We’re set here for four days of a real journey into the unknown in terms of the challenges that are normally associated with the US Open.

From the tight fairways and lush deep rough of Merion two years ago it is an absolutely huge leap to this Irish styled links course which has more elements of what you might see at Lahinch, Ballybunion or Tralee, than any traditional notion of what a US Open course has been in the past.

"One practice round that Woods undertook two weeks ago took him seven hours to complete"

This dramatic elevated piece of land is going to pose a major championship examination paper unlike any other in the history of the game.

Under foot there’s no doubt that it is pure links with firm brown green dry hard running turf.

The only major championship in the last ten years where the ground conditions have been anything like this were at Hoylake in Liverpool in 2006.

That Open championship was famously won by Tiger Woods, whose form might be pretty dire coming into this week, but he has prepared methodically for this challenge.

One practice round that Woods undertook two weeks ago took him seven hours to complete – that’s how many notes he had to take. And of course he does know a thing or two about what’s needed to take to win one of these titles, with three US Opens to his name.

This is how he described the task here at Chambers Bay; “Unlike any links golf that we play, we don’t have elevation changes like this. Firing away from the flag at 70 or 80 feet sometimes to get the ball close.

"That’s the feel of this golf course and try and understand that to each pin location.”

Speith and McIlroy favourites

You can get odds of 60-1 on Tiger winning his 15th Major this week, near the top of the betting it’s hard to separate Masters champion Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy in the first Major championship since Spieth’s multi-record setting performance at Augusta two months ago.

Spieth’s patience and putting stroke pitted against McIlroy’s outright ball striking excellence, that seems to be the equation at play here if both of them end up contending for the title here on Sunday.

McIlroy intends to be in the mix here, he even practiced late on Tuesday evening in preparation for the possibility of being in the final group at the weekend. And quirky as this challenge might look to others, he says he likes what he sees here.

“It’s a sort of golf course where I feel like if someone’s really on top of their game they can separate themselves from the field or maybe a bunch of the guys can separate themselves from the field," he said.

“There’s no reason why you can’t get round here in under par. If you can throw your ball well around here you’re going to give yourself enough chances of breaking par a few days."

McIlroy tees off at 4.28pm Irish time, Graeme McDowell 4.06pm, Darren Clarke 9.55pm and Shane Lowry 10.39pm.