Dates, Golf Course, Ticket Info
The 2021 U.S. Open golf tournament, conducted by the United States Golf Association, will take place in mid-June at one of the old-guard, classic clubs of American golf. Here’s what you need to know about the tournament, including dates, ticket sales, and qualification information.
Fast Facts: 2021 U.S. Open
- Description: The U.S. Open is the national championship of the United States Golf Association and one of the four “major championships” in men’s professional golf.
- Event Start Date: June 18, 2021
- Event End Date: June 21, 2021
- Location: Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York
- Fun Fact: The 2021 U.S. Open will be the 120th anniversary of the tournament.
The tournament is 72 holes (four rounds) of stroke play. Golfers play in groups of three the first two rounds. The original field of 156 is cut to roughly half following the second round of play. Golfers play in groups of two the final two rounds. A playoff, if necessary, takes place following the end of regulation play and uses a two-hole, aggregate score format.
Tournament week begins on Monday, June 15. Three days of practice rounds are followed by four days of tournament rounds. The first through fourth rounds will take place from Thursday, June 18 to Sunday, June 21.
Tickets for the 2021 U.S. Open
Tickets are not yet on sale for the 2021 tournament. The USGA website (usga.org) typically opens ticket sales around one year in advance. Tickets for the 2021 U.S. Open should go on sale around the time the 2021 U.S. Open takes place.
In addition to daily (single round) tickets, package options include the Weekly Ticket Package (seven days total, three practice days and four tournament rounds); Championship Round Package (four tournament rounds); and Practice Round Package (three practice days only).
Tickets to a U.S. Open are far easier to obtain than Masters tickets. If you want to guarantee yourself tickets, become a USGA member. Members are given an opportunity to buy tickets before they are available to the general public. But tickets should be available directly from the USGA for months, at minimum, after they go on sale to the public. (Related: 2021 Masters)
Previous U.S. Opens at Winged Foot
The 2021 U.S. Open will be the sixth time the tournament has taken place on the West Course at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York. Several Winged Foot Opens are remembered for their difficulty. Hale Irwin’s winning score in 1974 of 7-over, and Geoff Ogilvy’s winning score in 2006 of 5-over, are two of the highest winning scores in the tournament’s modern (post-World War II) era. The 1974 tournament is remembered as “The Massacre at Winged Foot.”
The five previous U.S. Open champions at Winged Foot (with winning scores) are:
- 1929 — Bobby Jones, 294
- 1959 — Billy Casper, 282
- 1974 — Hale Irwin, 287
- 1984 — Fuzzy Zoeller, 276
- 2006 — Geoff Ogilvy, 285
The victories by Jones and Zoeller were secured in playoffs.
The 1997 PGA Championship, won by Davis Love III, also took place on Winged Foot’s West Course. The East Course has hosted two U.S. Women’s Opens and one U.S. Senior Open. Both courses were originally designed by famed golf course architect A.W. Tillinghast.
How Golfers Get Into the 2021 U.S. Open
Golfers earn their places in the field via one of two methods. The method all golfers hope for is to earn an “exemption” into the field by meeting one of more than a dozen qualifying criteria. For example, winners of the previous 10 U.S. Open tournaments are “exempt,” and automatically get into the field. Additional exemptions are related to performance in the other majors, FedEx Cup points rankings and world ranking position, among others.
But what are they exempt from? Playing in qualifying tournaments. Golfers who have not earned one of the exemptions must play in qualifying tournaments with the goal of advancing into the U.S. Open field.
In 2021, 110 “local qualifiers”—18-hole tournaments—take place in 43 states plus Canada between April 29 and May 13. Registration to play in a local qualifier was open from the third week in February through April 24 in 2021. (These dates and numbers will be approximately the same for the 2021 Open.) All professionals and amateurs with a USGA Handicap Index of 1.4 or lower are eligible to enter.
After the local qualifiers whittle down the pool of golfers trying to play their way into the U.S. Open field, the sectional qualifiers come next. Sectionals are 36 holes long. In 2021, there were 12 sectional qualifiers, nine in the United States plus one each in Canada, England and Japan.
The golfers who fare the best in each sectional qualifier join the field for the U.S. Open.