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Mike Davis to turn over US Open setup duties


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#1 gvogel

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 03:54 PM

Beginning with this year’s championship at Pebble Beach, USGA CEO Mike Davis is voluntarily stepping away from his longtime lead role in setting up the golf course at U.S. Opens.

Although none of his setup predecessors – Joe Dey, P.J. Boatwright, David Eger and Tom Meeks – ever publicly professed the love for the job that Davis has, as he leaned back in a chair in his office at USGA headquarters in Far Hills, N.J., a few days before the holiday break, he proclaimed himself “very happy about this.”

And in case you’re wondering, he’s also quite clear that his decision was not driven by what happened last June at Shinnecock Hills.

Davis’ handpicked setup successor is John Bodenhamer, who since being hired by Davis in 2011 has run the association’s amateur championships. The 57-year-old native of Washington state, who played on the BYU golf team that won the 1981 NCAA Championship and is a former two-time Alaska State Open champion, will now run all 14 of the organization’s national championships as well as its international and team events. But, as with every one of the USGA’s previous lead setup men, it will be at the U.S. Open where Bodenhamer will be most scrutinized and judged.

You can read the body of the article at Golf Channel.

A lot of things will change for Davis in 2019 and beyond. As much as he has been fulfilled by the challenge of preparing classic golf holes to equitably reward skill in the world’s most demanding golf tournament, the bet here is that he will benefit in effectiveness and contentment by leaving intensive course setup work – and its attendant public scrutiny and time demands – behind. Davis is at his unaffected best when he can lead by following his sure instinct for what is good for the game. And a Mike Davis more comfortable in the increased institutional power of his position, and more immersed in golf’s most pressing issues, is good for the game.

Edited by gvogel, 03 January 2019 - 03:55 PM.

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#2 MtlJeff

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 04:02 PM

Now he can focus on his true passion, ruining the game for amateurs

Ironically I thought he actually did a good job setting up US opens.

Edited by MtlJeff, 03 January 2019 - 04:12 PM.

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#3 Holy Moses

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 04:02 PM

This is great news
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#4 MidwestGolfBum

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 04:10 PM

And just like that, Davis has a scapegoat when something happens!
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#5 bladehunter

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 04:17 PM

View PostMidwestGolfBum, on 03 January 2019 - 04:10 PM, said:

And just like that, Davis has a scapegoat when something happens!

My thoughts too.  He will still run it. But now without blame.

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#6 Hawkeye77

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 04:57 PM

View PostMtlJeff, on 03 January 2019 - 04:02 PM, said:

Now he can focus on his true passion, ruining the game for amateurs

Ironically I thought he actually did a good job setting up US opens.

HaHa

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#7 Matt J

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 05:04 PM

When was the last open without setup drama?  The greens at Chambers Bay, the hay at Erin Hills, Oakmont and Shinnecock greens nearly lost and so fast they were unstable to mark and replace.  It's a shame that the national open is geared to generate drama not champions.  At least Pebble should be pretty easy, they do host an event every year.

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#8 lawsonman

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 05:13 PM

View PostMtlJeff, on 03 January 2019 - 04:02 PM, said:

Now he can focus on his true passion, ruining the game for amateurs

Ironically I thought he actually did a good job setting up US opens.
+1000. He can put all his time into rolling back the ball.
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#9 Darth Putter

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 05:16 PM

View PostMatt J, on 03 January 2019 - 05:04 PM, said:

When was the last open without setup drama?  The greens at Chambers Bay, the hay at Erin Hills, Oakmont and Shinnecock greens nearly lost and so fast they were unstable to mark and replace.  It's a shame that the national open is geared to generate drama not champions.  At least Pebble should be pretty easy, they do host an event every year.

on the other hand...


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#10 caniac6

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 05:20 PM

Don't screw it up, John!


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#11 MilkyButterCuts

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 05:29 PM

I liked Shinnecocks setup. I also liked Chambers Bay. I think the USGA get it a bit tough when it comes to US Open scrutiny. The job they have is not an easy one, let alone when you take into account the audience they are required to please.

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#12 Sixcat

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 05:31 PM

View Postbladehunter, on 03 January 2019 - 04:17 PM, said:

View PostMidwestGolfBum, on 03 January 2019 - 04:10 PM, said:

And just like that, Davis has a scapegoat when something happens!

My thoughts too.  He will still run it. But now without blame.

Not to mention someone to blame himself!!!!

