US Open…

I know most people consider golf as boring as watching grass grow and I understand.

But… Having said that, I’ve played at it since high school and always enjoyed, most of the time enjoyed it… Okay, okay, I played flog more than golf, but still…

Thanks to being the Navy, I did get the chance to play a lot of interesting courses over the years, and was able to work the Players Championship in Jacksonville a couple of years. I’ve also worked a few other tournaments too.

One of the courses I was lucky enough to play was Torry Pines at ‘Navy’ rates a few times over the years, so I’ve actually walked that course just like the pros. It’s a public course, so it gets a good bit of play and when the wind is blowing, it is TRULY a challenge!

I’ll be the first to admit they out hit me with EVERY club in their bags. On a ‘good’ day, I’m barely over 210 yards with the driver, and 100 yards with a wedge. They’re hitting over 320 with drivers, and 150-170 with their wedges.

What really amazes me is their shotmaking ability and accuracy. And their putting… So yes, I’ll admit I watch golf… If for no other reason than to see actual head to head competition, where there aren’t any excuses for how well or badly they shoot. Golf is definitely NOT a team sport, and I know some people say they aren’t athletes, but I’d challenge you to go out and walk 4-5 miles a day, up and down hills, and swinging a club 60-100 times a day, week after week in all kinds of weather.

I believe the quality of the golfers today is a direct result of Tiger Woods and his ascendancy in the golf world. He popularized the sport world-wide that was basically a ‘rich old man’s sport’, and started kids all over the world playing golf. We’re seeing the results of that now on the leaderboards with all the different countries represented. At one point, there was a South African, a Spaniard, an American, and an Irishman in the top four slots. Rahm from Spain won it with two huge puts on the last two holes.

One other point- Lots of folks don’t realize that most of the course workers are volunteers, unpaid other than maybe a round or two of free golf at the location. This allows the tournaments to donate a lot of money, $204 million in 2019 and $3.9 billion over all the years. Philanthropic contributions, including those from professional tournaments, are a huge part of the industry, with the majority of funds going to causes outside of the sport like hospitals, youth development groups, food banks, and programs in local communities the PGA Tour visits.

I don’t believe any of the other ‘sports’ match that…



US Open… — 19 Comments

  1. A good walk, spoiled.

    JK. I actually used to like golf but got out of it for reasons and haven’t played but once in years. The once was right before the WuFlu when a friend wanted company as he got into it. I made it to 14 before starting to flag and couldn’t play the 18th hole at all. With a cart and I still can’t remember when I’ve been so tired. And I’m in pretty good shape. A lot of walking, though.

  2. A relative of hubby’s used to play on the pga tour. Mostly retired now. He jokes that he golfed to support his fishing habit. But we did get to see him play at Pebble Beach a while back. Gorgeous course!

  3. My dad was a bowler, and quite good at it. Every year, he’d borrow my uncle’s clubs to play at the company golf outing.

    He got the booby prize one year in the ’60s for a total that approached his bowling score. The scarred ball on top of the prize was replaced by what was left of one of the balls my father did in.

    OTOH, he had a blast doing it.

  4. I’ve never gotten to play – and at this point I’m too old to start – but I did get into watching it when my first child was born. I was on bedrest, then had a newborn, wintertime in New England, stuck inside with my TV choices being soaps and golf. I learned to follow the rules because it was better to watch something with sunshine and green grass for my mental health! My favorite player became Payne Stewart, for his garb and sportsmanship. Not long after his death I stopped following the game.

  5. Two great puts to win. Makes up for the bogus covid test two weeks ago.

  6. What did Cooper say? Something like a golf course is a perfect way to ruin a range or something…

    Always wanted to try it but never got around to it. For various reasons. Like, well, vampires have better resistance to sunshine than me, allergies to the color green and so forth. Plus, well, you don’t normally get to hit someone when golfing, as my sporting tastes went to something more kinetic…

    Still, always wondered. And even a half-decent golf course is a wonderful greenspace in the middle of urban sprawl.

    And, like so many sports, watching a movie about it makes it easier to watch. 🙂

  7. Playing it might be alright. But Pa worked as a cameraman and had a well-earned hatred of the game. And it was ages before I realized the real point of much golf was to bypass open meeting laws.

  8. Every AF base I was at had a golf course. Never got the interest in it.

    The only holes I played were the 33 missile launch control centers I was in.

  9. Went to a golf course for a meeting.

    As I was waiting, the TVs were showing a big golf event. Saw a lot of shots that looked like they had just barely missed.

    At that point, it seemed like much of the purpose of golf became clear.

  10. I’d rather you fired off the balls with a 9 or a wedge and I used them as trap… and that would be pretty darn fun.

  11. My favorite aunt and uncle were golfers. They lived across the street from the country club golf course, and in the evening Uncle Walt would take me over for the back nine. I really enjoyed it, but my father thought it a waste of time – I could easily be at home doing chores.

    Although I never played it, I’ve been to Sawgrass. The landscaping is absolutely magnificent. Given that this is Florida, if you don’t cut it once a week – it grows. You also have to run off the livestock, which ranges from cockroaches that are large enough to roll you in the parking lot, all the way up to 10 foot ‘gators and 18 foot snakes. Then there’s the wild hogs.

    Nice place, but you should always go heeled.

  12. I play at golf…35 handicap. I like to get my money’s worth, ha ha.

    Back in the mid/late 60’s, I used to caddy for my Dad at Torrey Pines. We walked the course, me pulling his clubs in the “club cart”. I don’t recall them having drivable golf carts back then.

    My reward was dad taking me to the cliffs by La Jolla to watch the sail planes take off. I don’t think para sailing was a thing back then either. Those were the days!

  13. I’m with LL. That said, my Grandmother, maternal, LOVED golf. And I’m no expert but think it was pretty spiffy back in the day. Knock that ball around the links then retire to the clubhouse.

    Our version is more exciting. Hit the ball, watch it land, then knock it outta the rough with rifle fire. Or pistol. Perhaps.

  14. “Golf – a frustrating endeavor to launch a small round projectile into an even smaller round target with totally inadequate weapons” = posted over the door to the golf coaches office at Treasure Valley Community College 50 (or so) years ago……………
    Full Disclosure – I have a golf trophy – for the worst score at the all services E9 Tournament about 15 years ago. Nope, I am not a golfer……..

  15. I used to play at golf but had to give it up when I fouled up my back for the umpteenth time. It’s a glorious game. I have few better memories than playing 18 on a particular local course with 3 good friends in October, with the leaves in full autumn glory. I’ll miss playing until I’m no longer around to miss anything.