GM's Nick Bonfield discusses the role of patience and mental strength at the US Open

US Open: Patience Is Key

The US Open is undoubtedly the most exacting four days in the global golfing calendar.

Every year, the world’s best players face an all-encompassing test of golfing skill and aptitude, with every department of their games put under the utmost scrutiny.

The tangible aspects of golf – ones that can be measured by statistical comparison – are integral to success in any tournament, but this week, other factors will also play a significant role.

The US Open is about golf, yes. But it’s also about factors that can’t be quantified – namely patience and mental strength.

The weather is going play a pivotal role this week. Whether Shinnecock Hills plays firm and fast, or soft and long are remained to be seen.

Shinnecock Hills was incredibly dry in 2004, where Retief Goosen emerged as the winner (Getty Images)

No-one likes a stop-start golf tournament, not least the players.

It’s at times like this that frustration can spill over and manifest itself on the golf course.

Article Continues Below

It’s hard to stay patient on the course when that very same trait has been tested during lengthy periods of waiting.

Patience and control of emotions will be more important this week than most others.

The golf course will offer up birdies, sure.

But usually, US Opens are about keeping the doubles off the card and taking your chances when they are presented.

Related: Shinnecock Hills Hole by Hole Guide

The players that accept this as fact, stay patient and don’t go chasing after pins to recoup bogies will undoubtedly enjoy more success.

The eventual winner will, of course, be someone who’s demonstrated a complete golfing skill set.

Related: Is the US Open too difficult?

But it’ll also be someone who displays a sound temperament, an unflappable demeanour and a healthy dose of mental resilience.

Who is your money on? Let us know on our social media channels by following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.