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#13 Holy Moses

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 05:31 PM

View PostMilkyButterCuts, on 03 January 2019 - 05:29 PM, said:

I liked Shinnecocks setup. I also liked Chambers Bay. I think the USGA get it a bit tough when it comes to US Open scrutiny. The job they have is not an easy one, let alone when you take into account the audience they are required to please.

They are required to please only themselves. They are the ones who hate seeing scores below par.
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#14 MtlJeff

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 05:42 PM

View PostMilkyButterCuts, on 03 January 2019 - 05:29 PM, said:

I liked Shinnecocks setup. I also liked Chambers Bay. I think the USGA get it a bit tough when it comes to US Open scrutiny. The job they have is not an easy one, let alone when you take into account the audience they are required to please.

I really do not like Mike Davis based on what i know....that being said, i will defend their US Open setups under him. Before him with Meeks, they had some major embarrassments, such as the greens at shinnecock, an unreachable fairway at Bethpage, Payne Stewart having a putt roll back down to his feet at olympic after lipping out....etc. The Meeks era was as subtle as a sledgehammer, it was like Snidely Whiplash stroking his mustache as guys made triples

But Davis introduced drive-able par 4s into almost every open, he allowed Torrey to finish as a par 5 which some thought wouldn't happen, he had graduated rough and listened to the pros who asked for "escape shots" to be part of the open. He had US opens at Shinnecock, Winged Foot and Oakmont, and also experimental sites like Chambers Bay , so there was some carnage that wasn't really his fault.

I didn't think his setups were bad.

It's too bad that someone who seemed fair and open minded with US open setups, can be so single minded in other areas
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#15 MilkyButterCuts

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 05:46 PM

View PostMtlJeff, on 03 January 2019 - 05:42 PM, said:

View PostMilkyButterCuts, on 03 January 2019 - 05:29 PM, said:

I liked Shinnecocks setup. I also liked Chambers Bay. I think the USGA get it a bit tough when it comes to US Open scrutiny. The job they have is not an easy one, let alone when you take into account the audience they are required to please.

I really do not like Mike Davis based on what i know....that being said, i will defend their US Open setups under him. Before him with Meeks, they had some major embarrassments, such as the greens at shinnecock, an unreachable fairway at Bethpage, Payne Stewart having a putt roll back down to his feet at olympic after lipping out....etc. The Meeks era was as subtle as a sledgehammer, it was like Snidely Whiplash stroking his mustache as guys made triples

But Davis introduced drive-able par 4s into almost every open, he allowed Torrey to finish as a par 5 which some thought wouldn't happen, he had graduated rough and listened to the pros who asked for "escape shots" to be part of the open. He had US opens at Shinnecock, Winged Foot and Oakmont, and also experimental sites like Chambers Bay , so there was some carnage that wasn't really his fault.

I didn't think his setups were bad.

It's too bad that someone who seemed fair and open minded with US open setups, can be so single minded in other areas

I agree, I dont like him as a person by any means. The only thing I'm defending are his US Open set ups.


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#16 Loki

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 06:52 PM

Let's do this...since Mike Davis started setting up US Opens, who was prevented from winning? I will say no one, you play the course presented. It's like all the B.S. Zach Johnson gets for winning The Masters when he did, at 1 over (?). Really? He played the course better than anyone else and gets criticized for it? ROFL, how stupid.

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#17 Loki

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 06:53 PM

View PostMilkyButterCuts, on 03 January 2019 - 05:46 PM, said:

View PostMtlJeff, on 03 January 2019 - 05:42 PM, said:

View PostMilkyButterCuts, on 03 January 2019 - 05:29 PM, said:

I liked Shinnecocks setup. I also liked Chambers Bay. I think the USGA get it a bit tough when it comes to US Open scrutiny. The job they have is not an easy one, let alone when you take into account the audience they are required to please.

I really do not like Mike Davis based on what i know....that being said, i will defend their US Open setups under him. Before him with Meeks, they had some major embarrassments, such as the greens at shinnecock, an unreachable fairway at Bethpage, Payne Stewart having a putt roll back down to his feet at olympic after lipping out....etc. The Meeks era was as subtle as a sledgehammer, it was like Snidely Whiplash stroking his mustache as guys made triples

But Davis introduced drive-able par 4s into almost every open, he allowed Torrey to finish as a par 5 which some thought wouldn't happen, he had graduated rough and listened to the pros who asked for "escape shots" to be part of the open. He had US opens at Shinnecock, Winged Foot and Oakmont, and also experimental sites like Chambers Bay , so there was some carnage that wasn't really his fault.

I didn't think his setups were bad.

