Pebble Beach - Just What The U.S Open Needed. PDF Print E-mail


By Jason Bruno

The 119th edition of the United States Open also marked the 100th anniversary

for the iconic Monterey seaside destination known as Pebble Beach Golf Links.

America's national championship has had the identity as the games' sternest

test, a complete examination of both mind and endurance. But most recently

the championship has been mired in controversial rules infractions and course

set up debacles. It's no secret the event desperately needed a competition

free of the peripheral clutter.



The love affair the golfing public has with Pebble is only equaled by the Home

of Golf at St.Andrews in Scotland, so convincing anyone of the its worthiness

was not part of the narrative leading up to the championship. With USGA

Executive Director Mike Davis turning over all of his previous course set up

responsibilities to John Bodenhamer, this was a chance for a new perspective

from all participating and observing parties - players, the USGA, media and

the golfing public.





Bob Ford commands the 1st tee at Pebble Beach as the official U.S Open starter








Highly successful in past U.S Open Championships, Pebble Beach has a fifty

year lineage of iconic winners: '72 (Nicklaus), '82 (Watson), '92 (Kite), '00

(Woods winning by 15 shots) and '10 (McDowell). In fact, recently there was

a suggestion that the Stillwater Cove venue should host the championship

annually. This sentiment was wishful thinking of course, but just the mere

notion shows the stature that Pebble holds in the game.





Bodenhamer took the prudent approach of leaning a bit more on letting mother

nature dictate the course conditions and what the end result would be in terms

score. Allowing Chris Dalhamer - the Superintendent at Pebble Beach to do

what he does best was another key factor in getting the course to play flawlessly

in benign conditions, but also being fully prepared for a fair test had the weather

taken a turn for the worse. Bringing back the traditional "less greenside options"

U.S Open set up with 6 inch ankle deep "chop it out" ryegrass rough wouldn't be

my personal preference, but it is where the Far Hills hierarchy decided to go with

the set up. In the end, one could argue that with three of the best players in the

world near the top of the leaderboard on Sunday (Rose, McIlroy and Koepka)

and one who's been knocking on the door of major success for awhile (in Gary

Woodland) the USGA got it right.




So for all of the knocks the blue coats of Far Hills, N.J have taken in recent years,

lets give them an ovation for allowing Pebble Beach to shine at the 2019 United

States Open. On to Winged Foot next June . . .







Chris Dalhamer's Agronomy staff.