GET INTO GOLF: US Open, Father’s Day and the Shinnecock Hills grind
June 15, 2018
Certain holidays have ties to specific events. Some have no practical relationship, yet have become intertwined through time or tradition.
Annually, the car race known as the Indianapolis 500 takes place over the Memorial Day weekend. Car racing does not seem to have a specific correlation with Memorial Day. Yet, year in, year out, we can count on the singing of "Back Home Again in Indiana," followed by the instruction for drivers to "start your engines" on that Sunday morning.
On the other hand, one of the most natural alignments is the harmony of Father's Day and the U.S. Open Golf Championship. Many golf tournaments will move the date of their event based on circumstances: maybe they don't want to compete with another, non-golf event or they are trying to avoid inclement weather. The last round of the U.S. Open, however, is always planned for Father's Day, Sunday.
Watching a tournament winner's kids run out to their father on the final green is a wonderful sight to see and it happens almost every week on tour. On Sunday of the U.S. Open, you will see daughters and sons walking with their dad the entire round. A few of the older children will even pack the golf bag and become dad's caddy for the day.
For those playing in our nation's championship, however, this will not be a leisurely day with the grill and a sparkling pool. This will be a grind.
It seems on a weekly basis we watch these top players shooting low scores on their way to a 20 under par tournament. Not this week.
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Shinnecock Hills claims to be the oldest formal organized golf club in the United States (1891), to have the oldest golf clubhouse in the U.S. (1892), and to have been the first to admit women, which it did from the start. It plays host to its fifth U.S. Open this year.
The course measures approximately 7,500 yards with a par of just 70. There are only two par-5s, with an average of 600 yards in length and the first par-3 a scant 252 yards.
Some of the most difficult holes in the game will present themselves to the competitors and, as we now know, par is a very good score.
Now all you will need to do is let dad view Sunday's final round of the U.S. Open in relative tranquility. Happy Father's Day!
John Renslow is a PGA Class A Professional and Instructor at Alta Sierra Country Club. To contact John with your questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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