Monday, June 18, 2012

112th U.S. Open Championship- what they don't show you on TV....

U.S. Open Championship entrance

Ok, so you've been glued to your TV sets. There's room for anyone to win now.  So while we are waiting for who will triumph in the 112th U.S. Open let me try and give you a picture of how it goes right here on the grounds of the Olympic Club in San Francisco.

The line to get Phil Mickelson's autograph

First of all there are massive crowds. Thousands more than from the first day of the practice rounds last Monday.  

If you're caught in the middle of this crowd trying to get an autograph, you could get crushed especially if you are small like me!  If you stay at the left side by the stairs on the 18th hole you have a good chance of the players throwing their glove and golf balls after their round. I've seen quite a number of players give their tees, balls, gloves, towels away after their round.

There's also some serious food going on....
If you arrive at 7:00 am and stay until 8:00pm to watch the last flight you are bound to buy some food and drinks since one is not allowed to bring any of these on premise.  So as you can see the prices are a bit steep although maybe slightly cheaper than at the ball park.  But hey, you need to bring more money than usual. And bring cash.  Not all registers take credit cards.
Taking our lunch break

Expect long lines to buy anything from water to coffee to sandwiches.  That gives you an idea of the lines to the restrooms as well....

While waiting for the players to tee off head for the practice range to watch them warm up.
David Leadbetter with one of his players
You might catch David Leadbetter, Butch Harmon or Sean Foley with their respective players. Players practice with their own brand of balls so at the practice area there are baskets and baskets of balls from Tietlist, Bridgestone, Nike, Srixon etc. etc.

Choose your golf ball

They are sorted out according to brand and the players just pick up their own basket.
Steve Williams carrying Adam Scott's bag
Check out the rough around the greens.
Justin Rose at the bunker
Sergio Garcia

The rough is a salad bar. If your ball gets caught in the rough it can really get tough on the players.  On the 18th hole yesterday Tiger's ball was caught by the rough around the green.  You saw what happened to that...  Check out the rough around this bunker and how deep the sand trap is.  I saw Justin Rose shank his bunker shot onto the crowd.  It happens to them too apparently....
The fairways are gorgeous.  Expect long walks. We logged at least  15,000 steps on the pedometer just following the players around.  So wear the most comfortable shoes you have.
Fairway by the Olympic Club house
I just don't understand why some would wear high heels and leather shoes or open toed sandals.  There were quite a few dressed that way too.

You can imagine what the USGA does to keep the course in top condition all throughout the week.  From checking how fast the greens will go and keeping the fairways in tip top condition.  These along with the thousands of volunteers who make sure that all the spectators enjoy the experience of watching the players at the U.S. Open Championship.

 Here are the greenskeepers heading out to do their jobs.
Hole 9
They ensure that the greens are no less than 13 on the stimpmeter.

You will see all kinds of spectators wearing all sorts of fan wear.  Ricky Fowler wannabes. Tiger Woods "You DA MAN" shirts and more.  All these add to the vibe that is the U.S. Open.

So there, that gives you an idea of the what goes on out here.  Don't forget to pass by the Merchandise Pavilion to get a souvenir before going home.

Now off to hole 1 to watch the players.

This is going to be an exciting Sunday!


Saturday, June 16, 2012

He was beautiful to watch!

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods had control of his game and was such a joy to watch today at the 2nd day of the 112th U.S. golf championship at the Olympic Club in San Francisco. It was like the old Tiger was back and for me to be able to witness that was just mind-blowing.

Tiger seemed so composed and he looked so even tempered even when he made consecutive bogies on holes 5, 6, and 7.

How the players keep their emotions in check is beyond me.  Even if Phil Mickelson was struggling hole after hole he still managed to smile and acknowledge his fans on most every hole.  That's just extraordinary.

Phil Mickelson

The young 17 year old amateur from California was also a big story today.

 Beau Hossler
Beau Hossler, who is an A student at the Rancho Santa Margarita High School, was at the top of the leaderboard for a few holes today.  I mean even for just a few holes to be able to claim you were leading at the U.S. Open is just crazy.  Beau ended the 2nd round with 3 over and very much in the hunt for the weekend.

Can't wait to watch the round on Saturday.


With the Forest Hills Ladies at the 18th hole of the Olympic Club

Friday, June 15, 2012

Michael who?

