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8661 Deer Run Dr, Victoria, MN 55386
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Thoughts on the US Open

  |   Newsletter

Greetings Golfers,

The reaction to last week’s U.S. Open has been pretty brutal. Not a lot of love for the golf course or the tournament … and especially all of the negative reactions to the USGA’s rulings.

I think the intense reaction is the result of a lot of pent up hard feelings. People know – consciously or unconsciously – that something is wrong with golf.

The problem with golf is that it has evolved into two different games – Tournament Golf and Recreational Golf – but the USGA will not recognize that fact. In their attempt to keep it one game, they have managed to screw-up both games.

Imagine if Major League Baseball allowed “hot” balls and metal bats. Every ball park in America would be obsolete and the fundamental nature of the game would be changed. It’s great to go to Wrigley or Fenway and compare modern players to Ted Williams or Ernie Banks. I’d love to see the same Oakmont golf course that Hogan played and compare Dustin Johnson using wooden woods and a balata ball.

Let Recreational Golfers use metal drivers and “hot” balls – but don’t ruin Tournament Golf with that stuff.

And let Recreational Golfers relax. A basic round of golf is not the U.S. Open. Last Sunday on Father’s Day I played golf with my sons – we didn’t keep score. Is that a violation of my USGA Handicap – was I trying to get away with not posting a score?

You’re going to hear a million arguments about the problems at the U.S. Open. But the root of the problem is not accepting that golf has evolved into two different games – Tournament Golf and Recreational Golf.


Tom Abts
GM and Head Golf Professional