why west is best
let’s face it, west coast majors just work better. about the only people who don’t like
them are scribes on deadline, but from every other perspective, the u.s. open is just
better when it is played somewhere close to the pacific ocean. the weather is comfortable, and rain is almost guaranteed not to soften the course and mess with schedules.
the last three opens played on the west coast—torrey pines (2008), pebble beach
(2010) and olympic club this year—provided solid tests and worked logistically for all
concerned with mere minor quibbling that happens at every u.s. open. finally, there
are those eye-opening television ratings and the chance for prime-time golf in the east.
saturday’s nbc telecast earned its best saturday rating in a decade, a 5. 5 (up 53 percent
over last year at congressional) and sunday’s overnight should be high too. yet looking
ahead, only pebble beach has secured another open (2019), and the pga championship, which hasn’t been west since 1998 at sahalee, doesn’t have a pacific return in sight.
the next western u.s. open is slated for chambers bay outside tacoma, wash., in 2015.
but beyond that visit and the return to pebble beach to celebrate the resort’s 100th anniversary, the usga seems to be emphasizing regional balance over what everyone from
players to fans to television executives knows: west venues are best. —G.S.
cover // contents // big pictures // 10 ThInGS // Zinger’s corner // pga tour // rank and file //equipment // tim rosaforte