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The USGA hastily mowed the fescue at Erin Hills

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Wet weather looks to be on the way to Erin Hills, which would make the already dense fescue in the course’s native areas even more treacherous. That, and a storm of player discontent over rough length is already brewing early in U.S. Open week (see Lee Westwood, Kevin Na).

Per USGA officials: the fourth, 12th, 14th, and 18th holes received a haircut ahead of the start of competition.

Predictably, the mass weedwhacking effort was quite the social media sensation, with players and reporters flooding the Twitterverse with pictures and commentary.

Golf Digest’s Joel Beall tweeted this picture of the operation.

And Ian Carter had this.

But wanting to get the full story, I went right to the affected party: Erin Hills’ fescue, which had an interesting take in assigning blame.

All jokes aside, this degree of responsive shows just how badly the USGA feels it “needs a good U.S. Open,” as chief executive Mike Davis said.

Credit to Golfdom for the featured image.

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18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Dave R

    Jun 20, 2017 at 11:52 pm

    Guys the fairways are 50 yards wide really.

  2. rebfan73

    Jun 16, 2017 at 7:30 am

    Looks like the USGA has employed my dad…….he LOVES to use the weed whacker.

  3. letsplay36

    Jun 14, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    The USGA is fopr better or worse a good steward of the American game of golf.
    However, the top brass of the USGA is out of touch with the public to which it is allegedly reaching out.

  4. Phil

    Jun 14, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    The real question, how many golf balls did they find in there?

  5. touchk

    Jun 14, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    I can hardly wait to hear what Brandel Chamblee has to say about it! LOL!

  6. Big Wally

    Jun 14, 2017 at 11:22 am

    I don’t think the USGA trimming the fescue in a few spots is nearly the reactionary response this website and a few dorky twitter heads make it out to be just to get clicks.
    It was more a reaction to the very wet, rainy conditions and the fact some of fescue was being caught by the irrigation water.
    Let’s see how the tournament plays out. It is theYS Open- it is supposed to be difficult

  7. 8thehardway

    Jun 14, 2017 at 11:21 am

    12 balls/day lost in the fescue, or found but have to be examined for ownership, lie, etc then chipped out sideways, or are moved during the search and a rules official must be found… and they still have to hit a provisional to be safe. An easy hour added. Somebody must have done the math.

  8. Double Mocha Man

    Jun 14, 2017 at 10:36 am

    Like the azaleas at the Masters, the crashing ocean waves at Pebble Beach, the raucous crowds at the 16th hole at the Waste Management we all look forward to the griping over conditions at the U.S. Open every year. Life wouldn’t be the same or as colorful without it.

  9. touchk

    Jun 14, 2017 at 10:33 am

    I have no sympathy for whatever complaints hit the wire or desk at the USGA. A chance to shine and their ego’s push them in some demented direction year after year. Erin Hills is beautiful, but also very difficult if left to decision makers for course set-up and play that have a different idea on what’s a tough challenge for all and what’s borderline ridiculous. Even if they are all playing the same course, what’s the point? Luckily for them tradition is what’s bringing people back. And I don’t mean the tradition of most difficult play. The tradition of a long history of the Open and being one of many who have tried to get their name etched on the trophy. On another note, what are they trying to grow? The model has been dead for a while. No new golf courses really needed. They are not sustainable. If you build one now, after all the cost are paid, millennials nor most average golfer can’t afford to play it. Maybe they should pick one site, let an architect who is known for designing difficult courses push one out that is so damn hard that nobody wants to play it and call it home to the Open. I know that doesn’t make sense and I’m not a fan of doing that….but it is seemingly what they inadvertently do year after year. Look at the list for future Opens and do some research on what is being done to prepare. Any article will mention two things, it’s being toughed up a bit and lengthened. Go figure. This trend isn’t stopping for a while. I tip my hat to the Superintendent at Erin Hills for doing what they asked in the beginning to now have to direct all his attention to chopping it down to save the necks of the USGA representatives.

  10. robin

    Jun 14, 2017 at 10:31 am

    I would rather watch a pga event than the US open. The field will have a ton of qualifiers and a bunch players from the Web.com tour who had time to qualify. It should be,
    The top 50 money leaders win a automatic tee time each year . The rest can earn a spot threw qualification.

