USGA Tags Torrey Pines Golf Course For 2021 U.S. Open

Marks the Anticipated Return of America’s National Championship To Site of Historic Playoff Win By Tiger Woods in 2008

(torrey-pinesMarch 25, 2014)As part of its commitment to deliver world-class major championship competition and its long-standing support of public golf, the United States Golf Association (USGA) today announced Torrey Pines Golf Course, in San Diego, Calif., as the site of the 2021 U.S. Open Championship. The selection of the club’s South Course marks the return of the national championship to Torrey Pines, site of the dramatic playoff victory by Tiger Woods over Rocco Mediate in the 2008 U.S. Open, one of the most memorable in the championship’s history.

(L-R) Sherri Lightner, President Pro Tem of the San Diego City Council, Daniel B. Burton, and Kevin L. Faulconer,(USGA/Todd Warshaw)

(L-R) Sherri Lightner, President Pro Tem of the San Diego City Council, Daniel B. Burton, and Kevin L. Faulconer,(USGA/Todd Warshaw)

The dates for the 2021 U.S. Open are June 17-20.

The announcement was made today at Torrey Pines Golf Course with Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer, representatives from the City Council, other San Diego officials and USGA senior leadership in attendance.

“The USGA is proud to bring the U.S. Open back to Torrey Pines, the site of one of the most memorable and compelling national championships in history, thanks to Tiger and Rocco,” said Thomas J. O’Toole Jr., USGA president. “As in 2008, we are excited to partner with the City of San Diego to bring golf’s most democratic major championship back to such a great public venue. The San Diego area embraced the 2008 U.S. Open and we are seeing the same enthusiasm for the return of the U.S. Open in 2021. We have a great partner in the City of San Diego and this community loves golf.”

The Fourth hole of the South Course (Copyright USGA/John Mummert)

The Fourth hole of the South Course (Copyright USGA/John Mummert)

Torrey Pines, a 36-hole, city-owned facility, hosts more than 100,000 rounds annually on the North and South Courses.

“Bringing the U.S. Open back to Torrey Pines is significant in many ways,” said Daniel B. Burton, USGA vice president and Championship Committee chairman. “In 2021, the players and spectators have an opportunity for a world-class experience as evidenced by the tremendous success of the 2008 championship.”

In addition to bringing one of the world’s largest sporting events and its supporting programs and features to the San Diego area as a spectator experience, the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines is expected to provide a significant impact to the regional economy, as well as the city’s broader economic development plan.

Hole #7 North Fairway

Hole #7 North Fairway Photo credit-Torrey Pines

“The City of San Diego is proud to welcome back the United States Golf Association and host another major championship,” said San Diego Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer. “Torrey Pines is a fantastic venue for the U.S. Open and a great opportunity to showcase San Diego’s first-class hotels, restaurants and shops. Just as San Diego served as home to one of the greatest championships in golf history in 2008, we’re confident that we will once again provide an exciting and dynamic venue for 2021.”

The selection of Torrey Pines for the 2021 U.S. Open marks the second time that the South Course will have hosted the national championship and its third USGA championship. While it boasts a long pedigree of hosting professional golf, Torrey Pines can also lay claim to one of the greatest moments in the history of the game: the 2008 U.S. Open.

North Course #6  photo courtesy Torrey Pines

North Course #6
photo courtesy Torrey Pines

In the final round of the 2008 U.S. Open, Tiger Woods, playing with a leg injury, holed a 12-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole to force an 18-hole playoff with Rocco Mediate. Woods again birdied the 18th hole the following day to tie Mediate, and he won in 19 holes for his third U.S. Open title and 14th major championship.

“I was excited to hear that the U.S. Open was returning to Torrey Pines,” said Woods, a three-time U.S. Open champion. “I think it’s great, when the USGA can, to play the U.S. Open at a public course. The last time it was there, it was an amazing event. There was a huge turnout, it was really well run and the fans were excited and very supportive. It was a great atmosphere.

Hole #3 South Course

Hole #3 South Course Photo courtesy Torrey Pines

“I’ve been fortunate to have played well there and have great memories of the course. I was pretty young when I first went there with my dad during the old Andy Williams tournament. It was one of the few pro events I got to see. I wanted to watch some of the So Cal guys like Mark O’Meara and John Cook play.  I think it’s a great decision returning to Torrey. It’s a very special place to me.”

