IT’S HERE, US OPEN WEEK in the Midwest, finally after 17 years. So who wins it’s, we will see but I’ll have a thought on this later in the column.
The US Open filled with controversy the last years, with crazy rule infractions, or just crazy courses like at Chambers Bay, or the same course twice in two weeks at Pinehurst, or the course that was supposed to be too small, that played just right at Merion.
The new TV guy on the block Fox Sports needs a great week this time around, it’s year three of the deal.
Some will look ahead to 2018 and Shinnecock Hills, but they need to look no further than Erin Hills to see a splash of Shinnecock in Erin Hills, minus a dead green or two.
Having played both courses, it seems like Shinnecock Hills is more Erin Hills than Erin Hills is Shinnecock. But if you have enjoyed the opens at SHGC out on Long Island, you will enjoy this sandy piece of property located in the far west burbs of NW Milwaukee.
Will this week be a shinning moment for USGA Executive Director Mike Davis, since he ducked out on a pregame visit with Golfers on Golf Radio to make sure all the final preparations were just right, they had better be.
Only a few years ago, it was Davis that was earning praise for finding new sites like Chambers Bay and Erin Hills, while the PGA’s version of a new championship site was taking sites that the USGA had since abandoned, like Bethpage Black, now after the US Open at Chambers Bay had it’s issues, now Erin Hills is under the spotlight as the second chance for Davis, and he needs to get it right.
Still I give Davis credit for trying new sites, instead of wearing out all the same OLD ones. It would be good to see a new course that has never hosted a US Open before, get one about every four years.
THE USGA dodged a major bullet when Steve Stricker qualified to play in this weeks US Open, had Stricker not been in the field, the USGA would have been run out of America’s Dairyland. It is bad enough that neither of the two finalists from the 2011 US Amateur at Erin Hills, Kelly Kraft and Patrick Cantlay won’t be playing this week in Wisconsin.
BREAKING NEWS PGA of America VP Suzy Whaley to play in the inaugural Sr. LPGA Championship at the French Lick Resort in July. It’s been a while or maybe this is a first time ever that a sitting officer of the USGA or PGA or America has actively played in a major championship on any tour.
GOLFERS ON GOLF will cover the US Open all week, as I will be on site starting tomorrow in Wisconsin.
WINNER.. with the physical demands and length of Erin Hills, the winner will have to be someone in shape to handle that, along with a US Open style game. They will need to be healthy and get their rest. Jordan Spieth is my pick this week.
FOR AN UPCOMING STORY IN CHICAGOLAND GOLF, I spent this morning at Cog Hill with owner Frank Jemsek and Superintendent Chris Flick driving around Dubsdread. If you haven’t played Cog 4 in awhile, it’s time to go back. See my story out around July 1 in Chicagoland Golf.
THE SOUTHERN HILLS Golf Club in Tulsa has been named a future site for Sr. PGA Championship in 2021, and they will get a PGA Championship somewhere between 2024 and 2030.
Which is interesting because club officials told me on my last visit that they would never take a PGA Championship again, because August doesn’t work in Oklahoma, and that June is better. The previous experience the club had with the PGA of America didn’t go so well. I hope if the club is going to host a major, they let architect Keith Foster do something about that annoying ditch that zig-zags the golf course. Plus they have some tree’s that need to go as well.
WWGA Amateur Championship is underway at River Forest CC in Elmhurst. Northwestern’s Hannah Kim is one of three players tied for the lead after the first day at 1 under par, with a score of 71. Kim is joined by Sophia Schubert a University of Texas Senior and Emily White from Saline Michigan.
Click here to hear interviews with Sophia Schubert and Hannah Kim from Round 1 of the WWGA National Amateur Championship.
THE GOG BLOG RETURNS with more on the US Open in the hours ahead. RS