    • Ryan Carver

      Jun 14, 2017 at 12:27 pm

      It’s an Open, it’s not a PGA event. Open, as in anyone can try and qualify.

  11. Nigel Kent

    Jun 14, 2017 at 9:53 am

    I suggest that if the best 156 golfers in the world can’t play 4 rounds on a competition course , they should hold it on a pitch-and-putt 9 hole. Or, if that’s too hard for them, at a driving range with 9 splash-ponds, winner gets a 6″ plastic trophy and NO MONEY . Cheers all, Nige .

  12. birdie

    Jun 14, 2017 at 9:48 am

    the us open setup has nothing to do with a setup intended to ‘grow the game’. there is a tournament every other week of the year that can do that. the us open is meant to be the toughest yet fair event of the year to reward the best golfer who is both a great player and mentally tough. i couldn’t disagree more with the people who whine about the greens not being green enough or the course too long. this course setup isn’t meant for amateurs.

  13. Tiger Woods

    Jun 14, 2017 at 9:36 am

    Not one player who can actually win this thing complained about the fescue…….

  14. Patricknorm

    Jun 14, 2017 at 9:24 am

    Good move thankfully from the USGA . Look at the pointy heads who run these events, it always seems that par is their target for a winning score. So, if making the greens brown because they aren’t watered enough and cut too low is a way to grow the game, then count me out. If cutting the fescue to make it less penal then count me in.
    I can tell you right now that golf has a problem with growth. Young people are not helping to grow the game. It’s time spent playing, money and other persuits like their phones , laptops or tablets.
    If the USGA is serious and more importantly, committed to growing golf then, be proactive not so much reactive.
    Baby boomers like myself exponentially grew the game, now as we all age and drop off the face of the earth golf must adapt . It’s a great game, let’s keep it relevant for millenials.

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WATCH: PGA Tour players play hole blindfolded and it’s hilarious/amazing

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As part of a Srixon campaign, four PGA Tour players recently participated in a three-hole challenge, with each hole being a different game; hole No. 1 was blindfolded, hole No. 2 was costumes and distractions, and hole No. 3 was alternate shot with a baseball bat. The teams were Smylie Kaufman and Sam Ryder against Shane Lowry and Grayson Murray.

Watch the full video below, since it is quite entertaining (albeit not the type of golf that Old Tom Morris surely had in mind), but in particular, make sure to check out the first hole where Lowry and Ryder play a full hole completely blind folded. It’s amazing to watch how badly Ryder struggles, and how Lowry nearly makes par.

Cleveland-Srixon’s marketing department has been hard at work crafting these viral-esque ad campaigns; if you remember, former long-drive champion Jamie Sadlowski recently dressed as 80-year-old Grandpa Jamie to fool range-goers. That video has since gathered over 1.2 million views on YouTube.

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Think you had a bad weekend on the course? At least you didn’t do this

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We hope this golfer didn’t take the ultra-premium golf equipment plunge before sending his clubs to a watery grave. Either way, this was an expensive (and strangely calm) reaction to a bad round.

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19th Hole

Tiger Woods battles terrifying deep-sea creature, wins

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With four tweets since July 21st, Tiger Woods is exposing himself on social media in a way we haven’t seen.

And with his latest tweet, he’s…exposing himself in a way we haven’t seen.

A shirtless-and-swimsuited Woods appears holding what he purports to be a lobster (but what looks more like a monster of the deep sea).

Nothing like it, indeed.

He’s lucky to have escaped with his life after battling that horrifying crustacean. Spiny lobsters, apparently, don’t have claws, but somehow that doesn’t make them any less terrifying, as they look poised to impale you and carry you off to their reefy lairs.

Not sure how big the beast in Woods grasp actually is, but it pales in comparison to this 14-pound creature from your nightmares.

14_pound_lobster_caught_near_Bermuda_0_48217534_ver1.0_640_480Anyway, Woods has been on something of a grand tour of late it seems, taking in a friendly version of El Clasico in Miami and posing with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

All of this is good to see. It was two months ago that Woods entered rehab following his now-infamous Memorial Day arrest for impaired driving.

What this portends for his future on the golf course is unclear, but you’d assume the 14-time major champion is feeling pretty good if he’s free diving after monsters of the deep.

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19th Hole

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