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How Would You Rate the USGA's Effort to Introduce New Courses to the US Open Rotation?


JohnnyCashForever
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I think some of the things that was missing from the US Open when compared to others, I think the US Open is the third most prestigious major behind Augusta and the Open.

Masters - Always the same course, ultra exclusive, limited to even go and watch. Open Champ - played at courses that anyone can play (a few have restricted days of the week) US Open - Rota, but you could get tickets, but not easy to get on for a round yourself (Other than a few resort courses like Pinehurst and Pebble)PGA - look, not that no one cares about the PGA, but everyone pretty much cares less about the PGASo the US Open can't and probably doesn't want to become The Masters, they don't want to become the PGA. The one championship they could pursue would be the Open, and having courses that regular golfers can go and play is absolutely a requirement. Sure it'll cost you to take a trip to the UK/Ireland but YOU CAN play at any of the courses in the open rota, and I do not see myself getting to play Shinnecock, Oakmont, Merion, Olympic, Congressional, Winged Foot, or any of the other ultra exclusive private courses they hold this tournament at.

So the USGA had a choice, push ultra private to allow some public play, or push to add some public courses. I have only played a handful of private US Open courses, but I can tell you based on those few they aren't likely to let any public play anytime soon. Golf is just different in the UK, golf clubs aren't part of the courses grounds themselves, here the exclusivity for some of joining a place the general public cannot go and have almost no chance of getting on feels good to those people, but it has and will continue to stunt the growth of the game.

In short I LOVE THE DECISION TO PLAY at different courses, especially the public courses. I am even up for resort courses, as long as they aren't introducing more private clubs to the mix.

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It was also a "disaster" because of the lack of the very traditional wind that is around that place. I have played there in countless different conditions, but even when it's wet, the wind turns that course into a tough place to get around. The fact that the USGA bent to the players complaints about where the fescue was "too tall" was also a part of it, as you mentioned. I would love to see them come back and get the more traditional conditions while leaving the long stuff alone and see how many people complain about it after.

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@DrivePuttChip
Interesting that you think that regarding the US Open regarding the the ultra-private club side of things. It and The Open are open championships that anyone theoretically could qualify for.

I don't think the USGA got the props it deserved for the back-to-back US Opens at Pinehurst #2. It seems really easy to pile on when things aren't good but when things work just fine there is not nearly the praise.
The unpredictability of weather is as much to blame as anything. You bake out the greens and shave them you can't have much wind. Conversely without wind The Open courses are often neutered. Mix in some rain and it becomes a match of darts. It's a razor's edge.
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I'm Canadian so my comments may be seen as offside but …

I'd love to see the US Open consider a different date in some years (maybe 3 date ranges) so they could hit more top courses ALL around the USA

Arizona should have a US Open one year, as should Florida. How about Arnie winning in Colorado? It's last been there in '78. Texas anyone? Georgia? You get the idea

It's a national open and it far too heavily favors the North East. Move it around. Let's get in on tough courses all over the place

We have the same problem here in Canada where the Canadian Open needs to be in Toronto for a major market, infrastructure etc ….

As long as the US Open continues to be the cash cow for the USGA things won't change sadly

 

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What is a golf course in Alaska that can host a US Open?? That would be awesome. They could play for like 20 hours per day. And Hawaii. I want that too. Open this thing up to those two sites. Can’t imagine there being a negative response from the golfing public. The visuals would be the best the game has ever produced on tv.

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Understanding that the US Open has to be the primary moneymaker for the USGA, and understanding that TV revenue is a huge part of the money, putting the US Open any further west that California is problematic. Its just a problem when the final rounds aren't getting done until 9 or 10 EST. I have a different view. Since the USGA was established about 20 years before the PGA of America, and the US Open predates the PGA Championship by about the same amount, I think its appropriate that the US Open gets the pick of the courses. To me, the identity of the two events comes from the "openness" of the US Open, available to anyone who can qualify, versus the continued inclusion by the PGA Championship of golf professionals who choose not to be on the PGA Tour. I'm glad that the USGA has continued to try different courses for its Open, including courses open to the public, I'm happy it returned a course like Merion after a long absence. I don't believe that either tournament should limit itself to one type of course. I do think that occasionally moving the US Open to a different time of year might be interesting, allowing it to be held much further south than its current June time slot allows.

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Couldn't agree more. The greens looked and played a mess at Chambers, but the final round was compulsive viewing and the last few holes looked incredible overall. The 18th was both arena-like and untamed. Loved it.

In contrast, I thought Erin Hills was extremely boring visually, with no real stand-out holes, and it played far too easy.

I'd love the R&A over here to be a bit more flexible, perhaps with the rota courses giving way to a guest course every few years. Portrush definitely showed that it adds a lot of extra excitement to go somewhere fresh (yes, I know it hosted once before, decades ago) and it is far worthier of a rota place than Royal Liverpool, which is dull as ditchwater.

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Great point. In Australia the "Australian" Golf Union signed a mutli year deal with the NSW Government for the Australian Open. It's only been played outside NSW a couple of times in recent years because the NSW government can now negotiate and get a return on their contract from other states. The Australian Open is a bit of a non event from a global perspective so they might as well act like the "Australian" Golf Union and take the tournament around the country like it used to.

 

On another note I thought Chambers Bay looked awesome on the TV and it's a pity the course setup was so bad. I'd like to see it get another chance without putting on cauliflower or playing off tarmac.

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I have said this in past posts, it is stupid that the PGA and US Open use the same courses

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  • 2 weeks later...

Agree with all of this. Bethpage was a resounding success. An outstanding course and terrific test for the Open. It probably won't come back anytime soon because Bethpage officials aligned with the PGA after the USGA wouldn't commit to a timeline for another Open there. Am pumped to see the Ryder Cup at Bethpage in four years.

Torrey Pines just isn't great enough for the standards of a US Open. Not that the course has to be amazing, but Torrey is a bit too vanilla (the course itself, the setting is very nice). But the views on TV and the tough challenge is there so I see why the USGA keeps it in the rotation.

I think Chambers Bay and Erin Hills can both be terrific US Open venues but the USGA screwed up the setups. They should have really used Erin Hills' length (an 8,000 yard Open course!) and shouldn't have widened the fairways so much. If it was a sterner test I think it would have reviewed better.

Chambers Bay seems like if it is in good condition, it would be fun to watch and a good test.

LACC should be excellent, let's hope ...

I think the PGA was slow to the game here. It has the worst identity of the four majors. It should have focused on the modern and public courses first to distinguish it. Opportunity lost.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi. My name is Chris and I liked Chambers Bay.

HI CHRIS!!

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3 buddies and I played Chambers 4 days before it closed for the Open and it was fantastic. Very firm conditions with mostly green grass. I was literally shocked when going to round 1&2 and seeing the place. It looked like Tiger's winning year at Royal Liverpool. Burnt grounds with little grass and the greens went for a shi*. USGA messed that one up badly and I would love to see the PGA there one day.

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you know, i watched the '15 US Open last week, and i thoroughly enjoyed it ... i'm sure part of it was seeing yjs swinging freely without thinking about mechanics/etc, but part of it was the course ... firm, fast with a lot of playability throughout the holes ... would like to see a tournament, be it pga or us or whatevs, played there again ...

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USGA was the only reason it was a "debalcle" at Chamber's bay. The nearly killed every green out there trying to make it harder and then blamed the course for the conditions. I played Chambers two weeks after the US open was there in 2015. It's spectacular and people don't have a clue. If you gave me a free round at chambers or Torrey Pines - I'd take chambers all day long. (yea I said it)

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