FRIDAY, JUNE 9, 2017
by Gary Van Sickle

The most memorable hole at Erin Hills won’t be as controversial during the U.S. Open next week as I thought it would.

That’s because it no longer exists.

You won’t see the original No. 7, the late, great Dell hole, on your Erin Hills scorecard. It was a par 3 with a blind tee shot and was a dead ringer for the similarly named fifth hole at Ireland’s Lahinch. At the top of the hill in the background, the hole featured a white aiming rock that moved with each day’s pin position. You rang a bell attached to a pole upon exiting to alert players on the tee that the green was clear.


by Bill Fields

If the golf ball that Al Geiberger used to make history on June 10, 1977, ever resurfaces – it was on display at the World Golf Hall of Fame but went missing along with the scorecard – he’ll recognize it.

Sharpies hadn’t caught on as a way for a player to distinguish his ball. “Some guys used a little fingernail polish or something, but it was awkward,” Geiberger said. “The covers were soft. You’d take a pencil and leave a little hole somewhere. I put one or two dots in the dimple over the ‘n’ in ‘Hogan.’ 


A revolution underfoot

I read with interest your article in Morning Read (“Golf Industry takes steps to soften effects of cleats,” June 8,
It is not a secret that golf is a game of tradition. Golfers, for the most part, are conservative. They don’t adapt quickly to changes.

Reversed: By the U.S. Golf Association, its policy that banned alternates from playing practice rounds at the site of the U.S. Open (“Mickelson’s likely WD at Open exposes USGA flaw,” June 5,, The Associated Press’ Doug Ferguson reported Thursday. The change applies to first alternates from each of the 12 sectional-qualifying sites, or no more than one alternate from each section if the first alternate is not present. The U.S. Open begins Thursday at Erin Hills in Erin, Wis.

Paired: The three most recent U.S. Open champions – Dustin Johnson (2016), Jordan Spieth (2015) and Martin Kaymer (2014) – for the first two rounds of next week’s U.S. Open, which begins Thursday at Erin Hills in Erin, Wis. Pairings were releasedThursday:



Number of strokes by which Felipe Aguilar leads in the European Tour’s Lyoness Open after the Chilean shot 7-under 65Thursday at Diamond Country Club in Atzenbrugg, Austria. Aguilar, 42, is a two-time winner on the European Tour.


Number of players in this week’s Champions Tour event, the Principal Charity Classic, which begins today in Des Moines, Iowa, who have won at this week’s PGA Tour stop, the FexEx St. Jude Classic in Memphis, Tenn.: Woody Austin (2007), Jay Haas (1992), Larry Mize (1983) and David Toms (2003, ’04).



Craig Smith, the director of communications and media relations for the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, has announced his retirement, effective later this month. Smith joined the GCSAA in May 2014 after 20 years as the director of media relations for the USGA.


The Annika Foundation congratulated Duke’s Leona Maguire for her recent honor as the winner of the 2017 Annika Award, which goes to the top female in college golf. It is the second time in three years that Maguire, a rising senior from Cavan, Ireland, has won the award.


June 7-10
Men’s amateur: Monroe Invitational
Monroe GC, Pittsford, N.Y.
June 8-11
European Tour: Lyoness Open
Diamond CC, Atzenbrugg, Austria
LPGA: Manulife LPGA Classic
Whistle Bear GC, Cambridge, Ontario
Men’s amateur: Palmer Cup
Atlanta Athletic Club, Johns Creek, Ga.
PGA Tour: FedEx St. Jude Classic
TPC Southwind, Memphis, Tenn. Tour: Rust-Oleum Championship
Ivanhoe (Ill.) Club
June 9-11
Symetra Tour: Four Winds Invitational
Blackthorn GC, South Bend, Ind.
Champions Tour: Principal Charity Classic
Wakonda Club, Des Moines, Iowa
June 14-17
Men’s amateur: Sunnehanna Amateur
Sunnehanna CC, Johnstown, Pa.
June 15-18
LPGA: Meijer LPGA Classic
Blythefield CC, Belmont, Mich. Tour: Air Capital Classic
Crestview CC, Wichita, Kan.
PGA Tour: U.S. Open
Erin Hills, Erin, Wis.
June 16-18
Symetra Tour: Decatur-Forsyth Classic
Hickory Point GC, Decatur, Ill.
June 18-22
Junior: Western Junior
Park Ridge (Ill.) CC
June 19-24
Men’s amateur: British Amateur
Royal St. George’s GC, Sandwich, England
June 20-21
Junior: Pepsi Little People’s Tournament
Westview GC and Knights of Columbus Par 3, Quincy, Ill.
June 21-24
Men’s amateur: Northeast Amateur
Wannamoisett CC, Rumford, R.I.

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