It's too bad that someone who seemed fair and open minded with US open setups, can be so single minded in other areas

I agree, I dont like him as a person by any means. The only thing I'm defending are his US Open set ups.

Have you spent significant time with him to make a statement like this?

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#18 imakaveli

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 07:00 PM

Awesome news!

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#19 MtlJeff

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 07:02 PM

View PostLoki, on 03 January 2019 - 06:53 PM, said:

View PostMilkyButterCuts, on 03 January 2019 - 05:46 PM, said:

View PostMtlJeff, on 03 January 2019 - 05:42 PM, said:

View PostMilkyButterCuts, on 03 January 2019 - 05:29 PM, said:

I liked Shinnecocks setup. I also liked Chambers Bay. I think the USGA get it a bit tough when it comes to US Open scrutiny. The job they have is not an easy one, let alone when you take into account the audience they are required to please.

I really do not like Mike Davis based on what i know....that being said, i will defend their US Open setups under him. Before him with Meeks, they had some major embarrassments, such as the greens at shinnecock, an unreachable fairway at Bethpage, Payne Stewart having a putt roll back down to his feet at olympic after lipping out....etc. The Meeks era was as subtle as a sledgehammer, it was like Snidely Whiplash stroking his mustache as guys made triples

But Davis introduced drive-able par 4s into almost every open, he allowed Torrey to finish as a par 5 which some thought wouldn't happen, he had graduated rough and listened to the pros who asked for "escape shots" to be part of the open. He had US opens at Shinnecock, Winged Foot and Oakmont, and also experimental sites like Chambers Bay , so there was some carnage that wasn't really his fault.

I didn't think his setups were bad.

It's too bad that someone who seemed fair and open minded with US open setups, can be so single minded in other areas

I agree, I dont like him as a person by any means. The only thing I'm defending are his US Open set ups.

Have you spent significant time with him to make a statement like this?

I imagine there are politicians you don't like? Do you know all of them personally?

He makes statements with a lot of hyperbole and doesn't provide any depth of statistical analysis to back them up. The ball has cost the golf industry "billions", The effect of the ball is "horrible"....He released a survey transparently engineered to get the results he wanted...

Tell us how many of the 15000 courses in the US had to be lengthened, and how many of those are private or resort courses that host elite tournaments versus not. Tell us what the average players plays from in terms of tees and how that has changed in the last 20 years. Tell us any data that suggests golf has "horribly" changed for 99% of the people playing it, either financially or in terms of spirit of the game. Give us any data.

I mean just come out and say "35% of golf courses in the US have been lengthened in the past 10 years" and hey, i'm a believer then. But i don't think that's happened. I don't think he cares either....he's pandering to his base, like a politician.
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#20 MadGolfer76

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 07:02 PM

I've seen putt-putt courses with better setups than some recent U.S. Opens. You would think it was rocket science to set an appropriate test.

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#21 Loki

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 09:02 PM

View PostMtlJeff, on 03 January 2019 - 07:02 PM, said:

View PostLoki, on 03 January 2019 - 06:53 PM, said:

View PostMilkyButterCuts, on 03 January 2019 - 05:46 PM, said:

View PostMtlJeff, on 03 January 2019 - 05:42 PM, said:

View PostMilkyButterCuts, on 03 January 2019 - 05:29 PM, said:

I liked Shinnecocks setup. I also liked Chambers Bay. I think the USGA get it a bit tough when it comes to US Open scrutiny. The job they have is not an easy one, let alone when you take into account the audience they are required to please.

I really do not like Mike Davis based on what i know....that being said, i will defend their US Open setups under him. Before him with Meeks, they had some major embarrassments, such as the greens at shinnecock, an unreachable fairway at Bethpage, Payne Stewart having a putt roll back down to his feet at olympic after lipping out....etc. The Meeks era was as subtle as a sledgehammer, it was like Snidely Whiplash stroking his mustache as guys made triples

But Davis introduced drive-able par 4s into almost every open, he allowed Torrey to finish as a par 5 which some thought wouldn't happen, he had graduated rough and listened to the pros who asked for "escape shots" to be part of the open. He had US opens at Shinnecock, Winged Foot and Oakmont, and also experimental sites like Chambers Bay , so there was some carnage that wasn't really his fault.

I didn't think his setups were bad.

It's too bad that someone who seemed fair and open minded with US open setups, can be so single minded in other areas

I agree, I dont like him as a person by any means. The only thing I'm defending are his US Open set ups.

Have you spent significant time with him to make a statement like this?

I imagine there are politicians you don't like? Do you know all of them personally?

