Chambers Bay In Retrospect


There are 1,343,286 opinions on Chambers Bay out there now. The vast majority were written by people that had already made up their mind before the tournament started. Most of them are also the ones that had made up their minds before it started that Fox was going to do a lousy job.

I had hoped the coverage would be better, just because I was so happy to not have to put up with the pontifications of Johnny Miller. Unfortunately Fox does not have a Frank Chirkanian, at least yet. Hopefully they will take this as a learning experience. Shortly after I made a comment about at least not having to be subjected to inane swing analysis by the announcers, Joe Buck says, “Lag is the new power move.” Excuse me, but for the first 100+ years, before the techno freaks got hold of it, the term was, “maintaining the angle.”

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The golf course, on the other hand, proved itself to be worthy of a major championship. In the end, the cream rose to the top and the best players provided a nail biting finish. The only legitimate complaint, as far as I was concerned, was with the poa annua in the greens which caused the putting surfaces to be bumpy, especially in the afternoons. It was an unfortunate agronomic situation that could happen anywhere. It even happened at Augusta one year. The USGA couldn’t very well go get another course at the last minute and anyone that knows anything about poa annua (apparently tour players don’t) knows there is no magic fix. You can’t just go spray something on it. It still goes back to everyone has to play the same course and “fair” ain’t in the rule book.

The biggest complaint that I heard (I spend too much time on social media) was the color. This came from all those that suffer from the Augusta National Syndrome of wall to wall lush green grass. It is amazing what an unlimited budget and closing the course in the summer can accomplish.

I have had the opportunity to play Carnoustie and St. Andrews in drought conditions so I had no problem with the color and the hard and fast playing conditions. Most of these people weren’t happy with Pinehurst No. 2 last year either, but brown is now the USGA’s new green so you need to be getting used to it.

“The worst golf course I might’ve ever seen in the 63 years as a professional golfer…”

The comments that caused me to use the most words I can’t print here were from

Gary Player

. Player used his status as a player to attack a fellow architect.

Let’s see here, Player, the architect, has received such awesome awards as:

Golf Digest (2005) – Best Golf Course in Czech Republic!

Golf Digest (2009) – Top 100 Golf Courses outside of the United States (#72)

Golf Digest (South Africa) (2011) – Top 100 Courses in South Africa (#6)

Having Player, as an architect, criticize Robert Trent Jones Jr. is like having Geoff Ogilvy, as a player, criticize Rory McIlroy or Jordan Spieth for their golf games.

I also compliment the USGA’s Mike Davis and crew for giving us a test that was won by the best – not the luckiest – player. The people in contention on Sunday were the ones that were the most creative, strong willed, and were able to control their ball the best. That’s what a U. S. Open is supposed to do. The U. S. Open exposes a player’s strengths and weaknesses for everyone to see.

I, for one, would like to see them get another shot at it when Mother Nature has been kinder.

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