What I'll Remember About the U.S. Open

Jun 24, 2009 at 5:24 am
You know, it's funny; I really love playing golf. Why is that funny, you ask? Because I also happen to despise the game of golf itself. 

The U.S. Open is over, the champion has been crowned, and I have to say, I hated every second of it. All tournament long, the various commentators and talking heads complained just how unmemorable the whole thing was this year, and I have to agree with them. Almost. 

There is one thing that I will remember. 

See, there are a bunch of reasons why I don't like golf, but they really all come down to one thing: arrogance. In no other sport on earth do you routinely see the athletes bitch and moan and blame their mistakes on a person twenty feet away from them for having the absolute gall to cough. They are, without question, the most spoiled athletes on earth. Even tennis players, themselves painfully spoiled prima donnas, don't complain about noise, at least not after a point has started. 

My father, younger brother, and myself recently played an upscale course for Father's Day, and were charged the sum of $225 for the three of us to play. Not only had this course, which shall remain nameless, refused to lower their prices in order to adapt to a changing economy, the man at the counter actually laughed when I mentioned the idea. He was apparently proud of the fact that not as many people could afford to play his course; the experience of those who still could afford it is better with less people out there. 

But of all the arrogance that I've seen from the game of golf over the years, even I was stunned at the absolute temerity of the USGA when faced with a very large group of people with useless tickets. See, when rain forced Thursday play to be cancelled after a little over three hours, all the people with tickets to that day were essentially left with nothing. And what was the response of the USGA and the PGA? 

Well, to be frank, their response was sort of along the lines of, "Man, that sucks. Fuck off." 

Of course, there was an uproar, and the USGA was forced to reconsider its position. The final deal offered was admittance to the tournament on Monday, or a 50% refund if things finished up on Sunday. Luckily for the ticketholders, there was golf on Monday. 

Let's face it, though: the initial response from the USGA was the honest one, the one they really meant. And that response was to tell their customers that sorry, but you get nothing. 

It was a little funny, to be honest, because all week long, we heard about the fact that Bethpage Black, the course on which the Open was played this year, is a public course, one that has hosted the U.S. Open not once, but twice this decade. See, golf isn't just for the wealthy who can afford a country club membership! This place is open to the public! The public, I say! Have you ever heard such a thing? Why, I'll wager that even negroes are welcome here! Yet when the public, the supposed constituents of the USGA and the people playing Bethpage each weekend in cutoffs, was screwed out of what they paid for, the first response of David Fay and the rest of his association was to simply turn their backs. 

And that, my friends, is what I will remember about the U.S. Open this year. I won't remember who won (in fact, I think I may have already forgotten), or any great shots, or even the course itself. No, what I'll remember is the USGA looking around at the people it's built upon, and declaring that it doesn't need them.