The first USGA championship on the South Course at Torrey Pines, the 1998 U.S. Amateur Public Links, featured a pair of future major champions in the 36-hole final. Trevor Immelman, of South Africa, defeated Jason Dufner, 3 and 2. Immelman went on to win the 2008 Masters, while Dufner captured the 2013 PGA Championship. That championship drew an APL-record 6,300 entries, a mark that still stands.

Hang Glider over Course

Photo courtesy Torrey Pines

William P. Bell and his son, William F. Bell, designed the golf courses at Torrey Pines, which opened in 1957. Prior to being shaped for the golf courses, the land was part of Camp Callan, a naval training center. Bell’s son finished much of the initial design after his father’s death. Rees Jones completed a redesign of the course in 2002. The courses take their name from the Torrey Pine tree, which is native to the area and to Santa Rosa Island and is distinguished by its clusters of five pine needles.

Torrey Pines has been home to a PGA Tour event since 1968, with winners including seven-time champion Woods, three-time winner Phil Mickelson, two-time champions Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Billy Casper and Johnny Miller. The 2014 Farmers Insurance Open, played on the North and South Courses at Torrey Pines, was won by Scott Stallings on Jan. 26.

The facility also hosts the San Diego City Amateur Golf Championship every June and the Junior World Golf Championships every July.

The 2021 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course will be the 13th U.S. Open played in the state of California and will mark the fifth site in the upcoming eight U.S. Opens that is open to the public. Future U.S. Open sites are: Pinehurst Resort & Country Club (Course No. 2), Village of Pinehurst, N.C. (2014); Chambers Bay, University Place, Wash. (2015); Oakmont (Pa.) Country Club (2016); Erin Hills, Erin, Wis. (2017); Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, Southampton, N.Y. (2018); Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links (2019); and Winged Foot Golf Club, Mamaroneck, N.Y. (2020).

About the USGA

The USGA conducts the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open, as well as 10 national amateur championships, two state team championships and international matches, attracting players and fans from more than 160 countries. Together with The R&A, the USGA governs the game worldwide, jointly administering the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status, equipment standards and World Amateur Golf Rankings. The USGA’s reach is global with a working jurisdiction in the United States, its territories and Mexico, serving more than 25 million golfers and actively engaging 150 golf associations.

The USGA is one of the world’s foremost authorities on research, development and support of sustainable golf course management practices. It serves as a primary steward for the game’s history and invests in the development of the game through the delivery of its services and its ongoing “For the Good of the Game” grants program. Additionally, the USGA’s Course Rating and Handicap systems are used on six continents in more than 50 countries.

Information Provided by USGA

For more information about the USGA, visit www.usga.org.

Circling Raven Honored as a ‘Best Course’ in Idaho by Golfweek

Multiple award receiving course is ready for April 4 opening of 2014 seasoncircling raven logo

(WORLEY, Idaho) – Circling Raven Golf Club (www.cdacasino.com/golf) – the highly acclaimed, amenity course of Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort – was named the No. 3 course in Idaho by Golfweek in its annual “America’s Best Courses You Can Play” by state rankings.

The distinction adds to the course’s most recent recognition, including being named to Golfweek’s “Best Casino Courses” in America and Golf Digest’s biennial “America’s 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses” list last year.

Recovered1420“These accolades provide candid feedback to avid golfers about the quality of the playing experience at Circling Raven and the entire guest experience at the Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort,” says Director of Golf Tom Davidson, PGA. “The course held up wonderfully over the winter and we’re eagerly looking forward to beginning the 2014 season on April 4.”

Through May 15, daily green fees are $65 (Monday-Thursday) and $75 (Friday-Sunday) and include cart, GPS and use of the practice facility. Replays (same day) are $45. After May 17, rates are $80 (Monday-Thursday) and $95 (Friday-Sunday).

Stay-and-Play Packages through May 15 begin at $199 (per person, double occupancy) and

CDA Casino Resort  Photos courtesy of CDA Casino Resort

CDA Casino Resort
Photos courtesy of CDA Casino Resort

include a round of golf and deluxe, one-night accommodation at the Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort.

