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    US Open at Merion Golf Club --Unofficial thread

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    FamousDavis
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    US Open at Merion Golf Club --Unofficial thread

    Post  FamousDavis on Wed Jun 12, 2013 11:55 am

    I think this year's US Open may turn out to be a major bust for the USGA.  It's going to be wet and I have a feeling the scores will be extremely low.  I know they envisioned this short and tight golf course giving all of the players fits but I don't think it's going to turn out that way.  This means that anyone could win it.  That's the way I see it. 





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    Lorenzzo

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    Re: US Open at Merion Golf Club --Unofficial thread

    Post  Lorenzzo on Wed Jun 12, 2013 12:21 pm

    The USGA is a quasi-governmental agency that gets almost nothing right.  If a U.S. Open were spectator oriented consider it a mistake on the level of the botched abortions resulting in the continuing lives of USGA board members.  If you doubt how contemptable the USGA is either watch a US Open or have direct dealings with them, either offers proof.
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    Mongrel

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    Re: US Open at Merion Golf Club --Unofficial thread

    Post  Mongrel on Wed Jun 12, 2013 12:39 pm

    The photo you put on top of the home page...the iconic one of Hogan hitting his approach to the 72nd hole in 1950. My father could have been in that gallery. I should have asked him before he died. He would have been 35 at the time and owned the factory so he could have taken the day off. Anyway.

    The old man took me to play this course around 1960 or so when I was about 13. All I remember is the wicket baskets on top of the flag sticks but I think they were painted green back then. The crappiest thing about the course was that it was so freaking hard and there were more than a few forced carries over ravines and quarries.

    The guy who finished second to Hogan in 1950 was a local Italian boy name of George Fazio. He ended up living off the 8th fairway at the club my father belonged to and where I started playing golf five years or so after the photo on the home page of this website was shot.

    Having a major event on this course is a sure recipe for clusterfuck since it lies on just over 100 acres and is surrounded by suburban style residential development featuring large lots and almost no public open space. So you've got to bus players, spectators and worker-bees in from proximate neighborhoods that are about the same as where the club lies.

    Now throw in some nasty weather over top of the soggiest spring we've had in years and its going to take the patience of Job to play this tournament maintaining peak performance. That's why I don't see any young guns winning it but some older geez experienced on the Euro Tour and not bothered by crappy weather or thick rough. Harrington, maybe.

    I doubt that any scoring records will be broken here this week. Despite its lack of length, lack of run on the fairways, and soft greens, the ultimate weapon in reserve will be the pin placements. Trust me on this.


    Oh, and I think it would be a hoot to update the Hogan photo bringing it into the 21st century through Photoshop which I don't have. You know, colorize the shot and give Hogan a pair of those soft spike models that Freddie wears. And instead of a blade with steel shaft, maybe a hybrid with graphite in recognizable colors like a UST V2. And maybe put the blimp (Goodyear, Snoopie, whatever) right above the green in the background and a big electronic scoreboard with 60 feet of LCD screen showing the ball flight.
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    jmtbkr

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    Re: US Open at Merion Golf Club --Unofficial thread

    Post  jmtbkr on Wed Jun 12, 2013 12:50 pm

    Sounds like it should be a real test to all who play. I like how each week someone new wins, nobody seems to be dominating week after week. Good thing. Spread the wealth around.

    Bethpage is the same way, as far as parking logistics. Everyone gets bused in from every direction and there isn't a hell of a lot of room to roam around the Black, unless you want a nice case of Lyme disease from the fesque.

    I'm looking foward to it!
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    Horseballs

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    Re: US Open at Merion Golf Club --Unofficial thread

    Post  Horseballs on Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:21 pm

    I can't wait to see Philly fan give Sergio the business.
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    FamousDavis
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    Re: US Open at Merion Golf Club --Unofficial thread

    Post  FamousDavis on Fri Jun 14, 2013 2:11 pm

    Oops.  Luke Donald is giving it away!  Tiger doing better.  I bet Phil blows it this afternoon.
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    Re: US Open at Merion Golf Club --Unofficial thread

    Post  Pky6471 on Fri Jun 14, 2013 3:02 pm

    (-7) would win this tourney. I remember Curtis Stranges won back-to-back and one time it was (-1) ... That's the Open's signature, the rough looks ugly
    FamousDavis wrote:Oops.  Luke Donald is giving it away!  Tiger doing better.  I bet Phil blows it this afternoon.
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    Re: US Open at Merion Golf Club --Unofficial thread

    Post  FamousDavis on Sat Jun 15, 2013 12:11 am

    I'm thinking +1 is going to win it.  I'm really enjoying this years Open.  Merion is turning out to be a good test.  I haven't seen too much coverage.
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    Re: US Open at Merion Golf Club --Unofficial thread

    Post  Player on Sat Jun 15, 2013 4:26 am

    I saw a bit of the coverage this morning and I gotta say that rough looked nasty, even for a US Open. I think it was the fifth hole where I heard it was playing 540 par 4 and Kuch had a hybrid second which he pulled into the thickest jungle Ive ever seen so close to a green. Its not like a 540 par 4 isnt enough challenge already, but with that rough left of the green it wajust brutal. I havent watched much but if that was an example of the whole course its a test of avoiding trouble completely, cause no way can you play any sort of recovery shot from that stuff. You hit it in the rough you are D E A D, its just a matter of how dead and if you can find it. You could never grow the rough that thick in Oz for a tourney cause it would be an ohs issue with our deadly snakes, no player would venture in to look for their ball.

