The week before the US Open…

…is not a week PGA Tour events like to be put. The US Open is probably the most mentally tough week in golf and most players relax themselves the week before to prepare.

How ironic I am writing about a golf tournament named for the patron saint of lost causes. ๐Ÿ˜€

I didn’t watch much of the St. Jude, but I have a few thoughts.

I would like to see Karlsson not freeze over the ball so long before he pulls the trigger…and not collapse his spine at impact. He has a good hip turn and a great release, but that hook on 17 would probably go away if he didn’t disintegrate coming into the ball. IMO, that is tough for a tall guy to do and not suffer some injuries as well.

When two players are way ahead of the field and that “match play” mode takes over, it can provide some interesting results…and this was no different.

I hate the term “decel.” I use it and McCord used it on Frazar’s putt on 16. I don’t think it describes things properly and people use that term to screw up the fix and over accelerate without fixing the transition or steer. I prefer steer or bad transition.

Frazar’s putter grip looks like something a loan shark would beat you to death with if you were late in repayment.

Those closing holes at 17 and 18 are nasty and they took a bite out of Karlsson and Frazar at the end of regulation. winning the first time when you don’t do it right away is hard. An invite to Augusta on the line doesn’t help any. 11 and 12 (playoff), weren’t peaches either.


There should actually be a penalty for missing the fairway that doesn’t involve losing your ball.

As I always say. Too many 1 and 2 shot penalties in golf course design today and not enough 1/2 shot penalties.




    • meateater

      Monte, I couldn’t agree more. Rough has apparently been secretly banned at Tour events. It’ll be interesting to see if they have any this week. I always suspected they started the low rough policy at the Open to give Tiger and his wild drives a better chance. It seemed like an awfully convenient coincidence. Open winners used to have to be able to find the fairway and putt super fast greens, think Shinnecock. Not so much anymore, and I for one think they lost a lot of what made it special.

  1. s

    You write, “I would like to see Karlsson not freeze over the ball so long before he pulls the triggerโ€ฆ”

    You would have loved Moe Norman. Watching his normal-speed videos on Youtube, it is almost impossible to capture a freeze-frame of him at address. He put the club down, and he went, quicker than you can press the PAUSE button.

    I didn’t watch much of the tournament either (may catch some replay). Not sure what you mean by “collapse his spine at impact. … disintegrate coming into the ball.” This must be video taken from the Hank Haney position. What is happening is not what it looks like.

    • s

      Here is a new one…a reply to myself. We learned about “frame of reference” in high school. Example:

      Take a pendulum swinging back-and-forth. Now, take the Haney position, directly in line with the swinging arm, not from the side (where you could see the arc).

      From that position, the observer studying video would conclude that the pendulum ball is bouncing on a some kind of rubber string, with the string getting longer (as the ball approaches the bottom of the arc) and the string getting shorter (as the ball approaches the top of its swing in each direction.

      This is not meant to be an exact analogy, just an illustration of frame of reference. If you use the wrong frame of reference, it looks like the sun if orbiting the earth.

    • s.

      For Calvin:—what you see depends on where you are.

      You see the sun orbit the earth. It’s not true. Astronomers see planets in the sky traveling in one direction and then reverse it (retrograde motion). It’s only apparent, not real.

      The Haney view encourages people to see things that aren’t there, and draw conclusions that aren’t true.

      • Calvin D

        OK. But I don’t know what the “Haney View” is.

      • s.

        The “Haney view” is on the target line, with the ball and the golfer between the observer and the target.

