Dear USGA – It’s no wonder the game is declining

Imagine if the PGA Tour players, frustrated with the depth of the pot bunkers at Royal Birkdale, complained.

Imagine the next day you see the  R&A bring in truckloads of dirt to fill them in.

The moment I saw the USGA start cutting the rough at the U.S. Open – caving into the player’s complaints of the difficulty of the golf course – I cringed. Then I witnessed one of the most boring tournaments I have ever watched on Television.

I love major Championships. I love the challenge for the players. I love the drama. There wasn’t much drama this weekend. Why? Some factors.

    1. 60 yard wide fairways.
    2. Fairways like runways that allow everyone to hit it over 300 yards.
    3. Players are hitting irons into 663 yards par 5’s.
    4. Finishing hole – a par 5.


The most exciting hole on the course was the 9th, a short 165-yard par 3. They should have made that the finishing hole. There was more drama on that hole than any other hole on the course.


I can’t figure out the USGA. They waged war against the long putter – but they won’t grow the rough and narrow fairways? Go figure.

It’s no wonder the game is declining. They are creating an elitist sport where only the longest can survive. It’s becoming a long drive contest.


So I’ll repeat it. I love the Open Championship where the game began – because the pot bunkers and playable lies keep the players in check. Every shot becomes risk/reward.

Risk and Rewards are what create drama. Just imagine a course where Driver of the tee gives you a huge advantage where you can slide a wedge into a flag. Yes, you can hit driver on every hole – if you dare. Go ahead, take the risk but if you miss the fairway, it guarantees double bogey.

Or, maybe you chose a more conservative strategy and played an iron from the tee leaving a more delicate approach to an unforgiving green. Your strategy is to pay your way around the course – saving the risk for the weekend.

Welcome to the Open Championship. That’s why I love it.

Yes, I was disappointed it the USGA and the U.S. Open. That doesn’t take away the incredible play of Brooks Kopeka. He played great. What a great athlete – he was long overdue.

Oh by the way, don’t worry, the R&A aren’t going to fill in the pot bunkers.




2 comments on “Dear USGA – It’s no wonder the game is declining”
  1. Bruce Kelso says:

    I agree. Of course, the rough doesn’t have to be 25 inches long to be effective. But having narrow fairways, 6 inch rough and firm greens would make it more of a challenge and more exciting to watch. That’s what I remember U.S. Opens to be about.

    That being said, I played in a tournament this weekend in the Senior division. The first round I played with a 19 yr old who drove 3 par 4’s over 360 yards…pretty impressive…he shot 77. I piped it all day long and shot 72. It’s still about getting the ball in the hole and the short game.

    Oh, by the way, I won the Seniors by 5. 72-74 with a 3-club wind the second day. Thank you SPGS.


  2. Steve clay says:

    Your right Todd I hate betting my younger bud they have to much power , out drive me by 50 and I’m not that long at 250 but let’s face it that’s 3 clubs shorter into green just glad my short game is better , but they always want to play 6700 yards that’s not fun for those shorter hitters at all


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