The golf course that the 2015 US Open is being played it is taking a lot of stick from fans and golfers alike. First there was Ian Poulter informing us that players had called it a farce in the build-up, before Sergio Garcia and Rory McIlroy voiced their displeasure at the state of the greens.
But now, an even bigger figure in golf has voiced his opinion. Legendary South African golfer Gary Player went on the Golf Channel's Morning Drive and sparked into a huge rant after the presenter asked the question "Good morning, Mr. Player, how are you?".
What comes next is just extraordinary. Here is the transcript, as provided by Golf Digest:
I’m standing in the most beautiful state in the world, Washington, Seattle, unbelievably beautiful, and we play this U.S. Open, this great championship, a group of people, the USGA that I have great respect for, but this has been the most unpleasant golf tournament I’ve seen in my life. I mean, the man who designed this golf course had to have had one leg shorter than the other. It’s hard to believe you see a man miss the green by one yard and the ball ends up 50 yards down in the rough.
Imagine, this is a public golf course. This is where we try to encourage people to come out and play and get more people to play the game…It’s actually a tragedy. It’s 7,900 yards long. The world is suffering from a shortage of water. Can you imagine the water this course will take?
An average golfer playing this golf course, I’m telling you, if he’s a 15, 16-handicap, he’s going to shoot 110 and he’s not going to go home a very happy man. We’ve got to make golf where it’s quicker, where it’s more enjoyable, get back to their family. We don’t want a husband and wife to argue because he’s taking too long and neglecting his family life.
We’re going about it in the wrong way. The golf balls, and this is happening, why they’re building these crazy golf course is because it’s in defense of the ball going too far. We’ve got to cut the ball back for the pro golfer, leave it for the amateur golfer. We’re making golf courses longer and longer. More expenses, more water, more fertilizer, more labor. They’re taking a beautiful golf course, making undulating greens, bunkers in front of the greens, and the folks are resigning from golf in numbers as far as amateurs are concern [that] are down. We don’t want to see that. We love the game. We’ve got to promote it in the right way.
Professional golf has never been so healthy. But we’re in trouble amateur-wise.