  2. banner12

    With regard to US Open setups, the following are comments by Dave Eger who at one time was responsible for doing just that:


    “With regard to US Open set ups, I only go personally back to 1983 at Oakmont. Yes, I’ve read and heard all the set ups Joe Dey had (Oakland Hills called by Hogan as “the Monster” and the ridiculous rough at Olympic when Fleck beat Hogan. Starting in 1983 at Oakmont when it wet weather forced a Monday finish and ending with in 1995 at Shinnecock Hills, I either witnessed or implemented the set ups. PJ had some tough years using his judgement when either sabotaged by host clubs (Oakmont in ’83 when the rough was fertilized unbeknownst to him) or overruled or controlled by overzealous Championship Chairmen (Winged Foot in ’74). He pretty much used his knowledge as a good player in his set ups. in fact, at Olympic in 1987 he had the 17th and 18th greens only single cut each day (and we all know what a debacle the 18th green, particularly the Friday hole placement caused in 1998. ”

    “My set ups started in 1992. My philosophy was that things should be difficult but not nearly impossible. My rule of thumb was to never set up a hole or shot I was unable to play myself. I frequently moved par three tees around so players would have to play a long shot, a short iron and two medium length shots. I also moved tees on par fours and fives for interest or weather conditions. Starting with Pebble Beach, it had just been regrassed everywhere except the greens with rye and I chose to widen most of the fairways given the overall firmness and slopes on several holes (2, 6, 9, 10, 11 & 15). Without a forecast of sun and wind on Sunday, the course played well. 1993 was at Baltusrol Lower. Though there’s a lot of history with US Opens there, the course in my estimation lacks character except for a few holes. Rees Jones had built a few new tees, expanded some greens and reshaped a few bunkers. Without a sufficient irrigation system and with a bone dry spring, the rough outside the gallery ropes was dry and wispy. The course played relatively easy for players whose drives ended up in these roughs as they could easily bounce & roll balls onto greens that had no fronting bunkers. ”

    At Oakmont in 1994 I was unable to make any set up changes to the way the Women’s Open played the course in 1992 as the club got the USGA to agree to that. The course played OK but I had a Championship Chairman who insisted on setting up the course (mainly hole placements on greens) that were frequently too much on slopes (best score on #2 was 6 and everyone three putted #6 in playoff). Ironically, the green speeds started the morning at 12 feet but by late in the afternoon had slowed to 10 1/2′ due to the poa anna growing. And, there even was a drivable par four every day! 1995 at Shinnecock Hills was the best of the four US Opens I set up. I was left alone for the set up and was able to widen quite a few fairways from where they were for 1986. I also selected some areas around greens to be fairway cut grass, thus allowing something other than blast shots from long, thick rough around these greens (I think nearly every green had some of this). I do remember Virgil Sherrill wanting to build the new tee on #17. Fortunately, the wind blew from three directions during the four rounds and the new tee was used on either Thursday or Friday when it was right to left. I do remember bumping into a member at dinner on Friday and was blasted for the course playing too easy! Sunday night his opinion had changed, needless to say. When I left, for the next few years, set ups were done by a long time staff member whose handicap might have been 8. His method was to go back to “balls to the walls” golf. ”

    “The US Opens at Bethpage and Shinnecock Hills did nothing to improve the opinion of the USGA, especially with players and the media. Mike Davis’s philosophy is sound and liked for several reasons but none more than the simple set up mistakes or poor judgement between 1996 & 2004. There have been drivable par fours (Cherry Hills & Oakmont) but his graduated rough, which was implemented at Pebble Beach in 1992 but wasn’t liked by a certain USGA past president, has been his best implemented change of thinking. I applaud the USGA in selecting him to not only set up the US Open courses but to have him running the joint.”

    • meateater

      This is exactly the mentality I disagree with. If someone wants to play the 84 Lumber liquidators Invitational with 100 yard wide fairways , no rough and slow greens, suit your self, but not the US Open. The ’95 and ’04 Opens at shinnecock are instrucitve. ’95, which Eger thinks was so great, produced a mediocre winner, Corey Pavin, a nice player who got a lot out of his talent but clearly not in the class of a Hogan or Nicklaus. ’04 produced the single greatest round of golf I have ever seen, Reteif Goosen’s magnificent final 18 on a track that the game’s greats were struggling to break 80 on. So what if the players squawked? Do you think Hogan would have been whining that the course was too hard?

      You absolutely should not be able to win the US Open playing bomb and gouge. You should have to hit fairways, hold rock hard greens with long approach shots and deal with putts that make your hands shake.


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