Commentary: U.S. Open at Chambers Bay was imperfectly perfect

We start by addressing the concerns about the greens here at Chambers Bay that unfairly stole headlines last week. It’s unfortunate, because it overshadowed so many positives of the event, which showcased the Pacific Northwest – its views, its fans, and tee to green at least - the course at its absolute best.

I’ll be the first to admit the greens were inconsistent: that some were in perfect condition…. others, less so….and a couple, bouncy at times, thanks to a different style grass called “Poa” creeping into the Fescue. It caused many players like Sergio Garcia, Colin Montgomerie and Charl Schwartzel to complain at the lack of “championship quality” greens.

But aside from complaints making those players sound like whiny, entitled millionaires who are pampered every week with perfectly groomed fairways and greens, my honest response is: “So what?”

ANY golf tournament – and especially a championship like the U.S. Open – tests a player’s ability to adapt. Everyday, they change yardages, they change teeing grounds, they change hole locations – and the players adjust accordingly. So who cares if a couple of greens are different than the rest? It’s simply another variable, testing the golfer’s ability to account for change – not to mention their mental stamina – in the process.

In fact, it’s never gonna happen, but I’d like to build a course with some greens made from bent grass, others with bluegrass, others with kikuya, fescue, or poa - and some with a combination of all five!

The point is: Adding another variable out there shouldn’t be frowned upon – it should be embraced.

I’ve never heard players legitimately griping about wind, or rain, or any of those uncontrollable natural elements. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we’re fortunate that the conditions were perfect all week. So why have a free-for-all about putting surfaces, that in all honesty, were perfectly playable?

I’ll be out at Jefferson Park and Jackson Park this summer – and I’ll be back at Chambers Bay. We all deal with less-than-perfect spots on municipal golf courses, because that’s simply the way it is.

Having the best golfers in the world deal with that out here was enjoyable and somewhat endearing. Gary Player called it a tragedy. I call it a complete success.