At Pinehurst, Davis sees big upside for women's game


PINEHURST, N.C. – USGA executive director Mike Davis knows playing the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open in back-to-back weeks at Pinehurst No. 2 would bring challenges, but he likes the potential benefit for the women’s game.

“We went into this knowing there would be risk, but knowing there would be a lot more upside,” Davis said.

Davis believes golf fans will be intrigued seeing women tested on the same course as the men with relatively the same conditions. The USGA will seek to have similar hole locations, with players hitting similar irons into similar greens.

“Will we get it perfect?” Davis said. “I can guarantee we won’t get it perfect.”

LPGA pros have expressed a number of concerns, including all the divots they may encounter playing after the men, even with the USGA assuring them there will be different, common landing areas on all but a few holes.

“Divots are just part of the game,” Davis said. “When I told that to LPGA players, half of them scowled at me and half laughed.

“Think about it, though. If we want women hitting the same clubs as men, their drive zones are going to be different. We really don’t think divots are going to be part of the story. Will there be women in divots? Of course.”