I can’t help but wonder about the USGA’s timing of their “While We’re Young” campaign against slow play. I find it interesting that they launched this campaign during the week of the largest golf tournament in the U.S. and one that is notorious for slow play. I almost feel like it’s a warning to the golfers in the field that they are going to be handing out slow play penalties. It will be interesting to watch the week unfold. For anyone who have been living under a rock, “While We’re Young” is a nod to Caddyshack and is the line that Al Czervik yells at Judge Smails while the judge is going through a goofy pre-shot routine on the 1st tee. I’ve been saying it to my friends for years so I’m glad to see the USGA getting on board. It will be interesting to see if they practice what they preach this week at the U.S. Open. Here is a video clip of the Czervik/Smails exchange. I apologize for the 10 second commercial before the video plays, but I couldn’t find one without the commercial.
On another note, I’ve been talking with some friends who have visited Merion this week and who have also played a considerable number of rounds on Merion’s East Course over the years. As tough as everyone is saying the course is set up, I am hearing that the “eyebrows” (see photo below for example) around the bunkers which normally consist of very thick, gnarly grass have been trimmed back to make them a little more playable for the pros. If that is indeed the case the players this week are lucky because I’ve tangled with that stuff when it is knee high and it is NOT a fun experience. Whenever the U.S. Open is at Oakmont there is always discussion of how the USGA slows the greens down from what the members play them at and it would appear that there may be a similar correlation at Merion and that their members, like the Oakmont members, are a little harder on themselves than the USGA likes to be on the pros.
So excited that the U.S. Open has finally started and can’t wait to see the course on television this week!!!! I hope everyone enjoys the coverage!!!