Beem Urges More Overseas Play

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MELBOURNE, Australia -- The 2002 PGA champion, Rich Beem, said Wednesday that American golf courses were becoming predictable and urged his countrymen to travel more to overseas events.
 
'You play the golf course in the U.S. and half the time I don't even go look at the golf course until the Wednesday pro-am because you know what's going to be there,' he said ahead of the MasterCard Masters at the Huntingdale course in the southern city of Melbourne.

'You know that they're going to lengthen it from last year, you've just got to figure out which holes they're going to lengthen it from,' Beem said. 'And you know the conditions are going to be pretty much the same every year, unless it rains.'
 
Beem, who turned from selling car stereos to the PGA champion, said he enjoyed the challenge of playing courses outside the United States.
 
'I like going over and playing the British Open because the golf courses always seem to be in such so-so shape, but hell, it's one of the greatest majors we play,' he said. 'You've got to bump and run the ball, one bunker's going to have a lot of sand in it, the other one's going to be rock-hard so you've got to adjust your game for every single shot.'
 
Beem blamed the desire of clubs staging televised events to attract more players for the current state of U.S. courses.
 
'But that's just how it is over in the U.S.,' he said. 'They want to manicure it to put it in the best shape so when it's shown on TV, people will want to come and play their golf course.'
 
Beem said a good start would be to play at least one of the lucrative World Golf Championship's four events on foreign fairways.
 
'I think we need to get out,' Beem said after playing in the pro-am at Huntingdale. 'We've got all these golfers from around the world coming to play. Why don't we go to Japan, come down to Australia, go over to Europe more. You've got to have at least one of those events somewhere else.'
 
But he predicted American players would resist the change.
 
'Unfortunately you're going to get a lot of U.S. players who are going to whine,' he said. 'It's just a simple fact, we're going to bitch and whine.'
 
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