Saturday, June 20, 2015


The Circus Continues
I thought about what this article should be about. It should be about the players. But the tournament is not. So I will devote one round to the real star of the US Open so far - the course. Ringmaster Greg Norman and half a dozen clowns are in charge of the greatest show in golf. Like second rate magicians, they try desperately to convince us the lady is really being sawed in half. That lady is a Chamber's Bay golf course. A venue better suited to Motocross than a world golf championship. Great banks and jumps, but as far from a world class golf course as you can get. 

There are 4 Main Disciplines in Golf 
as it was meant to be played. Mike Davis and the USGA ignored all of them when he agreed to make Chambers Bay the host of the 2015 Us Open.

1) Off The Tee
Hitting fairways is the first test of a world class player. Some of the fairways here are 100 yards wide. A Bomber like Dustin Johnson can just hit the crap out of it without any concern for hitting what should be championship level narrow fairways. Those who can, gain no advantage.

2) Approach Shots
should be about what you can make your ball do on a level playing field. Where do I stick my approach, how much spin, or should I hit a punch shot and run it up. Yes, open courses often feature shaved, turtle-back greens with small landing areas. If you miss those - you are in the rough. At Chambers, that kind of world class iron play is out the window. The focus here - is will it roll back when I miss, how far and where. Unless you study every turn and slope - which is nearly impossible - luck plays a huge part of where your ball ends up.

3) Scrambling
Hitting out of a bunker or Vescue is part of links golf. Doing it up the side of the hill is not. 
Unless you study every hill, luck plays a big part in the outcome. 

3) Putting
I spoke to the GM at my local course about greens and grass. I had heard the greens at Chambers Bay were Vescue, but were also referred to as bent grass. I had heard of bent grass greens many times on the PGA Tour.  He explained that no, those are not usually Vescue. He added that when Poa Annua invades your grass, it makes it spotty and bumpy. The Vescue shrinks in the heat and the Poa Annua sticks up - making the greens untrue. This causes puts to bounce away from their intended destination. So, if you hit the wrong tiny patch - a perfect put will miss. My course is a little par 3, but even they purchased expensive equipment to shave the green level. I do not want luck to dictate the success of my putting game or the winner of the US Open. 

Henrik Stenson 
Compared the greens to broccoli

Speaking of Putting
My Favorite Player in the world is Jordan Spieth. I won money on him before you knew his name. I'll make $1200 off a $150 bet if he wins, and will root for him all weekend. I do not drink poison Cool-Aid though, or believe half of what I hear on Golf Channel. They are filing air time with little concern for truth.  If you believe that looking at the hole when you put is a good idea - think again. It has cost Spieth lead and 2 strokes in the US Open - PERIOD! He is #1 in putting. He looks at the hole on puts inside and around 5 feet. He is 200th from 5 feet. I sincerely hope he has very few of those this weekend. Mark my words - if he does, and looks at the hole - it will cost him the Open. 

As you can see, this week is about navigating the aberrations of this course, not about playing great golf. 

How did we end up at Chambers?

He Who Has The Gold...
makes the rules. This former sand and gravel mine became a sewer treatment plant before Mike Davis conspired with local politicians to use the Us Open as an economic stimulus package for the pacific northwest. That's right, it had nothing to do with what was good for the players or the Game. The big winner here is Robert Trent Jones Jr. He pocketed $900,000 for designing this mess. Who knows how many other hands were greased?

Heroes and Whores
You can tell them apart this week by their opinion of the course. You read the facts above and can decide for yourself. Most in the media are defending the course to gain or remain in favor with the powers that be, USGA etc. Some have the stones to reveal the absence of the emperors new clothes. Namely:

In Order of first to speak out: 

Ryan Palmer
Ian Poulter
Brandel Chamblee 
"Everyone says they are all playing on the same green. They aren't."
Elaborating. If one playery has a patch of Poa Annua in front of him, and the other doesn't - luck could determine the champion. 

Sergio Garcia
Compared them to an NBA court with cracks in the floorboard and no backboard.

Gary Player
After his nasty remarks about Rory's lady - I lost respect for him. But he just regained it. I was shocked when Morning Drive cut away to Gary and he unloaded on the course without mercy. For good reason. 

"This has been the most unpleasant golf tournament I have seen in my life". 

"It's hard to believe that you see a man miss the green by one yard and the ball ends up 50 yards down in the rough". 

More importantly he pointed out that this is supposed to be a public golf course, meant to encourage the public to play and grow the game. The pros cant play it, no amateur would enjoy a round there. That kills the whole idea of continued economic stimulus to the area. At over 7,000 yards it would take forever to play and is a vulgar misuse of resources.

Notah Begay
was the only member of the Morning Drive panel that responded honestly and intelligently to Gary's Inquisition.  He pointed out that the layout does not favor the best player, for reasons I already mentioned above. Too many whores to name, but Mark Rolfing (center) is my tool of the week. His glib response was made my skin crawl.

The best point Notah made was that this should be about the players - not the course. That is all I will focus on Saturday and Sunday.  

Great player pics and highlights there from Thursday and Friday

Jason Day
Showed real grit, getting up and hitting his bunker shot after collapsing from Vertigo. Best wishes to him. I do not have money on him - but hope he is able to continue. He took Rory''s place and battled head to head with Jordan.  

 Enjoy The Show
I won't this course spoil my weekend. I handicap Golf. That's a gamble. I look forward to seeing which way the ball bounces and watching the pros swim around this fishbowl . Just don't view this circus as a test of the best golfer. Hopefully I covered my bases with the bets placed. Here is how we are doing so far:

 I put $150 on Jordan, $40 on F- Field. All other bets were between $5 and $20


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