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           THE FUTURE IS NOW
                    Youth and experience combine for title-winning efforts
                                                        BY EVAN ROTHMAN

,     •  4 HE 2011 USGA championship season was                                              the first round) to end (a concluding 69)
                                                                                             that made him only the fifth player in the
           memorable in many ways. Highlighted by
                                                                                             championship's lll-year history to shocjt
           Rory Mcilroy's record-breaking U.S. Open                                          four consecutive sub-par rounds.           !
                                                                                                "I played great for four straight dayjs,
           win at Congressional Country Club in suburban
                                                                                             and I couldn't be happier," said Mcllr9Y,
           Washington,   D.C., the season produced                                           who followed fellow countryman Grae~
                                                                                             McDowell, who won in 2010, as a U.S.
storylines and performances that transcended the
                                                                                             Open champion.
recurring weather challenges.                                                                   Day's runner-up finish was his second
                                                                                             straight at a major championship, adding
   At Congressional, record heat followed    ing final-round swoon at the Masters,           support to the notion that his first such tri-
by pre-championship       rain produced      the 22-year-old        Northern Irishman set    umph is imminent. Another young player
unusually favorable scoring conditions.      11U.S. Open records en route to his first       to announce his arrival was 19-year-old
Mindful of the extreme weather and the       major title, including the lowest 72-hole       Patrick Cantlay, who finished tied for 21st
effect it could have on the course, the      score (268) and the lowest score relative       and earned the distinction of low amateur.
USGA was cautious with its setup. Mcilroy    to par (-16). His eight-stroke victory over     (Two other amateurs made the cut: 2009
proceeded to put on an electric display in   Australia's Jason Day was a combination of      U.S. Amateur Public Links champion Brad
front of vast, enthralled crowds all four    brilliant ball-striking and rock-solid put-     Benjamin and Russell Henley, who had
days. Recovering from his disappoint-        ting from beginning (a bogey-free 65 in         already won a Nationwide Tour title and
                                                                                             would go on to represent the USA on the
                                                                                             Walker Cup Team with Cantlay.) The week
                                                                                             after the U.S. Open, Cantlay built upon
                                                                                             his stellar performance with a record-set-
                                                                                             ting opening round of 60 at the Travelers
                                                                                             Championship, en route to the second of
                                                                                             four straight top-25 finishes on the PGA
                                                                                             Tour. Later in the summer, Cantlay, the
                                                                                             world's top-ranked amateur, fell in the fi-
                                                                                             nal of the lllth U.S. Amateur to Kelly Kraft
                                                                                             of Denton, Texas, 2 up, at Erin Hills in Erin,
                                                                                                While the U.S. Open was a good week
                                                                                             for amateurs, the championship belonged
                                                                                             to the young man from Holywood, North-
                                                                                             ern Ireland, who was already looking ahead

                                                                                            LEFT: So Yeon Ryu en route to winning the
                                                                                            2011 U.S. Women's Open.
                                                                                            OPPOSITE: Rory Mcilroy during the final
                                                                                            round of the 2011 US Open.

