Matt Ginella is the Senior Travel Editor for Golf Digest. He has spoken with Steve Meeker, who is The Olympic Club liaison to the USGA for the U.S. Open, about what will happen next at The Olympic Club after the completion of this year’s Championship. Ginella added that the USGA prefers to work with a single person instead of a board of club members and Meeker has assumed that role for the 2012 U.S. Open. Meeker that says after 7 years in this role, he knows that he is reaching the end of a marathon and adds that it has been a wonderful experience.
The membership is anxious to get the Lake Course back and will officially take the course back from the USGA on Friday while the Ocean Course is shut down for renovations until around September. After the members get the course back, they plan to maintain U.S. Open conditions on the Lake Course for 2-3 months so they can poll the members to see what features they like and do not like about the U.S. Open setup.
Ginella said that he has also been over to Harding Park this week and he said that he feels that Harding Park in San Francisco is an example of all that is right with public golf in the United States. When he went over to the course, he saw many locals walking while playing and he also many juniors participating in The First Tee program.
The relationship between the PGA TOUR and Harding Park has brought more attention and publicity to the work that Sandy Tatum did to help bring this great public course back to prominence. The 2005 WGC-Cadillac Championship, 2009 Presidents Cup, and the 2010-2011 Charles Schwab Cup Championship have all been able to shine a bright light on the success story that is Harding Park.
USGA Executive Director Mike Davis feels that The Olympic Club has played the way that the USGA wanted it to play this week. The weather has been great and all of the course changes have proven to be the right ones so far. A good example is Tiger Woods’ approach to the 17th green on Friday which rolled well over the green thanks to the short grass around and behind the green.