He makes statements with a lot of hyperbole and doesn't provide any depth of statistical analysis to back them up. The ball has cost the golf industry "billions", The effect of the ball is "horrible"....He released a survey transparently engineered to get the results he wanted...

Tell us how many of the 15000 courses in the US had to be lengthened, and how many of those are private or resort courses that host elite tournaments versus not. Tell us what the average players plays from in terms of tees and how that has changed in the last 20 years. Tell us any data that suggests golf has "horribly" changed for 99% of the people playing it, either financially or in terms of spirit of the game. Give us any data.

I mean just come out and say "35% of golf courses in the US have been lengthened in the past 10 years" and hey, i'm a believer then. But i don't think that's happened. I don't think he cares either....he's pandering to his base, like a politician.

? So now you don't know him? You made it personal, not about golf. If you don't like what he has done with golf, fine. You said you don't like him personally. That implies you are letting your feelings about the man affect your thoughts on how he manages his work. Different topics.

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#22 tiderider

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 09:07 PM

View PostMatt J, on 03 January 2019 - 05:04 PM, said:

When was the last open without setup drama?  The greens at Chambers Bay, the hay at Erin Hills, Oakmont and Shinnecock greens nearly lost and so fast they were unstable to mark and replace.  It's a shame that the national open is geared to generate drama not champions.  At least Pebble should be pretty easy, they do host an event every year.

oakmont wasn't an issue, set up wise ... only issue was the idiotic way they handled dj's ball movement ...

far as davis is concerned, i'll assume the usga is still run by a group of people that want to take center stage whenever they can ...

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#23 Hawkeye77

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 09:08 PM

Boy do I hope this frees him up to start tweeting at Poulter!

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#24 bladehunter

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 09:36 PM

View Posttiderider, on 03 January 2019 - 09:07 PM, said:

View PostMatt J, on 03 January 2019 - 05:04 PM, said:

When was the last open without setup drama?  The greens at Chambers Bay, the hay at Erin Hills, Oakmont and Shinnecock greens nearly lost and so fast they were unstable to mark and replace.  It's a shame that the national open is geared to generate drama not champions.  At least Pebble should be pretty easy, they do host an event every year.

oakmont wasn't an issue, set up wise ... only issue was the idiotic way they handled dj's ball movement ...

far as davis is concerned, i'll assume the usga is still run by a group of people that want to take center stage whenever they can ...

That’s because Oakmont doesn’t hand over the reins to nobody.  They are the Leonard Washington of golf clubs.”   If you want to take over this course , you gonna have to shoot me “.  Something along those lines.

Edited by bladehunter, 03 January 2019 - 09:37 PM.

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#25 Matt J

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 11:54 PM

View Postbladehunter, on 03 January 2019 - 09:36 PM, said:

View Posttiderider, on 03 January 2019 - 09:07 PM, said:

View PostMatt J, on 03 January 2019 - 05:04 PM, said:

When was the last open without setup drama?  The greens at Chambers Bay, the hay at Erin Hills, Oakmont and Shinnecock greens nearly lost and so fast they were unstable to mark and replace.  It's a shame that the national open is geared to generate drama not champions.  At least Pebble should be pretty easy, they do host an event every year.

oakmont wasn't an issue, set up wise ... only issue was the idiotic way they handled dj's ball movement ...

far as davis is concerned, i'll assume the usga is still run by a group of people that want to take center stage whenever they can ...

That's because Oakmont doesn't hand over the reins to nobody.  They are the Leonard Washington of golf clubs."   If you want to take over this course , you gonna have to shoot me ".  Something along those lines.

I think you can make a fair argument that the greens are a bit too slick when on a wind less day the ball moves with the player standing several feet away from it.

I'm a poor judge as I simply don't care about protecting par.  Grow the rough in, make the greens run as fast as is prudent and fair, and tuck some pins.  It's just golf.  If guys win at 12 to 15 under so be it.  Par is a construct to let you gauge your level of play while out on the course, as has been mentioned you have to play better than the other competitors.  Funny how that argument works both ways.

Chambers was set back several years by the changes forced on them by the USGA.  For a course that was funded as a sort of experiment in private/public partnership that's a big burden.  DJ probably feels he was a bit victimized at Oakmont.  Fortunately it did not matter too much.  I think it comes down to the fact that the TOUR and the Golf Channel immortalize this athletes 24/7365 - the US Open is the USGA's opportunity to steal some spotlight.  Makes them look like a bunch of out of touch kooks each and every year.


