Monday Morning QB take.
cc: Golden Age Golf Twitter
What makes a good US Open course? If the USGA isn’t going to allow a course to be played “the way it was meant to be played”, then what’s the worth of sticking to (mostly) elite private golf clubs on the coasts? Sure, Shinnecock is a top 10 course, and if I have had the fortunate opportunity to play it, maybe I would sing a different tune, but I am getting worn a little thin about the media equating the best golf to the most inaccessible courses in the world. I know Joe was just filling airspace during an intro, but I once heard him say: “Have your pick when you come to the Hampton’s: National, Sebonack, Shinny, Maidstone” I don’t want to read him literally, but legitimately .001% of the golfing population would have that “pick”. That follwoing a USGA commercial on playing 9 at your local muni is a bad visual.
Shinnecock is a great course and I see how it would be a mental challenge to play, but I don’t think it showed well at all this week. It was, again, a conversation about the USGA and their setup. The difficulty of the championship was more correlated to the juice Mike Davis put into the course than the intended design of William Flynn. No fault to Andy I love reading his stuff everyday, but I felt like @thefriedegg was on defense all weekend on twitter trying to prove that the course was working.
So here’s my take … with the money the USGA pours into championships each year at all these clubs + what those respected clubs probably put into as well + any other revenue stream they have, let’s get some money in on this and let the USGA find whatever land they want and build THE ultimate championship site. Make is 36, 54, 108 holes, reversible, cross country routing, double greens, shared fairways, you name it, but let he USGA create from a blank slate what their championship golf course should be every year. Host all the events there you want and let the public play in off season, but everyone knows the US Open will be there and it will be f****** hard. They choose their grass and they stimp it to what they want. The catch is they have a player committee, and their proposed course has to be unanimously approved. Each year can bring in consulting architects to tweak the setup, the routing, the course, and create a new test. It can adapt if 8,000 becomes a thing, or if fescue rough now needs to go down the centerline, or if a ring bunker should surround the cup.
My point is the US Open is trying to create the ultimate battle for golf on a new ground each year and I think they are either wildly out of touch with what the players/public think is fair, or they just can’t get it right because it’s a new site each year. If they want to be consistent on their intent to be a full examination, maybe they need a consistent environment.