    Sad to say I dont think Tiger will win, this sort of course set up turns it into a bit of a crap shoot. Tigers greatest weapon is his short game and imagination around the greens but that rough takes that out of the equation, its just chop and hope from that cabbage.
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    Pky6471

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    Re: US Open at Merion Golf Club --Unofficial thread

    Post  Pky6471 on Sat Jun 15, 2013 6:05 am

    FamousDavis wrote:I'm thinking +1 is going to win it.  I'm really enjoying this years Open.  Merion is turning out to be a good test.  I haven't seen too much coverage.



    U could be right, rain stopped and sun is coming out on Sat, rough will get rougher and nasty, Sun could have light rain,... this course is eating Pros alive.  This course is in a very expensive area outside of Philadelphia center, I know it because it's close to Villanova Law school where my son attended... Plenty of CEOs and basket ball/football players live around there...
    TW has no chance... If Phil plays well on par-5 he has a great chance to win this tourney
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    Lorenzzo

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    Re: US Open at Merion Golf Club --Unofficial thread

    Post  Lorenzzo on Sat Jun 15, 2013 11:01 am

    Yes it all works so well.  Let's say your inaction as to flight of the golf ball has resulted in the elimination of most of golf's great major tournament tests and the forced redesign of the remainder.  Further, your constituents are old men who whine all the time about why don't you have your U.S. Open at old, traditional courses.  Since you've all but run out of appropriate venues, why not?  After all, you've learned that if you trick up almost any course enough it's a test that can satisfy your nerdy dungeons and dragons mentality.  And the most accepted way of doing this is to grow out the rough to heights well beyond what the pros ever really play.  No one hits every fairway, give them a stroke for missing and at the end to the tournament the scores will validate the course.

    Fortunately you've been doing it this way for so long, people no longer notice windmill blades when they see them.  Well, a few of us do.  At 6,966 this is the shortest U.S. Open course in 20 years.  Like all par 70-s it shouldn't be in the rota at any length.

    A par 4 fest with tricked up, overgrown rough. 

    Wake me when it's over.
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    Mongrel

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    Re: US Open at Merion Golf Club --Unofficial thread

    Post  Mongrel on Sat Jun 15, 2013 12:38 pm

    I'm enjoying the hell out of it. Reminds me of when I played a club of private club golf in the 1980's at two clubs with short tricky courses that were Merion-like in their designs but with much smaller greens. Neither played more than 6,500 from the tips and both were on tracts of land containing 96 and 105 acres. These courses employed the routine defenses against the bombing crowd: small undulating greens with slick bent grass and gnarly rye and fescue rough that was only playable during dry spells. The men's tournament course record on the one course from the middle tees was 68 until a day in July of 1987 when my partner in our Member-Guest shot a 67. He played on the mini-tour in Florida in the early 1970's and was the best iron player I've ever seen. The head pro when I was a member was a good friend and would tell me about other pros, some of them on tour, who would visit and play a round with him. Some of them could almost drive the shorter par 4's but none could seem to break par on their first time there.

    So I'll watch these superstars try to hit fairways with their three and four irons and then miss and hack wedges 30 yards and make doubles and triples. Whoever ends up winning this will be one of the group who spent the time to play the course more than once prior to the commencement of festivities last Thursday morning.
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    Re: US Open at Merion Golf Club --Unofficial thread

    Post  Player on Sat Jun 15, 2013 6:06 pm

    There is a fine line between a challenging set up which will identify the best all round game and a war of attrition set up designed purely to protect par and humble the best players in the world, and this year the usga has well and truly stepped over the line. Sure that skinny buck toothed south african dufus is under par, but when you see the greatest player of all time close to double digits over par, amd the current Masters champion more than double digits you know the setup has gone overboard. The game of golf is about hitting great recovery shots as much as it is about hitting fairways, but at this course they may as well put ob posts on the edges of each fairway. This is not a test of golf and will not identify the best golfer. A true Open will have the top of the leaderboard crowded with the best players duking it out with birdies and great par saves, not a couple of nobodys lucky enough to have avoided the rough. If the only way they can protect a course is setting it up like this, its time to start choosing more apppropriate courses that arlong enough to be challenging without ridiculous rough. The US Open has lost some credibility this week, lets hope they learn from it.
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    Lorenzzo

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    Re: US Open at Merion Golf Club --Unofficial thread

    Post  Lorenzzo on Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:27 am

    One of these years I'd like to see them hold a U.S. Open in a wheatfield. In the meantime at least grow out the fairways. 

