of the prettiest, is the par-3 ninth. Although it’s love at first sight, it can break your heart after the first date. With a green surrounded by bunkers, it can wreck your round. Hit the perfect tee shot, and you’re in good shape. This is hole where you should simply reach the green.

Two putting is fine if you reach the green in regulation. If not, you’re likely to be going for a double bogey at least.

In the game, I got lucky and hit the green in regulation. Remember, it is a game, and games can make us accomplish amazing things. However, it’s a great way to get a taste of what the famed ninth will present.

The back nine continues to feature speedy greens, as well as more bunkers nearer to the putting surfaces with the exception of the magnificent 12th hole.

The back is just as beautiful and challenging as the first nine. There seem to be more holes with greenside bunkers on the back nine. It’s a marvelous shift shape in design, as Erin Hills plays tricks on your brain. The two nines can almost be separate courses. This adds to the charm of it and it’s far from boring.

One of the most talked about holes, and arguably the second most famous, is the 12th. Although it only features one tiny bunker near the green, it presents a great challenge. It’s a hole that is suitable for the accurate drivers. It has a zig zag type of fairway which is also quite hilly.

The 12th is probably the one hole that best showcases Erin Hills’ natural contours. Throughout the tournament, this will be a must see for golf fans.

The key will be to strategize where you want your tee shot to land. This is crucial as although there aren’t any bunkers, your point of view can get thrown off.

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The rough is also very deep throughout the course as we are all aware of by now. Thankfully, with the fairways being wide, it helps take pressure off of those tee shots.

Overall, Erin Hills is an amazing golf course. The fact that it’s public, makes it even better.

If you have The Golf Club, I highly recommend you to check out the Erin Hills replica course. It’s a good way to get your U.S. Open fix from your gaming system. Experiencing the Hurdzan, Fry, Whitten design on the game is a treat. Feels good when you get those lovely birdies.

Also keep in mind that The Golf Club 2 will be releasing in less than two weeks. No doubt the Erin Hills replica, and other U.S. Open courses will make their appearance in-game.

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Any thoughts on Erin Hills? Have you played the replica in The Golf Club? Tell us about it in the comments, or let me know on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio.