Merion Golf Club, East

Merion is consistently ranked as one of the top courses in the U.S. and the World by Golf Magazine's panel of experts.

The East course at Merion has hosted four U.S. Opens -- in 1934, 1950, 1971, and 1981 -- and the Open returns in 2013. It is best known for the 1950 U.S. Open, when Ben Hogan won just 16 months after a near-fatal car accident.

While some thought the course was too short, and the property too small, to stand up to modern technology, huge crowds and corporate tents, the U.S.G.A. chose Merion for the 2013 Open after a successful U.S. Amateur in 2005. Bill Iredale, Merion's championship committee chairman, said at the time of the club's selection: "We feel that our East Course is a very special venue, a classic golf course which, while lengthened some 400 yards to accommodate modern players and equipment, still retains the same shot angles, bunkering and greens that challenged Bob Jones in 1930, Ben Hogan in 1950, Lee Trevino and Jack Nicklaus in 1971 and David Graham in 1981."

Both the East and West courses are built on gently rolling terrain and feature fast greens, narrow fairways and thick rough.

--In his article My Fab 5, GOLF Magazine Top 100 Teacher Laird Small wrote that Merion is one of his favorite golf courses in the United States. Here's what he said:

"Another course that is not really too long, Merion demands that you hit the ball well off the tee if you want to score well. When you play a course like Merion, you have to think about what the course designer, in this case Hugh Wilson, is challenging you to do. If you can read the ideal shot and execute it, you can be successful. But if you don't, you'll pay the price."