Thursday sees the start of the most intense major golf championship of them all: the U.S. Open, played this year on the East Course at Merion Golf Club just outside of Philadelphia.
The tournament is recognized as the most challenging major by golf professionals and fans alike -- the winning score is frequently over par, the rough is normally grown to penal lengths and the greens are normally extremely tough to putt on.
If you're a golf fanatic, no doubt you'd love to play on some of these U.S. Open courses to see how you score compared to the world's best.
Unfortunately, the U.S. Open is mostly played at private clubs such as Merion -- you can't play on these courses unless you're lucky enough to be or know a member.
However, six public courses already have or will host the U.S. Open.
The great news is that anyone can play them as long as they can afford the green fee.
Bethpage Black Course, Farmingdale, N.Y.
Bethpage Black, the toughest of five courses at Bethpage State Park on Long Island, joined the U.S. Open roster in 2002 after the U.S. Golf Association decided to bring its flagship tournament to a public venue.
The experiment proved such a success that the U.S. Open was again held at Bethpage Black in 2009.
Golf Digest ranked the course No. 42 on its 2013 list of America's 100 greatest courses.
Tiger Woods won the first U.S. Open held at Bethpage Black in 2002. Lucas Glover took the 2009 event.
Anyone can play this monster 7,468-yard, par 71 course.
Be advised that this is a walking-only course, and there's a sign near the first tee that reads "WARNING: The Black Course is an extremely difficult course which we recommend only for highly skilled golfers."
Intimidated yet? That's championship golf!
Bethpage State Park; green fee: $130 weekdays, $150 weekends; +1 516 249 0707
Chambers Bay, University Place, Wash.
After the success of the Bethpage Black experiment, the USGA began adding more public courses to the U.S. Open roster.
The superb Chambers Bay course is one. It will host its first U.S. Open in 2015.
Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. and opened for play in 2007, this stunning 7,165-yard, par 72 course hosted the 2010 U.S. Amateur.
Visitors are warned that cart use is available only with a medical certificate and prior arrangement.
But if you're up to it, this 950-acre property on the shores of Puget Sound is an absolute joy to walk.
Chambers Bay; green fee: $219; +1 877 295 4657
Erin Hills, Erin, Wis.
Near Milwaukee, Erin Hills will host the U.S. Open in 2017.
Specifically designed on gently rolling wetlands to accommodate a major championship and opened for play in 2006, Erin Hills hosted the U.S. Amateur in 2011.