With the U.S. Open coming up this month, we were posed the question, "Why does it seem that all the professional golf majors are played on the same type golf courses."
This years U.S Open is being played at Chambers Bay and the 2015 PGA Championship played at Whistling Straights we can understand the question. Both are links style golf courses. Throw the Open Championship between those two and that makes three consecutive Majors being played on similar, links golf courses. The only Major that is an exception to this, is of course the Masters, the only Major played on the same course every year.
Another huge indication that they are becoming too similar is a article, from USA Today Sports, with Ernie Els, basically stating that this past week's Irish Open was a good practice round for the U.S. Open. Should an Irish links course be a good warm up for a U.S. Open?
Go back to the setup of Pinehurst, at last years U.S. Open, and you get a similar feel again. We are not knocking any of these links course here in the U.S., they are all great golf courses and a great test to the best in the world. In our personal opinion we think the USGA should stick to traditional U.S./American style golf courses. Isn't there a reason the Championship has U.S. in front of it? Perhaps that is why seven out of the last ten champions have been from other countries.
As for the PGA Championship, it is ok to mix up the style of golf course, even though it is a U.S.event, the title does not designate the country of origin. We would still like to see both championships however find other golf courses. Are there not enough golf courses that the same ones have to be picked? For example this is the third time since 2004 that Whistling Straights will be used for the PGA Championship. Again we are not saying anything bad about Whistling Straights, it is a phenomenal golf course and property. When given so much variety throughout the country, we believe that variety should be used. Also just like other major sporting events in the U.S., they try and go to different cities. We would like bothe the U.S Open and PGA Championships do the same or at least try states they have not been played in before.
We do understand the time of year these are played makes it difficult to schedule in the south due to the hot temperatures, but to see one or more of these events played, in say Alabama, New Mexico, or somewhere they have never been played would be great. This would be good for golf and those local economies.
It is almost frustrating knowing that as we watch the last three Major Tournaments this year it will almost feel like we will be watching three consecutive Open Championships.
We will finish with saying that no matter what golf course the U.S Open or the PGA Championship choose we still look forward to watching them each year. All of golf's Majors are a very stern test of golf and watching the best in the world take on the challenge is very exciting.
On a side note we are pulling for Phil Mickelson to finally get his U.S. Open victory this year. Who is your pick?