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!


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