US Open - US Open course at Merion hole-by-hole

Steeped in history, the iconic East Course at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pennsylvania will stage the US Open for a fifth time when this year's edition starts on Thursday with the opening round.

Designed by amateur golfer Hugh Wilson and opened for play in 1912, Merion has long been hailed as one of the premier courses in the United States and has hosted a total of 18 United States Golf Association championships.

Most famously, it was the venue where Bobby Jones completed the "impregnable quadrilateral" by winning the US amateur there in 1930 to follow his victories that same year in the British amateur, British Open and US Open. Seven weeks after his Merion triumph, Jones retired from competitive golf aged 28.

Merion is also known for its unusual wicker baskets installed atop the flagsticks instead of the conventional flags, a quirk inspired by what course architect Wilson saw on a visit to Sunningdale Golf Club in Berkshire, England.

The par-70 East Course has been stretched to 6,996 yards for the 113th US Open, though it will be the first venue measuring under 7,000 yards for the year's second major since the 2004 edition at Shinnecock Hills Country Club (also 6,996 yards).

American Olin Dutra won the first US Open played at Merion in 1934, coming from eight strokes behind after 36 holes to triumph by one shot over Gene Sarazen.

In 1950, Ben Hogan astonishingly won the second of his four US Open titles in a play-off at Merion with Lloyd Mangrum and George Fazio after being involved in a near-fatal motor vehicle accident just 16 months earlier.

Hogan joined the play-off after parring the 72nd hole where he struck a one-iron approach to within 40 feet. A photograph of that shot, taken from behind during Hogan's follow-through, is one of the most memorable golfing images of all time.

Lee Trevino won the 1971 US Open at Merion with a playoff victory over fellow golfing great Jack Nicklaus, and Australian David Graham triumphed by three shots in 1981 to claim the most recent US Open held at the venue.

Here is a brief hole-by-hole look at the 6,996-yard, par-70 East Course.

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No. 1, par four, 350 yards - An atmospheric teeing area right next to the clubhouse patio with a sycamore tree lurking to the right posing a problem for any player aiming to drive the green. Most players will use a long iron off the tee here to set up a wedge approach into the green, which slopes from back to front. This hole offers a good early birdie opportunity.

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No. 2, par five, 556 yards - The fairway has been shifted to the right to create a more demanding tee shot with out-of-bounds lurking on the right and thick rough to the left. Biggest decision for the second shot is whether to go for the green in two or lay up short of a cross bunker 35 yards before the green.

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No. 3, par three, 256 yards - A difficult hole despite having the most receptive green among Merion's four par-threes. The green slopes steeply from back left to front right and a deep bunker lies in wait for any tee shot hit short and right.

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No. 4, par five, 628 yards - The second of just two par-fives on the East Course, this hole presents players with a stiff challenge off the tee due to a pronounced right-to-left camber on the fairway. Most players will lay up in two before hitting a lofted approach into a green that slopes from back left to front right.

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No. 5, par four, 504 yards - This challenging right-to-left dogleg places a premium on driving accuracy with a stream bordering the left fairway for the entire length of the hole. The fairway also slopes from right to left, leaving right-handed players with a likely hook lie for a long-iron approach to the green, which is one of the most severely sloped on the course.

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No. 6, par four, 487 yards - Another tricky par-four, this hole features a semi-blind tee shot over a crest to a bowl-shaped fairway. Most players will then face a slightly uphill approach over a false front into a green that slopes from the back left to the front. Par is a very good score here.

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No. 7, par four, 360 yards - The first of several good birdie opportunities over a seven-hole stretch, this par-four requires a long iron off the tee to a semi-blind, angled landing area, followed by a lofted approach shot. The large, elevated green has three tiers with a severe drop-off to the left.

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No. 8, par four, 359 yards - Accuracy is demanded off the tee with thick fescue rough lurking on both sides of the fairway at the landing area before a relatively short approach shot into a small, contoured green guarded by deep rough and bunkers. This is a driveable par-four if the forward tees are used.

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No. 9, par three, 236 yards - A difficult par-three which is played downhill to a kidney-shaped green protected at the front and on the right by a water hazard and on the left by a bunker. More bogeys than birdies are likely here.

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No. 10, par four, 303 yards - This is a driveable par-four, though care must be taken as the hole requires a fairly severe right-to-left curve around the corner with deep fescue rough lurking to the left of the green. The conservative option here is a 200-yard tee shot into a very narrow fairway.

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No. 11, par four, 367 yards - The par-four where Bobby Jones famously completed the final leg of his Grand Slam in 1930, this hole features a blind tee shot into a fairway protected on the left by Baffling Brook which goes on to hug the front, right and rear of a teardrop-shaped green. A potential birdie hole.

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No. 12, par four, 403 yards - A dogleg-right which places a premium on accuracy off the tee into a fairway that slopes considerably from left to right. The green slopes severely from the back left to the front right, and any approach that misses long or left will leave a treacherous up-and-down.

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No. 13, par three, 115 yards - The shortest of the par-threes at Merion, this hole offers another prime birdie opportunity though the oval-shaped green here is one of the smallest on the course with challenging contours.

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No. 14, par four, 464 yards - An uphill par-four where the fairway is protected by bunkering in the landing area and flanked by high fescue rough to the left. Approach shots that miss the green to the left are in danger of bouncing off a closely mown knoll and running out-of-bounds.

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No. 15, par four, 411 yards - This left-to-right dogleg presents one of the most intimidating tee shots at Merion with out-of-bounds lurking close by on the left while deep bunkers and thick rough lying in wait on the right. The green is one of the most severely sloped on the course.

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No. 16, par four, 430 yards - The infamous Quarry Hole, this par-four requires an approach shot in all likelihood with a medium-to-short iron to a green characterised by a pronounced depression at the front right. The last of the potential birdie holes before Merion's tricky finish.

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No. 17, par three, 246 yards - An outstanding, downhill par-three in an amphitheatre setting, this hole can be played at the full 246 yards or from just 195. The heavily contoured green has a pronounced ridge at the front that must be carried by the tee shot, which can often feed to the back right portion of the green.

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No. 18, par four, 521 yards - One of the greatest finishing holes for a US Open, this par-four is likely to be among the toughest holes during the championship week. A tough, semi-blind drive over the quarry will end