16th Hole at Olympic is 670 Yards, can anyone get on in two? June 13 2012

 16th.franklin.jpg Franklin/Getty Images   The 16th hole at Olympic Club is a par 5 now measuring an unbelievable 670 yards,the longest par 5 on the PGA TOUR. Not surprisingly this has caused a lot of debate among the professional players who will have to negotiate it, the press room, who can not understand the need for it, and of course the average golfer or gallery member who just thinks it's nuts. The chances of anyone reaching the green on two are definitely remote, some say just getting there safely in three is a real challenge. At the end of the tournament I bet you will be able to count the number of birdies registered there on the fingers of one hand. The sharp dogleg left par 5 feels like a constant U-turn and of course the fairway narrows right at 300 yards from the tee box. PGATOUR.COM Site Producer  Ryan Smithson thinks it is too much; "  A 670-yard par 5 in that dense Bay Area air? Very few will hit the 300-yard barrier. Bubba claiming he slammed two drivers, and still had 60 yards to go? Where does it stop? Will it play 720 yards the next time a U.S. Open is held there? To me, that green isn't meant for the Steve Stricker's and Luke Donald' of the world to hit 5-irons in. Two huge bunkers guard the front, and if the pin is placed anywhere near them, it will be all but impossible to get the ball close. Hello, bogey. There's nary a quicker way to lose a U.S. Open than to put a '6' on your card." Phil Mickelson said; "I've yet to have less than 200 yards on 16. I dont know where we're hitting wedge on that hole." Louis Oosthuizen had some trouble during practice on that hole, he was looking at 240 yards for his third shot, he said; " It's too risky, the neck there on that fairway or the green is what, 6-7 yards wide? You're going to overrun it. If anybody is on the green in two this week, that's something special." American Lucas Glover, the 2009 U.S. Open champion at Bethpage Black, got to play the 16th in his first practice round, and achieved about the best result anyone could hope for this week. He drove into the fairway, then absolutely hammered a 3 wood short, and with his third, floated the ball onto the green with a sand wedge and two putted for par. Lucas said of the hole; "That hole is all you want. I don't know that anybody, without a serious wind at their back, could get there in two. Getting there? Maybe. Getting the ball to hold? There's no chance. It's a three-shot hole for sure." The 17th hole is also a par 5, and USGA executive director Mike Davis expects both the 16th and 17th will decide who will become champion on Sunday afternoon. He said; "Now with back-to-back par 5s, I think you will see the U.S. Open won or lost on those two holes." I think that is a shame, the test of golf should be over eighteen holes, not just with who gets lucky on two holes, seems like the longest hitters off the tee will prevail. Not the best golfer, the muscle man will win it. Not much chance then for world number one Luke Donald.