USGA and Merion Struggling With Logistics For 113th U.S. Open #PagingUPS

Not only do both the USGA and players have to worry about the overly wet host venue Merion course being in playable shape by Thursday’s first round, but some challenging and potentially crushing logistical issues exist as well.

One of the main concerns is that competitors in this week’s 113th US Open will need to be shuttled from the practice range on the Merion West Course all the way over to the starting tees on No.1 and 11 (yep, starting on 11, not 10 on the back side this year), both of which are nearly a mile away.  The range on Merion’s East course is only 250 yards long, and therefore not fit for modern length PGA Tour players (that’s like a Bubba Watson 5-iron).

In his news conference from earlier today, Ernie Els was quoted as saying that it took about 20 minutes to get from the practice range “through all the blockages in the road and the security and all that stuff” over to the first tee.  Not exactly the last 20 minutes of warm-up a player would want to have before teeing it up in the season’s second major.  I mean hey, that’s almost like 2 1/2 Stairway to Heavens worth of time.

Players have been asked to get into a shuttle van at least 20 minutes before their tee time in order to avoid being late, meaning that there’s a reasonable likelihood that a player could be late or miss his tee time entirely because of a logistical issue. Sure seems like something that could’ve been better game-planned well prior to the actual event, but then again, the USGA isn’t UPS (you know, “when it’s planes in the sky for a chain of supply it’s logistics…..”).  Pssst, don’t tell Finchem I just referenced UPS and not FedEx in a PGA Tour post.

Perhaps Greg Norman should loan the Tour his helicopter for this week to help cut down on transit time.

Joel Harrington
@joel4deepgolf

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