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USGA won't 'give up' on Shinnecock despite travel concerns

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SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. – Only the best planners – and biggest spenders – have escaped the Long Island traffic this week at the U.S. Open.

The hours-long delays for many to get to Shinnecock Hills have renewed concerns that perhaps the USGA’s premier event has outgrown the Hamptons – especially with the Open already slated to return here in 2026.

USGA executive director Mike Davis said Wednesday that once this Open is over, he and the rest of the organization will analyze the traffic patterns for the tournament. He said that the west-to-east traffic that has been so problematic this week has been “going on for decades,” and it’s only compounded this week with the start of the typical summer rush and flow of trade traffic.

Davis said that when evaluating prospective sites, they review, in order: the quality of the course; whether operations can handle an event of the Open’s magnitude; the potential space for spectators, grandstands, tents and compounds; and then the experience for attendees, in terms of lodging, transportation and parking.

“There’s a lot of focus on trying to improve what’s happening, traffic wise,” Davis said. “But just because of what’s happened the last couple of days, the last thing we’re going to do is give up on one of our truly treasured sites. We love this place.”