    Someday I envision a 4,600 yard course on which noone uses a wood of any kind nor breaks par.
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    Re: US Open at Merion Golf Club --Unofficial thread

    Post  Mongrel on Sun Jun 16, 2013 8:03 pm

    Let me be the first on this forum to formally congratulate Justin Rose on his 2013 U.S. Open victory. His feat is all the more remarkable in light of the  Philly crowd's overwhelming mania to see their left-handed super dad and world's best guy take the title as evidenced by their more inebriated male representatives in the gallery. Actually, I was routing for Jason Day since it would have been fitting to have an Aussie win two times in a row on this hallowed sanctuary of Traditional Golf and he gave a mighty effort. 

    As for the carping about the thick rough and the lack of length and all the irons, hybrids and fairway woods off the tees, these guys had four days of tournament play and however many practice rounds available to them and that only a few figured it out and actually hit the shots that were needed, speaks ill of the quality of professional golf on the U.S. PGA Tour level.
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    jmtbkr

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    Re: US Open at Merion Golf Club --Unofficial thread

    Post  jmtbkr on Sun Jun 16, 2013 8:21 pm

    Mongrel wrote:Let me be the first on this forum to formally congratulate Justin Rose on his 2013 U.S. Open victory. His feat is all the more remarkable in light of the  Philly crowd's overwhelming mania to see their left-handed super dad and world's best guy take the title as evidenced by their more inebriated male representatives in the gallery. Actually, I was routing for Jason Day since it would have been fitting to have an Aussie win two times in a row on this hallowed sanctuary of Traditional Golf and he gave a mighty effort. 

    As for the carping about the thick rough and the lack of length and all the irons, hybrids and fairway woods off the tees, these guys had four days of tournament play and however many practice rounds available to them and that only a few figured it out and actually hit the shots that were needed, speaks ill of the quality of professional golf on the U.S. PGA Tour level.


    Exactly!!
    Tournaments have seemed to be on manicured courses with little to no obstacles to contend with.  All too easy for todays' 'pros'.


    Kinda reminds me of what Formula 1 racing has become. All the great tracks of the past have been deemed 'too difficult because of the inherent hazards vs. todays' speeds'. So they all race on tracks designed by the same guy and all are basically copies of one another. When the F! circus arrives in Monaco, with it's 1950's track, nobody knows what to do.


    Hats off to Justin Rose!!!!  My wife picked him to win early in the week.  (smart girl!)
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    Lorenzzo

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    Re: US Open at Merion Golf Club --Unofficial thread

    Post  Lorenzzo on Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:20 pm

    What typified this tournament to me was the use of "wicker baskets" instead of flags.  Shots hitting any part of the flagstick are unlucky. Significantly increasing the size of the obstruction so as to nod some useless tradition reflects the roll the dice nature of what they did and do to hold important tournaments at courses no longer important.  If you want a reasonable test of the best, don't do this type of course, period.

    I get it if you're from Philly or you have some direct connection to the course, it's a homer-bias thing.  But there's really no defending Merion as a present day venue.
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    Horseballs

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    Re: US Open at Merion Golf Club --Unofficial thread

    Post  Horseballs on Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:44 am

    I watched a couple hours on Saturday, and from what I saw, no one was hitting good shots.  Those short par 4's were under 350, with 1 at 290.  I saw countless gutless shots from 120 and under playing to the middle of the green.  WTF?  I know it's the US Open and pars are good, but dammit, if you are a pro with a sandwedge in your hands, you are flag hunting, not hitting it to 40 feet and 2 putting. 
    Epic failure on the course set up.  They obviously wanted to entice the guys to take a crack on the green on those shorter holes, but no one did.  Hitting p#ssy 5 iron layups and missing the fairway anyhow.
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    12pierogi

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    Re: US Open at Merion Golf Club --Unofficial thread

    Post  12pierogi on Mon Jun 17, 2013 10:38 am

    I rather enjoyed the big names in the 10-20+ over at the end personally.
    I thought it was pretty funny. Phil had a good chance till the last, that eagle sparked some energy, then he had some brain farts. 
    I loved seeing there ankles disappear in the rough. It looked like a tough ass goatrack. Nerves of steel are the only ones that persevered. 
    It was a course we would lose 10 balls in a round on. Feed em fish heads.
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    Poe4soul

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    Re: US Open at Merion Golf Club --Unofficial thread

    Post  Poe4soul on Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:06 am

    While I understand the idea of deep rough as a defense, it's boring to watch.  It basically makes the tee shot paramount to the rest of the shots.  Any shot off the fairway was a hack unless you were lucky, which luck isn't a test, and got a good or decent lie.  Any shot around the green was a chunk and run or a full swing flop.  This is the main reason guys were playing to the center of the green to avoid that hanus rough.  Again, boring.  That's not golf; that's not shot making.  

