ARDMORE, Pa. – Caddies at this week’s U.S. Open thought Merion’s iconic wicker-basket flagsticks were going to make it difficult to judge the wind. When loopers began showing up Sunday, they discovered another problem.
Unlike many PGA Tour and major championship courses, sprinkler heads on Merion’s East Course do not have yardage markings to greens. As a result, caddies collectively began marking the sprinkler heads with the appropriate yardages to the front of all 18 greens with silver Sharpies.
According to one caddie, nearly every marker down the center of fairways and along the edges has been marked.
Officials initially balked at the markings, but pace-of-play concerns likely convinced the powers that be that they were necessary.
“How long would the rounds be if we did not do it?” the caddie asked.