Tribally owned and operated by the Coeur d’Alenes, Circling Raven is a Gene Bates design set on 620 pristine acres. In addition to 1,600 gaming machines, high-stakes bingo and off-track betting for horse and dog races, the resort also features more than 200 guest rooms, shopping, entertainment, the 15,000 square-foot, full service Spa Ssakwa’q’n, a fitness room, and a wide array of dining and drinking options.

To book a tee time or stay-and-play package, or for more information, call 800-523-2464 or visit www.cdacasino.com/golf.

About Circling Raven Golf Club and Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort

Owned and operated by the Coeur d’Alene Tribe and within a convenient, scenic drive from eastern Washington’s Spokane International Airport (GEG airport code), the casino resort and golf club are nestled on land covering 345,000 acres of mountains, lakes, old-growth forest and farmland.

The resort spans the western edge of the northern Rocky Mountains. Tribal history informs that Circling Raven was a spiritually powerful leader, his name coming from his close relationship to the raven, who helped guide him on his journeys, warn him of danger and show him where to find fish and game.

Circling Raven is one of numerous amenities at the Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort. The resort completed a massive, upscale expansion in 2011 that included unveiling nearly 100 guest rooms and the full-service Spa Ssakwa’q’n. New dining options were also added, including Red Tail Bar and Grill and Chinook Steak, Pasta & Spirits, which uses all local ingredients for its prime beef, homemade pasta and pizza.

The Coeur d’Alene Casino offers 1,600 machines for play in smoking and non-smoking areas, off-track betting for horse and dog races, high-stakes bingo, entertainment and many other amenities. It is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week every day of the year. The resort is regularly voted the most popular casino in the Inland Northwest.

Circling Raven facts:

• Yardages: Gold, 7,189; Blue, 6,578; White, 6,108; Red, 5,389; Green, 4,708
• Total Acreage: 670 (including practice area, practice green and clubhouse)
• Amenities: The clubhouse is 6,500 square feet, including the Twisted Earth Grill and full service bar.

Both locker rooms include showers and lockers. The practice facility covers 25 acres; separated into areas for wedges, sand play and all clubs in the bag. The Stensgar Pavilion adjacent to the course is a full service event venue, used for golf, business, wedding and other events.

For complete price and playing options visit www.circlingraven.com.

Want Faster Rounds of Golf? Sweet Home Chicago is the Answer

One Golfer’s Opinion: Try a new scoring format in 2014-Part 2: Chicago

Chicago Skyline

Chicago Skyline

In part 2 of this series of articles, we will continue to look at different scoring format options for golfers in 2014.  In part 1 of the series, we covered Stableford as a great format to play with the added benefit of also saving you time during your rounds.  The Chicago format is another points based system and is a great format to play for all the same reasons.

CHICAGO SCORING SYSTEM

The Chicago system is an adapted form of stroke play (played under stroke play rules), but instead of recording the aggregate score; each player plays against the par of each hole and receives points according to how he/she scores in relation to par.

Chicago differs from Stableford in that golfers start with a negative number (comparable to a quota) and work their way to decreasing the negative number with the goal of getting back to zero points or even onto the plus side.  The golfer’s assigned negative number is given to him/her based on his/her handicap.  Chicago is a fun format, which can bring out the aggressive side of a golfer, but will also speed up play (much like Stableford) based on the design of the points system to not award points to the player after double bogey.

CHICAGO BASICS

An easy format to incorporate into play, Chicago works simply by letting golfers play as they normally would in stroke play.  At the end of each hole, the golfer records their score and then the Chicago points are gained as a result.  As mentioned earlier, a big positive of Chicago is that the golfer can pick up after they reach double bogey or simply choose to not finish the hole and record a zero if they per chance hit a few drives O.B. or dunk a few in the water.  Picking up all together (in groups I’ve played with in the past) is known as a “blob” . . . meaning a zero on the card; i.e. “give me a blob.”

Chicago Scoring Chart

Chicago Scoring Chart

INCORPORATING HANDICAPS

Including a player’s handicap as a scoring factor makes it possible for a wide range of golfers to compete fairly based on skill level.  I recommend giving 100% handicap in groups where solid and verified handicaps are known – although ¾ and ½ is also commonly used.

Chicago scoring, with handicaps integrated, can become confusing for golfers new to this format.  But, I guarantee after a few holes, it will become second nature.  See the scorecard below with examples of how scoring – including handicaps – could be recorded for competitions to avoid confusion and help with ease of totaling.