    What really struck me is how poor the greens rolled.  I would bet that if you had 3 ten foot putts, 2 might track on the same line, but probably not all three.  That sucks if you can roll a putt. 

    How about Luke?  He hit that girl on the head and he might as well driven her to the hospital himself.  The commentators were saying she was OK.  I thought she looked very out of it.  She could hardly walk.  She should have just laid there and made Luke play an unplayable lie.  

    How about Striker.  One OB and one sh-sh-shankopotamus OB. Ouch! I thought he was going to cry right then and there.  To his credit, he played the rest of the round in his true and boring fashion.  

    I too was routing for Day.  I like the way he plays the game. 

    Welcome to the new tiger in majors. 'nough said about that.
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    Lorenzzo

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    Re: US Open at Merion Golf Club --Unofficial thread

    Post  Lorenzzo on Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:00 pm

    At one point while living in South OC, I was in a planned community with a homeowner board of directors for the HOA.  The typical board member was there because they had a magical combination of one or two intense agenda items and a lifetime of powerlessness.  They'd latch onto their pet peeves to the point of ridiculousness and inevitably botch the overall job because they were neither qualified nor focused to deal with it.

    That's the USGA.  They're so single minded on score they botch the overall job.  Difficult with par being a good score is fine but how you achieve that matters.  HB's right about he middle of the green stuff but the USGA brought that about by choosing predominantly red light pins.  The risk of three putting or cabbage combined with the low possibility of a near perfect shot ending up close had even Mickelson going for the fat part of the green.   Again, defending score but heading away from risk reward separating the best from the rest which is supposed to be a big part of a major test.

    I noticed Johnny Miller was having a really difficult time processing and articulating his insights.  Even the guy that's only in the booth to agree with Johnny stopped agreeing with him.

    Poe, Luke handled it all wrong.  He should have put his head down and played even better after hitting the girl.  Women may not admit it, but they like a guy who keeps it together after knocking them around a bit.
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    Kiwigolfer

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    Re: US Open at Merion Golf Club --Unofficial thread

    Post  Kiwigolfer on Mon Jun 17, 2013 4:22 pm

    Where is Edgey when you need him to come and brag about an Englishman finally winning a major. Luke Donald and Snaggletooth get all the hype but good on Justin Rose for winning.

    And what about the all important clubs he used? Another major for Taylormade.
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    Poe4soul

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    Re: US Open at Merion Golf Club --Unofficial thread

    Post  Poe4soul on Mon Jun 17, 2013 4:23 pm

    Zo,  I agree about Luke.  He mailed the round in after that point.  He should have thanked her for keeping his ball from being unplayable.  

    I have no problem with 5"+ rough 30 feet left and right of the fairway, but hell, you miss the fairway by 1 yard and you're gouging in 70 yards down the fairway.


    The most ridiculous was the 2010 US Open at Pebble.  They let the grass around the lip of the bunkers grow to 8".  So, if you made a near perfect shot and ended up just over the bunker you had a stroke or more penalty.  If you chunked it 10 yards short you had a good chance of getting up and down.  Stupid.  

    I'd like it if they made the ball spin more.  All they would have to do is make the 1960's balata dimple pattern the standard.  More spin means balls hit left or right would go way left or right.  Players would have to learn to golf the ball around the course playing different shots to the shape of the hole.  Shots like Bubba pulled off at the masters are the ones that make golf for me. Not this sissy 250 down the middle, low spin ball playing guys like Stricker.
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    Poe4soul

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    Re: US Open at Merion Golf Club --Unofficial thread

    Post  Poe4soul on Mon Jun 17, 2013 4:26 pm

    Kiwigolfer wrote:Where is Edgey when you need him to come and brag about an Englishman finally winning a major. Luke Donald and Snaggletooth get all the hype but good on Justin Rose for winning.

    And what about the all important clubs he used? Another major for Taylormade.


    Did you hear the story about Choi picking up a set of mizzy's at the local Golf Galaxy?  Off the shelf clubs - well almost.  He checked the swing weight on each and every club of the 4 set's in stock to get one set that was consistent.  Great story for mizuno if he had won. 
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    Pky6471

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    Re: US Open at Merion Golf Club --Unofficial thread

    Post  Pky6471 on Mon Jun 17, 2013 4:33 pm

    I am glad to see that Merion ate the Pros alive... and congrats to Justin.  I am pretty sure that after this tourney their brains were drained

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