I think this week’s U.S. Open serves as a both a lesson given and a lesson learned for the USGA.
The term ‘embrace the brown’, the vaunted organization’s term for the game’s contribution to greener planet (is that some sort of an oxymoron?), has been received loud and clear.
Limiting watering systems to a single file line down the middle of the fairways is both brilliant and derivative of a time when real men hacked and hewed their way through chafe and hard pan and willowing, wispy wisteria. Lush foot high rough and razor clipped fairways be damned. Today’s three hundred yards and a cloud of dust is a throwback, and I think, as real sports fans, we love it.
The lesson learned is simple: let the big boys eat. Don’t force them to wedge out sideways from grass you could hide a wolverine in. Give them an option. Let ‘em take a rip at the green from the sandy, “native grass” areas that look like the little league field I grew up on. Let the best players in the world make their own decisions.
That’s a key component in life’s drama, isn’t it? Make a decision and live with the consequences? It’s not like the ball is teed up for them in there. It’s ratty. Sometimes it ends up in a playable situation, and sometimes it nestles next to one of those clumpy, green and yellow-tipped Don King wigs. Kind of like the little white ball going round and round the roulette wheel, where it lands might make you rich, or it might break the bank. Drama.
Photo via Twitter/@PGATOUR
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