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2011 US Open: Lions and Tigers and Bears – Oh, Wait.

June 13, 2011

The first round of the 2011 US Open is set to begin this coming Thursday at the beautiful and historic Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland.  Everything is in place: the ropes, the staff & volunteers, the hours of preparation, the grandstands, and the ticket prices.  Well, kind of the ticket prices.  Since Tiger announced that he would unfortunately miss this year’s US Open, Bloomberg reported that ticket prices have fallen 20%.   Posts and reports across the media realm indicate that Tiger has a great influence on both the number of  tournament spectators and television ratings.  Rightfully so, there’s no questioning the rise in golfers and the growth of the golf industry since the “Tiger Boom” that started in the 90’s. 

While we’re thinking about Tiger this week, we can hope that he returns healthy and happily as quickly as possible.  In the meantime, there’s certainly a silver lining for golf fans looking to watch exciting golf this week.  One-hundred and fifty-six of the best golfers in the world are in the field at Congressional.  The PGA Tour slogan, “These Guys Are Good” barely does justice to the skills all of these players exhibit (there was once a trending topic on Twitter of #theseguysareAWESOME).  In the field this week we have the World’s #1 Luke Donald, many PGA Tour stat leaders, major championship winners, and top amateurs like Peter Uihlein.  

I cannot speak for every player in the field, but have had the opportunity to observe Luke Donald and Peter Uihlein.  In a high school math-play team event against his school, I played in a pairing with Uihlein.  I think I halved one hole.  Uihlein has been a phenomenal golfer for years and is quickly making his presence known (US Amateur Champ, Masters participant, the list goes on).  This week is an opportunity to watch the up and coming golfers such as Uihlein who will soon billboard the PGA Tour. 

Luke Donald happens to be a member where I greatly enjoy and am fortunate enough to work at during the summer months (North Shore Country Club in Glenview, Illinois).  Just yesterday he was practicing on the back side of the range.  I could actually hear him practicing.  His iron shots sounded as crisp as those around me… except he was 250 yards away.  If you want to watch and learn from a pure ball striker and short game wizard, follow Luke this week. 

And the other 154 participants?  Keep your eye on them – learn from their golf course management, pre-shot routines, rhythmic swings, and demeanor on the course.  You never know when the next Charl Schwartzel (2011 Master’s Champion) will emerge from the woodwork.  

So the drop in ticket prices?  Tiger’s record speaks for itself.  He is exciting to watch because of the array and arsenal of shots he can exhibit.  Fortunately, there are many great examples of golfers who have all golfed and performed their way to be part of the US Open this week.  If you’re in the Bethesda area or looking to take a trip, use it as an opportunity to see the many excellent faces and golf swings of the golf world. 

There has been a lot of buzz on Twitter and other social media platforms echoing how the US Open does not mean as much to those posting their opinions because Tiger is not in the field.  However, there’s also been a lot of buzz from the players themselves on Twitter and the like who are getting ready to play their hearts out this week. 

“We are disappointed that Tiger Woods, a three-time champion, will not be able to play in the 2011 U.S. Open,” USGA Executive Director Mike Davis said in a June 7 statement on the association’s website. “The excitement that he generates will be missed, but the Blue Course at Congressional Country Club will surely provide an excellent test for the 156 world-class players in the field.”

World-class indeed.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 13, 2011 9:40 pm

    US Open is the best tournament. Not that I enjoy seeing pro’s struggle, but it is better than watching a birdiefest where the winner is 22 under. I wish they would let us know what the course rating and slope is. I have heard it is somewhere around 76 and 150. Anybody have a better clue?

  2. June 19, 2011 9:29 am

    We are going to have a prime Sunday – nice post Sara.

    Go Freddie J!

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