to the next chalienge."You can always call          Seo by hitting a 6-iron from 170 yards to       U.S. Women's Open [in1998], so this tour-
yourself a major champion," Mcilroy said of         6 feet, setting up a clutch birdie on The      nament is really special for me," Ryu said.
his title, "and hopefully after this, I can call    Broadmoor's brutish 433-yard, uphill fin-         Great Britain and Ireland, bolstered
 myself a multiple major champion."                 ishing hole.                                   by the undefeated records of Paul Cut-
    The 66th U.S. Women's Open, played                 Ryu's rousing finish set up a three-hole    ler and Rhys Pugh, won the Walker Cup
on the famed East Course at The Broad-              aggregate playoff, the first in the cham-      Match for the first time since 2003 at
moor in Colorado Springs, Colo., had                pionship's history (the format changed         Royal Aberdeen Golf Club in Scotland
plenty of weather disruptions, with some           from an 18-hole playoff in 2007). Buoyed        with a 14-12 victory over the USA.
thrilling golf mixed in. Daily delays meant         by her birdie, Ryu played nearly flawless         Cutler, 22, of Northern Ireland, com-
that every round spanned two days and               golf in the playoff to capture her first ma-   piled a 3-0-1 mark, and Pugh, of Wales,
the championship concluded on Mon-                 jor and first LPGA title. After a par on the    the youngest competitor on either side
day. The championship proved a taut affair         first playoff hole, the 16th, she birdied the   at 17, was a perfect 3-0. GB&I has now
from start to finish. Korea's So Yeon Ryu,         par-5 17th and the 18th hole again for a        claimed four of the last five Walker Cups
21, played the 72nd hole brilliantly, forc-        three-stroke margin.                            played on home soil, dating to 1995 at
ing a playoff with compatriot Hee Kyung                "When I started golf, Se RiPak won the      Royal Porthcawl in Wales, although the
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                                            fashion, defeating Moriya Jutanugarn,          straight Women's Amateurs; still, her place
                                            17,of Thailand, 6 and 5 in the final. Kang      in championship lore issecure.
                                            became the 11thplayer to win consecutive            Kang wasn't the only player to add to a
                                            Women's Amateurs and the first since Kelli      prior USGA win in 2011.Jordan Spieth of
                                            Kuehne in 1995and 1996.                         Dallas, Texas, won his second U.S. Junior
                                                It was truly a performance for the ages    Amateur Championship in three years at
                                            by Kang, who made 11 birdies - only            the Olympic Course at Gold Mountain
                                            three conceded - and just one bogey            Golf Club in Bremerton, Wash., with a
                                            in the 31 holes played in the final. Juta-     6-and-5 victory over Chelso Barrett of
                                            nugarn, the low amateur at the 2011 U.S.        Keene, N. H., joining Tiger Woods as the
                                            Women's Open, made five birdies, in-           only players with multiple Junior Amateur
                                            cluding one on the first hole; in fact, five   titles in the championship's 64-year his-
                                            of the first six holes were wori with bird-    tory. "Any time you can be compared to
                                            ies despite showers and wind gusting to        any of Tiger's golf accomplishments, it's
                                            15 mph. (Jutanugarn's caddie was her           special," said Spieth.
                                            younger sister, Ariya, who three weeks             Meanwhile, Ellen PortofSt. Louis, Mo.,
                                            earlier had triumphed at the U.S. Girls'       a 50-year-old       mother of two, won her
                                            Junior; they were seeking to become the        record fourth Women's Mid-Amateur
                                            first family members to win USGA titles        with a 2-and-1 victory over fellow past
TOP: Wisconsin'sErin Hills hosted
                                            in the same year.)                             champion Martha Leach at Bayville Golf
the 2011U.S.Amateur.
BOTTOM: Danielle Kang captured                  In a final of supreme quality, played      Club in Virginia Beach, Va. - 11years after
the 2011U.S.Women's Amateur.                without a three-putt from either player on     Port's previous Women's Mid-Am title.
                                            the vexing Donald Ross-designed greens,             Historic Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio,
USA Team still leads the series, 34-8-1.    Kang was simply unstoppable. Birdiesfrom       hosted the 32nd U.S. Senior Open, where
     Danielle Kang cemented her con-        18 inches, 4 feet and 5 feet on holes three    Olin Browne outdueled two-time major
nection to the U.S. Women's Amateur         through five - the first of two birdie tri-    champion Mark O'Meara by three shots.
Championship with an exceptional display    os - gave her a 2-up lead that she would       Browne holed a 28-foot birdie putt on
at storied Rhode Island Country Club,       never relinquish. Kang turned professional     the last hole for a closing even-par 71 and
which was celebrating its centennial. The   shortly after her victory, meaning shewon't    a 15-under-par total of 269, becoming the
18-year-old from Westlake Village, Ca-      have a chance to join Juli Inkster and the     championship's first wire-to-wire      winner
lif., defended her 2010 title in dominant   four other players who have won three          in a quarter-century. On a rain-softened
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     course, Browne broke the Senior Open 54-                                                               In what is believed to be the first match
     hole scoring record at 15-under 198; with                                                          between amateur brothers in USGA his-
     tougher conditions on Sunday, Browne                                                               tory, younger sibling and eventual cham-
     fell into a tie with O'Meara three times but                                                       pion Louis Lee defeated Stanford, the
     ground out eight pars and a birdie on the                                                          chambionship's 2007 winner, in 19 holes.
     final nine to capture hisfirst major title.                                                        The elder sibling then took over cad-
         The U.S. Amateur Public Links, the                                                             dieing duties for his brother for the final
      USGA's fourth-oldest championship, and                                                            two rounds. Terri Frohnmayer, 55, of Sa-
     the Women's Amateur Public Links were                                                              lem, Ore., who is all of 5-foot-l and 105
     played concurrently at the same site for                                                           pounds, was a giant-killer in defeating
     the first time, with Bandon Dunes Golf                                                             defending champion Mina Hardin, 51, of
     Resort in Oregon hosting the champi-                                                               Fort Worth, Texas, to win the USGA Se-
     onships. Corbin Mills of Easley, S.c., and                                                         nior Women's Amateur on The Honors
                                                        WALKER CUP Thevictorious
     Brianna Do of Vietnam won the titles.                                                              Course in Chattanooga, Tenn.
                                                        Great Britainand Ireland squad
         On the same day as Port's Women's              at RoyalAberdeen Golf Club.                        Along with the brotherly spirit shown
     Mid-Am        victory, 54-year-old        Randal                                                   in Virginia, wonderful golf and exemplary
     Lewis of Alma, Mich., became the oldest               Said Lewis, "To be a USGA champion,          sportsmanship were on display through-
     champion in the U.S. Mid-Amateur's 31-             especially the U.S. Mid-Amateur cham-           out the year at USGA championships. All
     year history, capturing his first USGA title       pion, is just unbelievable." No less un-        one can hope for is a similar seasonin 2012
     with a 3-and-2 victory over Kenny Cook             believable, or at least unprecedented,          - with perhaps a little better weather .•
     of Noblesville, Ind. To put it in context, the     was the meeting of the Lee brothers of
     average age of the previous winners was            Heber Springs, Ark., in the quarterfinals
     34.8. Lewis' title also came 15years after he      of the USGA Senior Amateur at Kinloch           • Evan Rothman is a freelance
     lost in the final of the same event.               Golf Club in Manakin-Sabot, Va.                 writer based in New York.

