The week that golfers have been complaining about is finally here, and maybe they were right to be complaining. No one really has any idea what to expect this week at the U.S. Open, but one thing we do know is that Chambers Bay will be firm and fast. That might even be an understatement.
Golfers have been walking the course all week to get a feel for the unknown. Now that they’ve seen it, they may be regretting not taking Mike Davis and his comments more seriously.
“The idea of coming in and playing two practice rounds and having your caddie just walk it and using your yardage book, that person’s done,” Davis said. “Will not win the U.S. Open.”
The region surrounding Chambers Bay has been unusually dry since the beginning of May, so dry that the greens have simply stopped absorbing any water. Even worse, it’s supposed to get hotter and drier as the week goes on. Take a look at this video posted by @GolfAust:
If that doesn’t do anything for you, check out what University of Georgia golfer Lee McCoy posted to his Twitter:
No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you, he is literally bouncing a golf ball while he walks down the fairway. The course is so firm the NBA Finals could have been played on it.
According to the mad scientist himself, this was all part of the plan and Chambers Bay is setting up just how he wants it. Mike Davis said on Wednesday morning,
"“On the eve of the championship the golf course is superb,” he said “It’s nice and firm and fast. And really, at this point, thankfully, we’re getting blessed with this great weather, it’s really down to managing the firmness. It’s a water management thing. So we’re looking at moisture levels in greens. We’re looking at the firmness of greens. And we’re also looking at what winds might be predicted for tomorrow. So we’ve got it really right where we want it, which is wonderful.”"
There has been a lot of talk about possible elevation changes on the tee boxes during the rounds and the changing of par on the first and 18th hole, but maybe it’s time to start worrying about the course itself rather than what the USGA has planned.
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All week we’ve been hearing about how Chambers Bay resembles a British Open with the links style course. This isn’t going to be a British Open. I’m not sure this is even going to be a U.S. Open. It’s going to be madness.
After realizing his original comments a few weeks ago may have gotten a little overblown, Davis followed up later by saying,
"“I was simply trying to be helpful by pointing out that preparation for this year’s U.S. Open might be more critical than any in recent memory given the uniqueness of the golf course.”"
I’m not sure anyone could have possibly prepared for this, Mike.
I’ll leave you with this image of Alex Noren practicing on the putting green.