Mo’ Golf has written on Sunday’s final round at Chambers Bay, along with the impact of the golf course on the viewing public, not to mention the involvement of Mike Davis, executive director of the USGA. What’s left? Well, a little of this and a little of that. For those of us who watched the action unfold on Sunday evening, EST, we have plenty for the water cooler this week. For the rest, here are some bits and pieces to tidy up the 2015 US Open and put the event to bed.
–A golf course that allows the carom, the bounce and the rebound is a great course to play, either once or on a daily basis. The fairways and greens at Chambers Bay do not repel golf shots into nether regions. While it is true that some undulations feed poorly-played shots into sand, the fairways are ample and the greens, compliant. Davis suggested that a golfer would not succeed around Chambers Bay without proper attention to preparation. The winner, Jordan Spieth, had a caddie on his bag who knew the course intimately. And that friends, was enough to overcome career Open performances from Dustin Johnson and Louie Oosthuizen.
–Green is my favorite color and has been since I was a lad. Over the past decade, I’ve come to understand that golf-green is never a good thing if forced. If courses and clubs over-water the layout, in an effort to keep up with the perceived, proper look of a track, the effort is misguided and harmful. Throughout the heat of a summer’s day, a course browns naturally. This is not the dying of the grass. Efforts to revive a greenish hue demand too much water, at too high a price. See what brown can do for you.
–If you’re a club member or a course owner, have you spoken with your superintendent about some of what you saw or didn’t see this week? There was no obstruction of sunlight and air by clots of trees. There were zero hard-to-mow, hard-to-find-your-ball, easy-to-tweak-your-wrist plots of thick rough, save for those far off the line of play (which were really far away, given the ample fairway width.) If you think you know more than your superintendent about the course, then she/he must clearly know more about your business than you do.
–There were a few lessons to be learned from the way golfers executed shots this week. We heard a number of golfers complain about conditions, but it wasn’t the guys at the top of the leaderboard doing so. Spieth was caught discussing the change of the 18th hole to a par four, but that was a set-up issue, not a conditioning one. The fellows who complained about the course were frustrated by their own inability to hit the required shot in the given moment. We saw a number of golfers back away from driver, hitting hybrid, fairway metal and long iron off the tee. How many times does the average golfer have to see this, before she/he does the same during a given round of play? What is appealing about hitting a provisional, searching for a ball in the woods, or dropping after finding a water hazard? It’s all right to give up a twenty yards off the tee, in exchange for a fairway-center seat. We saw Dustin Johnson, most notably, three-whack a putt from short distance. No one is immune, but what was DJ’s thought process? Did he attempt to lag? Was he trying to make an unmakeable putt? We all need to lag more, race by less, and take what the course gives us.
Images courtesy of Chambers Bay (www.chambersbaygolf.com)