          RIGHT: Randal
      Lewiswon the U.S.
        Mid-Amateur at
                                                                                   THE HONOR ROLL
     Shadow Hawk Golf
            Club inTexas.                                                                           CHAMPIONSHIP         CHAMPION
     championLouisLee                                                                                       U.S.Open:    RoryMcilroy
       (left) iscongratu-
     1atedby hisbrother,                                                                          U.S.Women's Open:      SoYeon Ryu
      Stanford,after their
     historicmatchin the                                                                              U.S.Senior Open:   Olin Browne
              quarterfinals                                                                                Walker Cup: Great Britain& Ireland
            of the USGA
         SeniorAmateur.                                                                                   U.S.Amateur:   KellyKraft
                                                                                                U.S.Women's Amateur:     DanielleKang
                                                                                                 USGASeniorAmateur:      LouisLee
                                                                                         USGA SeniorWomen'sAmateur: Terri Frohnmayer

                                                                                                     U.S.Mid-Amateur:    RandalLewis
                                                                                           U.S.Women's Mid-Amateur:      EllenPort
                                                                                                    U.S.Junior Amateur: Jordan Spieth
                                                                                                       U.S.Girls' Junior: Ariya Jutanugarn
                                                                                              U.S.Amateur PublicLinks: Corbin Mills
                                                                                     U.S.Women'sAmateur PublicLinks: BriannaDo
                                                                                             USGAWomen'sStateTeam: Georgia

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                                A CENTURY OF
                                 EQUAL FOOTING
                                The USGA Handicap System turns 100 years old
                                                                              BY EVAN ROTHMAN

