Golf fans won’t be seeing red this weekend. That’s fine with some. For casual fans like me, it probably means we’ll find something else to do than watch the U.S. Open.

Birdies will be at a premium this weekend because the Oakmont CC was designed by a sadist, and its members are sick, sick people.

If you’re reading this, then you probably saw the photo on C3 of Tuesday’s sports section. Looking at the picture without the caption, one might conclude that they’re preparing Oakmont for trench warfare and not one of golf’s majors.

Oakmont is on the Open’s regular rotation and widely regarded as the toughest course in the country. Members take pride in its difficulty and are probably rubbing their hands together in schadenfreudal anticipation of seeing the pros lose a half-dozen balls in the rough or struggle to reach the green in regulation on the 288-yard par-3 eighth hole or the 667-yard par-5 12th.

Vijay Singh and some of the other competitors predicted the winner might finish the weekend 10-over. Guess the plus-5 Geoff Ogilvy shot to win last year at Winged Foot (thanks, Lefty) wasn’t excruciating enough to witness.

Pro golf is struggling to find the correct balance between improving technology and challenging play. I understand that. Challenging the best golfers in the world is one thing. It’s another thing to make them gun-shy or shell-shocked, which seems to be the goal of a lot of the majors these days.

The bottom line is that they’re just making it harder for the elite golfers to win. Quite frankly, it’s just not fun for the casual fan to watch the Ogilvys and Michael Campbells of the world win Open after Open.

Some duffers might get their jollies seeing Joe Pro get on the green in three, line up a 12-footer for birdie then end up three-putting. Watching ball after ball land in the middle of the fairway, then end up in the rough or roll off the green might give them some sort of visceral pleasure.

Me, I like to see golfers make golf shots.

If I want to see golfers overcoming obstacles, I’ll pay close attention the next time my playing partner tries to negotiate the windmill and the loop-de-loop


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