Examples:

“John” scores 4 on hole #1/Par 4.  With a 0 handicap, John starts with a total of -39 in the Chicago format (see chart).  John’s score is 4 for a 4 (4/4) for 2 points. *The equivalent score for par in Chicago.

“Jeff” scores 4 on hole #1/Par 4. With a 10 handicap, Jeff starts with a total of -29 in the Chicago format (see chart).  Jeff’s score is a 4 for a 3 (4/3) for 4 points. *The equivalent score for birdie in Chicago.

“Dave” scores 5 on hole #1/Par 4. With a 15 handicap, Dave starts with a total of -24 in the Chicago format (see chart).  Dave’s score is a 5 for a 4 (5/4) for 2 points. *The equivalent score for par in Chicago.

“Bill” scores 6 on hole #1/Par 4. With a 19 handicap, Bill starts with a total of -20 in the Chicago format (see chart).  Bill’s score is a 6 for a 5 (6/5) for 1 point. *The equivalent score for bogey in Chicago.

Chicago Format Scorecard

Chicago Format Scorecard

As you continue to look at the scorecard, you can see where handicaps came into play on the card, turning bogeys into pars (2 points), pars to birdies (4 points), etc.  You can also see that Dave took a “blob” on hole #5 (which means he picked up) – same with Jeff on hole #11.  However, Bill on hole #2 scored a triple bogey, which adjusted to a double bogey for 0 points.  Also in Bill’s case, he has a 19 handicap so you can see where he was given two strokes on the number one handicap hole, #5 on the scorecard.  On hole #5 he scored a 5, which was adjusted to a 3 (5/3) which is a birdie, therefore worth 4 points in the Chicago format.

You can see the final total points of the golfers using the Chicago format of 40, 42, 41, and 42.  After total points are tabulated in Chicago, those totals are subtracted from the original negative points/quota points.  In the example, John scored 40, started with a -39 in the competition so overall his Chicago total was +1.  The rest of the card tells the story and even though Jeff and Bill scored 42 points, the winner of the competition was Bill because his “quota” was -20, leading to a +22 overall compared against Jeff’s overall +13, Dave’s overall +17, and John’s overall +1.

HAVE FUN!

There is no direct “par” in the Chicago format.  Each golfers “par” is overcoming the negative number/quota they gain through their handicap.  Scores getting back to even or plus in the Chicago format happen on occasion and reflects a good round (with handicaps or without).  Scores significantly on the plus side of the golfer’s quota are rare but will happen with a great round.  Keep in mind Chicago allows for golfers to be aggressive because of the “blob” factor.  So, a golfer might have a zero on the card but an aggressive strategy on a Par 5 or short Par 4 might pay off for an eagle or better (with handicap) and allow them to make up points quickly.  However, if you have someone in the group that posts two or three plus point totals in a row – it might be time to adjust his/her handicap – or better yet – have him/her buy the round.  I think in the case of the scorecard above; Bill is buying!

Enjoy incorporating the Chicago scoring system into your golf game this year.  Challenge your foursome or societies to try this format – especially early in the season – where golfers might appreciate the “blob” hole on occasion and get away from the grind and challenges always playing stroke play can bring.

Next up, golf’s Match play format with some fun and time saving modifications.

Editor’s Note:  Have you ever played the Chicago format in your foursome or in competition? Tell us your story and share a comment in the comments section.  We would love to hear from you. 

BIO: Keith Cook is a contributing editor for localgolfer.com. His career highlights include rounds in nearly every US state and numerous countries throughout the world. He is a retired 29-year US Military Veteran and Ashford University Alumni living in Michigan.  Follow Keith and Local Golfer on Twitter @LocalGolfer

Read more from Keith Click here.

S L O W Play – HIT THE BALL!

One Golfer’s Opinion: In order to make “the clock” work, the PGA Tour Officials program needs to be redesigned.

SLOW PLAY

Hit the ball!

Hit the ball!

Slow play is in the news again.  Is anyone shocked?  Slow play is clearly a significant detriment to the game and fully on display every week at the highest levels of our sport.  Frustratingly, the lack of commitment shown by the PGA tour and PGA Tour officials to enforce current policies is leaving me (and many other golfers) increasingly tired of the discussion.

