2023 U.S. Open: Top 10 power rankings at Los Angeles Country Club

2023 U.S. Open, Los Angeles Country Club,Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
2023 U.S. Open, Los Angeles Country Club,Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /
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Los Angeles Country Club’s North Course has hosted significant events like the U.S. Women’s Amateur, U.S. Junior Amateur, Los Angeles Open, men’s Pac-12 Championship, and the Walker Cup. For the first time in 2023, though, it’s hosting a major championship. The 123rd men’s U.S. Open is headed to Tinsel Town for this year’s third major.

What is there to know about L.A.C.C.’s North course?

It’s a George C. Thomas design dating back to the early 1900s. It underwent a restoration in 2010 by Gil Hanse, Jim Wagner, and Geoff Shackelford.

The North Course measures 7,423 yards and plays to a par 70.

This won’t be your typical U.S. Open setup.

There won’t be the usual bowling alley narrow fairways or luscious rough all over the course.

Wide corridors, particularly on the back nine, allow for a little waywardness off the tee. By the same token, certain sides of the fairway can be much more advantageous than others.

That aspect is not unlike Augusta National where there’s room to make mistakes, but it can be tough to go low without a level of precision.

Despite the USGA posting social media videos with some thick rough around the greens, and throughout the course, the rough isn’t overly tall.

L.A.C.C. has the potential to play firm and fast, particularly given the weather forecast. It expects to be dry all week with temperatures in the 60s-70s Fahrenheit.

It won’t be very windy to dry out fairways and greens, but a lack of rain gives the grounds crew the power to crank up the speed if they so choose.

L.A.C.C.’s tricky bent grass green complexes will test players’ nerves. Bermuda grass composes the fairways and rough.

Bunker play is also a skill that expects to be tested a fair amount this week.

Aside from Will Zalatoris and Tiger Woods missing due to injury this week, just about everyone you’d reasonably hope to see in the field will be present in SoCal.

Let’s get to the top 10 of the penultimate major of 2023:

U.S. Open, Los Angeles Country Club, USGA, Golf Majors, 2023 U.S. Open, LACC, 123rd U.S. Open
Cameron Smith, 2023 PGA Championship, Syndication: Democrat and Chronicle /

When you think of Cameron Smith and major championships, the U.S. Open typically seems to fit his game the least.

Places where driving and ability to gouge it out from thick rough don’t suit him well.

Rather, Smith’s had his major success either on the short grass of Augusta National where he’s racked up top-10s, or on the links land where he won his maiden major at the 2022 Open Championship at St. Andrews.

One of Smith’s best chances at claiming America’s national championship comes this week. There’s a fair amount of short grass on property at Los Angeles Country Club, as well as wide corridors off the tee.

Growing up in the Australian sand belt, he’s used to firm and fast conditions ruling the day.

Smith played fairly well when he last teed it up a few weeks ago at LIV DC where he took 11th place. He’s yet to win on LIV but has top-11s in each of his last four starts.

The 29-year-old was a bit disappointed to only take T-34th at this year’s Masters, but Smith did respond with T-9th at a PGA Championship venue in Oak Hill that did not appear to play to his strengths.

Smith’s career at the majors shows 22 made cuts in 27 starts. He has seven top-10s.

Along with a crafty short game, Smith is known for his putting prowess. He leads LIV this season with 1.52 putts per green. He’s also 10th on LIV in scrambling after leading that stat in 2022.