I watched him at the practice round with Kevin Na and Andy Zhang, the youngest amateur playing in the U.S. Open.  After the around he signed my golf cap and asked if we were having fun at the Open.  I thought he was so nice.  But i kept asking myself, Michael who????  Well Michael Thompson went on to shoot 66 and was at the top of the leaderboard on day 1 of the 112th U.S. Open.

Justin Rose

Justin Rose and Tiger Woods ended the round with -1.

Tiger Woods
What an exciting first day!!!!  Tiger was just so steady thriving throughout the round. Meanwhile
it was so painful to watch Bubba Watson and Phil Mickelson struggling throughout their game.

Phil Mickelson

What was even more painful was watching world number 1, 2 and 3....  By the ninth hole collectively Rory,
Lee and Luke  were already 12 over...

Rory McIlroy

Lee Westwood
Luke Donald
I only hope all three make the cut and that we continue to watch them this weekend.

But that's golf and Friday will surely be another story.

Matt Kutchar
One of my favorite players in the field is Matt Kutchar. I am betting he will be one of the top players on Friday.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Hey Tiger!

Tiger on the 18th hole at the Olympic CLub
It's the first day of the Olympic Club practice rounds at the 112th U.S. Open in San Francisco and Tiger Woods is looking good. He was all smiles as he finished his round at 8:45 a.m. this morning.

Tiger did his practice round by himself (as they say he normally does) and was soon followed by Lee Slattery of the U.K. who was too cool and offered to take a picture with the Forest Hills Ladies...

L-R Cecil Tan, Tess Staub, Lee Slattery, Monique A. Ignacio, Jee Cabochan
A lot of the U.S Open favorites were present on day one.  Some of them included...
Louis Oosthuizen
Jim Furyk

Dustin Johnson

Angel Gimenez
Aaron Baddeley

Ricky Fowler
Zach Johnson


Monday, June 11, 2012

U.S. Open 2012 fever

L-R The Forest HIlls Ladies team: Jee Cabochan, Monique A. Ignacio, Cecile Tan, Tess Staub
This is the  best time to be in San Francisco!  The weather is gorgeous, your golfing girlfriends are with you and the 112th U.S.
Open is happening!

The U.S. Open Merchandise Pavilion, dubbed as “Golf’s Largest Pro Shop” (this week anyway) opened up and showcased
400,000 items bearing the official U.S. Open logo, including outerwear, shirts, hats, golf balls and a large variety of championship memorabilia. It seemed like the U.S. Open fever everywhere.  To think that that practice rounds don't even start until tomorrow!

The prestigious Olympic Club in San Francisco is host to this years U.S. Open. It hosted its first U.S. open in 1955 and since then has witnessed a total of 4 more opens (1966, 1987 and 1998). It will be the Olympic Club's 5th time to host it.  Did you know that anyone with a USGA Handicap Index of 1.4 or better can attempt to qualify?  And although the championship has been mostly won by American golfers, 6 of the last eight winners have been foreigners.  So who will be this years U.S. Open winner?  It's anyone's guess! Fore!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

My hidden agenda....

The Ranch Golf Course - Hole 10

Ok I am guilty. I had a hidden agenda why I chose to play at the Ranch Golf Club in San Jose this week. Not because it was
one of the most challenging courses in the bay area and had been nominated as one of the Best New Golf Courses in America.

Water and bunkers on the 18th hole

The slope rating of 142 for the blue tees and 125 for the red didn't seem that intimidating.... (at first anyway....). I didn't choose
it because of the scenic view. Although It is situated at the of foothills Silicon Valley with a gorgeous view of the Bay
Area. And I definitely did not choose it because of the dramatic elevation changes. I mean seriously it was like vertical drop zones everywhere...

sloping hills and vertical drops everywhere
My real agenda for wanting to play at the Ranch Golf Club in San Jose was two fold. To visit my old high school Silver Creek

Silver Creek High- Go Raiders!

and more eat at THE BOILING CRAB!!!!!

It's a long way to drive to from San Francisco but how can one resist crabs cooked in Rajun Cajun, lemon pepper and garlic butter? Add some fresh and fried oysters, Cajun fries and Gumbo????
Fresh oysters and lime

So there. When you need an excuse to play the Ranch Golf course in San Jose, do so because it is a lovely championship course with rolling hills and majestic views. But more so because it's a couple of minutes a way from The Boiling Crab!