To be fair, slow play is not just a tour thing.  Pace of play slows to a crawl at my home course as well with just $5 and $10 bets on the line.  I sometimes wonder why all the uproar and apparent surprise when over 1 million dollars is up for grabs?  I might read a putt from a few angles myself in those circumstances.

Yes, slow play exists at all levels of golf, but once again PGA tour players are front-and-center as clear examples of showing us what not to do.  Johnny Miller, the sometimes controversial golf commentator, “told it like it was” once again during round 3 of the Valero Texas Open.  Miller’s comments, concerning PGA tour player Andrew Loupe’s excessive pre-shot routine, “If every pro was this slow, I would quit announcing,” spoke volumes.

But here’s the problem, Loupe was never assessed a penalty, and for the better part of the round, kept pace.  That fact alone should speak louder than his pre-shot routine excesses exhibit themselves.  How is it possible for a player to take two to three minutes in shot preparation and execution and still keep pace?  The answer is simple; the majority of all the tour golfers are taking just as long.

PGA TOUR POLICY

Here’s how the PGA Tour defines its pace-of-play policy:

“Under the guidelines for (USGA) Rule 6-7, a player is permitted 40 seconds to play a stroke. This 40-second time limit includes the first to play from the teeing ground, from the fairway and from around and on the putting green.”

“The PGA Tour rules for pace of play includes the 40-second time limit, but also allows an extra 20 seconds (for a total of 60 seconds) under the following circumstances:

– The first player to play a stroke on a par-3 hole

– The first player to play a second stroke on a par-4 or par-5 hole

– The first player to play a third stroke on a par-5 hole

– The first player to play around the putting green

– The first player to play on a putting green

“Under both sets of guidelines, the timing of a stroke on the putting green begins after a player has been allowed a reasonable amount of time to mark, lift, clean and replace his ball, repair his ball mark and other ball marks on his line of putt and remove loose impediments on his line of putt.”

WHAT’S WRONG THEN?

Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 12.07.17 PMSo the policy is set – but clearly is not being enforced. To even take effect; a group has to be first be noticed as out-of-pace and then the group is “put on the clock.” “On the clock” means all the players in the group will be timed according to the guidelines established.  If a player on the clock receives a “bad time” they are subject to warnings, penalty strokes, fines, and possible disqualification.

No, the problem isn’t with the policy itself.  The paperwork part of the program is complete.  It’s the action and enforcement part of the policy that has been duck hooked out-of-bounds.  So PGA Tour, take your penalty (no provisional needed – clearly OB) and let’s get going.  It’s time you began to set the example again.  Here are a few thoughts – just One Golfer’s Opinion.

HIT THE BALL!

Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 12.00.17 PMReaddress and redesign the PGA Tour Officials program. With generally between only six to 10 total officials on site at any tournament, it’s pointless to keep beating up the Tour for an issue that is a tough to handle with limited staff.

Hire more officials to ensure the proper numbers of officials and a crew large enough to cover every hole on the course at all times.  I don’t know what the magic number is – but I bet the current tour officials have an idea or two.  This workforce upgrade will not only allow for better pace-of-play enforcement, but also will help to save time in other ways such as rulings on the course.

Organize and employ this staff of officials in the same manner as we see the traveling teams of professional officials in all other major sports (NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL).  Officials (teams) could travel to tournament sites for all PGA events vice the current small staffs now traveling and depending on augmentation from other organizations and personnel.

That’s it, not rocket science – hire more officials and enforce the current policy already in place.  Time each group and player – from the start – with the 40- and 60-second guidelines in place.  I think you’ll find the pace will quicken and adjust once the players know the Tour is serious.  If in the future, the 40- and 60-second times are seen to be too harsh, the players and tour can sit down and readdress.

However, and PLEASE for sake of the game – PGA TOUR – “HIT THE BALL!” and start enforcing the current policy already in place.

Editor’s Note:  Are you bothered by slow play?  Do you play less golf because it takes so long to play?  Tell us your story and share a comment in the comments section.  We would love to hear from you. 

BIO: Keith Cook is a contributing editor for localgolfer.com. His career highlights include rounds in nearly every US state and numerous countries throughout the world. He is a retired 29-year US Military Veteran and Ashford University Alumni living in Michigan.  Follow Keith Keith Cook-BIO pic-rev 11-23and Local Golfer on Twitter @LocalGolfer

Read more from Keith Click here.