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Last Week’s US Open

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Greetings Golfers,

Ratings were down for last week’s US Open. Was the problem the course, FOX’s coverage, or just golf itself?

I think it was all three. Ironically, I love Erin Hills … but I don’t think it’s a US Open course … more of a PGA Championship golf course. Too long and too wide open … plays into the hands of bombers instead of Hogan-type control shotmakers.

FOX’s coverage was boring … but I think most televised golf coverage is boring. Way too much putting … way too much hopping around … too much dumb swing analysis … not enough strategy analysis … too much of a phony tone. I don’t want loud and obnoxious like it’s “Pro” Wrestling … but I’d like a tone that feels more like a conversation between real people.

Real people = Tour players and Tour swings. Is that a fit? Not for me. I feel like these kids were just shoved out on Tour out of a life-long golf camp. Tennis went through that stage and died. Around 30 years ago I went to a tennis camp in Tampa that had those year round “students”. It was really creepy. They took that “charm” to the Pro Circuit.

What is “pure” golf? I think it’s more like the Scottish shepherds who invented the game by hitting rocks with their walking canes and winning a shot of whisky. Or when we played neighborhood sports as a kid.

I like the modern stuff to make golf easier – clubs, balls, carts, etc. But, I don’t like the modern atmosphere that is sterile, lifeless, and false.

I’d like to see the US Open adopt a rotation of courses – like they do at the British Open. Old school venues like Merion, Oakmont, etc. Because that’s the US Open. I also enjoy crazy tournaments like the Phoenix Open or last year’s Ryder Cup. There’s room for both. But I think the hybrid is neither fish nor fowl.


Tom Abts
GM and Head Golf Professional