Lucky for those of us who love the game of golf, Dustin Johnson won the U.S. OPEN. The USGA and its foibles have been the subject of many a golf discussion, not only in the media, but on the tee box of the first hole on innumerable golf courses around the world. I remember my dad joining the USGA and then quitting not long afterwards because of the stupidity of the ruling body of golf in the United States. He said the Royal and Ancient Golf Association was just as bad. It seems the USGA cannot get out of its own way.
I was watching the Open on Fox the final day. I had been following the tournament the whole way through, right from the first shot of the first day. I didn’t think I could get tired of the game I love, but I was wrong. There was some mighty bad golf being played and the USGA had set up the course to be so unforgiving as to be ridiculous. The best players in the world couldn’t break par.
News flash to the USGA: People don’t want to watch the best players in the world shoot 80. And the Oakmont membership had decided to cut down 15,000 trees? That’s what Joe Buck said on Sunday. I thought I was hearing things. I wasn’t…they had cut down 15,000 trees in an effort to make an American golf course look like and play like a British golf course. That in itself is ridiculous.
And then the USGA decided to make the greens so fast that the golf ball wouldn’t stay still. It would roll on its own. I’ve always thought The Masters was ridiculous with its greens. I mean, they even kicked Gary McCord off the broadcast for saying they didn’t cut the greens, they bikini-waxed them. That made everybody who was watching laugh. It was good entertainment. But the blue-noses who run The Masters didn’t think so. So Oakmont ruins its course. The USGA makes the greens unputtable.
Then, even though the USGA had a rules official walking with every group, the guys in charge, Mike Davis being the main culprit, decide to invoke a one stroke penalty on Dustin Johnson, but not until the end of the round. What? And when did they decide to tell him? On the fifth hole where the ball moved? No, that would be too intelligent. On the twelfth tee box. Great. Three of the top players in the world tweeted their disgust with the USGA, right there on national TV. Great publicity for the USGA when three of the best players call you out while the tournament is being broadcast. The USGA ‘kinda’ apologized later, saying they wished they could have a mulligan. Sorry, fellas, mulligans are against the rules.