Follow-up to the U.S. Open
Sorry I missed you guys on Tuesday with this, but we had some technical issues that just fouled things up. So here's my take on the U.S. Open, and I certainly invite you all to chime in with yours.
  1. Old Merion certainly stood up to the test. With the early-week rain, the announcers were talking of "62s and 63s" but what we got was a totally different story. Even at a distance of less than 7,000 yards, the best golfers in the world were tested with every club in their bags. And they failed as often as not. The winning score was not much different than it was in previous opens at Merion, Olympic and other great courses that can stand the test of time and technology just fine.

  2. It still boils down to execution. Very simply, the players who hit the most great shots, and the fewest bad ones were those left standing at the end. But what we saw was pretty amazing in my book.

  3. Tour professionals missing greens with wedges in their hands. We saw this over and over and over. Mickelson sure could have made more putts, but he lost the tournament by bogeying two holes with a wedge in his hand from inside 120 yards. To hit one that long (off a tee, no less!) and one that short only a few holes later was mind-numbing to me.

  4. Tour professionals missing fairways with irons. Those short middle holes at Merion allowed these guys to hit 4- and 5-irons off the tees and they still couldn't find the fairways? Really? I just don’t understand that at all.

  5. Par-3 and par-4 holes they could barely reach. That's what I'm talking about. I love to play courses that require a fairway wood or hybrid for at least one or two approach shots, maybe more. I am reading a book about Hogan's loss to Jack Fleck in the 1955 Open at Olympic, and these guys were hitting 3- and 4-woods to several holes. It was great to see the modern pros tested equally.

  6. Real par-5s. When we saw the pros play true three-shot par five holes, we saw that they didn't rip them apart like in most tour events. And that's what a par-five hole is supposed to be. Both #2 and #4 required two good shots to put you in position for a real shot at an approach that could yield a birdie. But neither hole gave up many. That’s a far cry from the 16th at Bay Hill, where most of the pros were hitting 6-irons to 8-irons to the green.

    Come on guys. That's just NOT a par five.

So, there's my take on the Open. Another great one for the ages. Hope the USGA brings it back to Old Merion soon. And it just moved way up on my bucket list of places I just have to go play.
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[ comments ]
slimpks1850 says:
#3... nearly exactly what I said but mind-numbing, not quite. Called by many. Par ( or bogey! ) for the course.

Other than that, spot on for Merion. I didn't care at all for olympic.
Scott Shields says:
Sometimes Terry I think you're posts dripping too much with ..."old school is better" feelings. But this time I agree. It was nice to see the Pro's challenged. Makes you wonder which era of golfes is better.
Anti-Mulligan says:
Terry - I agree. Once a year, it is great to see these guys have to play like most players. Not reach greens in two, hit woods on par fives, etc. I also can't believe these guys miss fairways with irons they can stick to ten feet on par threes. Mickelson missing greens with wedges blows my mind. I practice hard and almost never miss a green with a wedge and this is his full time job and he is the best in the world at it. Come on. He lost it with those two shots.
DaRupp13 says:
My only issue with Merion was the 250+ yard par 3s. I agree with Hunter "I just hit a $@#^ing driver on a par 3." I was never impressed watching the par 3s, even when they hit a good shot and hit it close it was more "finally" than "wow". All about the long par 4s and 5s, but I like watching magic on par 3s. My personal opinion.
Torleif Sorenson says:
I have to agree with DaRupp13 here; the only mystery in my mind is how long it will be before the USGA sets up an Open par-3 with 250 yards of carry over water. I'm sure it's just a matter of time before they try this sort of tactic.
Werepuppie says:
The pros hit the ball so far that they have little choice.When you have a 190yd par 3 and the pro is hitting an 8iron how do you put the 3+4 irons back in the game?

Here is an idea.Let us do what auto racing does with the IROC series.The players show up,and are given the set of clubs and balls they must use right off the rack like we buy them.
larrynjr says:
My take is, if they are really that good, why aren't all the tourney's set up that hard? Make them prove it every week, not just once a year.
Anti-Mulligan says:
Larrynjr - the reason the course is only setup once a year like this is because the USGA runs this tourney and the PGA tour runs the others. The USGA differentiates itself by making it super hard to get fans to watch while the PGA Tour knows it is entertainment and people like birdies. It is all about business and money and not the highest level golf except the majors. Players adapt, if course were like this we would have a bunch of straight hitter but the PGA course are setup for the bombers and that is what the tour has.
joe jones says:
I predicted the Plus 1 winning score but must admit I missed completely on who the winner would be. Justin Rose deserved the win .He was the best player by far. I felt the setup was "fair" but brutal. I agree that 250 yard par threes are a bit much but the pro's are hitting 3 woods 270 plus yards so Davis may have been taking that into account.The thing I took exception too was the lack of a graduated rough. Not on every hole but there were several holes like #5 where the slope of the fairway made almost every drive roll all the way across the fairway into 5" narly rough. I don't think a perfect shot should be penalized.A three inch first cut would be difficult but allow some opportunity to recover.
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Terry Koehler is "The Wedge Guy" and President of SCOR Golf- The Short Game Company.

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