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#26 ctmason_98

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 12:20 AM

View PostLoki, on 03 January 2019 - 09:02 PM, said:

? So now you don't know him? You made it personal, not about golf. If you don't like what he has done with golf, fine. You said you don't like him personally. That implies you are letting your feelings about the man affect your thoughts on how he manages his work. Different topics.

Good giggly wiggly, what point are you trying to make?  

He said he doesn’t like the man as a person. And he has explained he doesn’t like his personal conduct he has seen. It seems pretty straightforward. His statement didn’t imply anything other than that.

So again, what’s your point? Don’t “talk bad” about someone if you haven’t spent at least 1,000 hours with them? It’s unfair to him?  Then my response to Mr. Davis would be that he shouldn’t lie publically or make false statements in general. He chose to put a spotlight on himself.

He’s a liar, he uses more puffery than a snake oil salesman. That’s a reflection on him as a person. You don’t get a pass because your “conducting” your job. How you talk and act wherever you are is who you are. And it is personal.

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#27 MilkyButterCuts

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 12:37 AM

View PostLoki, on 03 January 2019 - 06:53 PM, said:

View PostMilkyButterCuts, on 03 January 2019 - 05:46 PM, said:

View PostMtlJeff, on 03 January 2019 - 05:42 PM, said:

View PostMilkyButterCuts, on 03 January 2019 - 05:29 PM, said:

I liked Shinnecocks setup. I also liked Chambers Bay. I think the USGA get it a bit tough when it comes to US Open scrutiny. The job they have is not an easy one, let alone when you take into account the audience they are required to please.

I really do not like Mike Davis based on what i know....that being said, i will defend their US Open setups under him. Before him with Meeks, they had some major embarrassments, such as the greens at shinnecock, an unreachable fairway at Bethpage, Payne Stewart having a putt roll back down to his feet at olympic after lipping out....etc. The Meeks era was as subtle as a sledgehammer, it was like Snidely Whiplash stroking his mustache as guys made triples

But Davis introduced drive-able par 4s into almost every open, he allowed Torrey to finish as a par 5 which some thought wouldn't happen, he had graduated rough and listened to the pros who asked for "escape shots" to be part of the open. He had US opens at Shinnecock, Winged Foot and Oakmont, and also experimental sites like Chambers Bay , so there was some carnage that wasn't really his fault.

I didn't think his setups were bad.

It's too bad that someone who seemed fair and open minded with US open setups, can be so single minded in other areas

I agree, I dont like him as a person by any means. The only thing I'm defending are his US Open set ups.

Have you spent significant time with him to make a statement like this?

No, I will give you that, I have not. Unfortunately the mind (whether intended or not) tends to be swayed by what you hear over and over again in the media.

Edited by MilkyButterCuts, 04 January 2019 - 12:39 AM.


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#28 golfing_penguin

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 05:54 AM

View PostDarth Putter, on 03 January 2019 - 05:16 PM, said:

View PostMatt J, on 03 January 2019 - 05:04 PM, said:

When was the last open without setup drama?  The greens at Chambers Bay, the hay at Erin Hills, Oakmont and Shinnecock greens nearly lost and so fast they were unstable to mark and replace.  It's a shame that the national open is geared to generate drama not champions.  At least Pebble should be pretty easy, they do host an event every year.

on the other hand...


1992: some thought the high winds made the course unplayable in the final round

2000: changed #2 from a par 5 to a par 4

Didn't they change #2 from a 5-par to a 4-par? ;)

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#29 KrazyTrain18

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 06:00 AM

View PostMatt J, on 03 January 2019 - 05:04 PM, said:

When was the last open without setup drama?  The greens at Chambers Bay, the hay at Erin Hills, Oakmont and Shinnecock greens nearly lost and so fast they were unstable to mark and replace.  It's a shame that the national open is geared to generate drama not champions.  At least Pebble should be pretty easy, they do host an event every year.

Chambers Bay was setup very well, the greens were the result of an unfortunate decision to try to grow fescue greens.
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#30 lawsonman

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 07:22 AM

View PostLoki, on 03 January 2019 - 06:52 PM, said:

Let's do this...since Mike Davis started setting up US Opens, who was prevented from winning? I will say no one, you play the course presented. It's like all the B.S. Zach Johnson gets for winning The Masters when he did, at 1 over (?). Really? He played the course better than anyone else and gets criticized for it? ROFL, how stupid.

Why is it then that the other majors don't seem to have the issues they have at the U.S Open every year ? Every year the golfing world just waits to see what the USGA is going to do to screw up their Open. And they generally don't disappoint.

Welcome to where dumb opinions are better than no opinion. :)

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