Has the U.S. Open Lost its Identity?

Metro Creative

This year’s U.S. Open was a great tournament in many aspects.

The golf course looked beautiful. Erin Hills will certainly become a popular getaway destination based on the coverage it received that week.

Brooks Koepka was outstanding, and he will most certainly be a player to reckon with moving forward.

So, the U.S. Open provided us with a beautiful golf course and a great champion. However, it just didn’t feel like a U.S. Open while I was watching it.

Growing up playing golf, I always recognized the four major championships in different ways.

The Masters was always fun to watch because of the beauty of Augusta National.

The British Open was always fun to watch because the weather was usually awful, and the tournament came on early in the morning.

The PGA Championship was always fun to watch because it was the final major championship, and that made it special.

But the U.S. Open, on the other hand, was always fun to watch because the golf courses were so difficult that it became a survival test for all of the players.

It no longer feels that way.

The U.S. Open has generally been played on golf courses that had history, and were extremely demanding. The fairways were narrow, the rough was thick, and the greens were firm.

For these reasons, even par had become the score to measure yourself against. Koepka just won the U.S. Open by shooting 16-under par and tying the all-time scoring record, set by Rory McIlroy in 2011.

At one point, I believe that there were over 50 golfers under par for the tournament. That’s a far stretch from what the U.S. Open has always prided itself on, and I hope it doesn’t happen again any time soon.

I can appreciate the United States Golf Association for their mission of introducing new venues to host our national championship.

However, I would prefer to see the PGA Championship played on these courses, instead.  The U.S. Open should stick with a rotation of the historic venues we are more accustomed to.

Courses such as Pebble Beach, Oakmont, Merion, Winged Foot, Pinehurst and the site of next year’s championship Shinnecock Hills.

There are other courses that can be included, but you get my point.

Major championships in golf need an identity.

Much like majors in tennis, where the tournaments are identified by the playing surface. I believe that the USGA should step back from attempting to introduce us to new venues, and should just stick with the standard courses we are accustomed to.

I’d enjoy it more, and I suspect that many of you would, as well.

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