                                           EAUTIFUL, RUGGED                Scotland,      Country Club in Edison, N.J., and with th~
                                          everyone knows, gave the world the              Metropolitan Golf Association and the New
                                          testing game of golf. It is only fitting        Jersey State Golf Association. On October
                                          that America, a nation that prides              11, 1911, at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield,
                                itself on fierce competitiveness,        democratic       N.J., the USGA adopted his system.             "\
                                ideals and equal opportunity,            would give           "The Calkins System," as it was known at
                                                              golf     the      USGA      the time, had several tenets that remain in
                                                              Handicap System™,           place today. The first: Handicaps should be
                                                              which turned        100     a measure of potential rather than current
                                                              this year.                  ability. (This notion, fundamentally optimis-
                                                                  In 1911, the USGA       tic, seems American to the core.) Calkins also
                                                              became        the   first   resolutely held that every club should have
                                                              central authority to        an active and involved handicap committee
                                                              administer       handi-     that would provide peer review to prevent
                                                              caps, preceding by          abuses. Calkins also argued against the pre-
                                                              almost     a decade         vailing custom of courses rating themselves,
                                                              and a half the vari-        and as a result state and regional golf asso-
                                                              ous golf associa-           ciations began their crucial role in measuring
                                                              tions in Great Brit-        the difficulty of courses as well as in adminis-
                                                              ain and Ireland. If         tering handicaps.
                                                              there is a George               While Calkins' creation       has held up
                                                              Washington of golf          admirably, the Handicap System has evolved.
NUMBERS GAME Various            handicapping,     it is Leighton Calkins. In 1905,        In 1911, the three lowest scores of the season
tools have been used over
the past century to calculate   Calkins wrote a book, A System for Club                   were used to compute a player's handicap.
scores and handicaps.           Handicapping, which included the follow-                  That calculation has evolved over the years
                                ing passage:                                              to include the 10 best of the last 20 scores.
                                    "The principal feature of this system is that         Another major change was the introduction
                                not only is the good player handicapped                   in 1987 of the Slope Rating® system, which
                                because he is a good player, but the bad                  allowed for the portability of a Handicap
                                player is also handicapped           because he is         Index® for the first time.
                                a bad player. The reason is this: The object                  Recent changes to the Handicap System
                                of handicapping       is to put all players on the        brought about a modified definition of peer
                                same level, and if an allowance of a certain              review, an expansion of the definition of a
                                number of strokes is to be made to the less               golf club and a switch to the same four-year
                                skillful player because he cannot playas well,            cycle as The Rules of Golf, which allowed the
                                some allowance ought to be made to the                    system to be current with the Rules. The next
                                more skillful player because he cannot im-                century will no doubt bring more tweaks -
                                prove as much."                                           as surely as the Handicap System has brought
                                    Calkins tested his methods at Plainfield              so much to golf itself. •

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STORM SURGE Many Northeast courses, such as Rumson Country Club in New Jersey, experienced heavy flooding this year.

                                    SEVERE TESTS
       Extreme weather has meant challenging times for golf courses, especially
       in Texas and the Northeast. The USGA does its best to ease the burden.

ffWE                     JUST got an inch
                       of rain last night, and
                       everyone       here    is
                                                               BY EVAN ROTHMAN

                                                   Service, Texas experienced      the hottest
                                                   summer of any state since recordkeeping
                                                   began in 1895; parts of west Texas went
                                                                                                  says. "You don't want to whine about
                                                                                                  your fairways dying."
                                                                                                      Nonetheless, Moore and the 21 other
                       celebrating," says Jim      14 months without        measurable    rain.   USGA Green Section agronomists around
Moore, the USGA Green Section's director           Central Texas is worse than the 1930s          the country have helped courses keep
of construction education and technology.          Dust Bowl in terms of the lack of pre-         their facilities as healthy as possible given
   Moore lives in McGregor, Texas, and as          cipitation. If you are in the golf industry,   such tremendous weather-related       stresses.
anyone who follows the news knows, his             it helps to keep perspective.                  They have also worked to educate the golf-
state and its surrounds have been suffer-              "You see how bad farmers and ranchers      ing public on the issues arising from those
ing through a historic drought and heat            have it, and how whole communities are         stresses and how best to deal with them.
wave. According to the National Weather            running out of drinking water," Moore             This work takes many forms. The Green

 Section's Turf Advisory Service (TAS), for
 example, offers reasonably priced half-
                                                 HTHE ATTITUDE IS SORT OF, "'WHAT NEXT?'
 day and full-day consultations by a USGA         AND "'THIS COULD HAPPEN AGAIN.'
 agronomist, plus a follow-up report and
 assistance, to participating courses. Less
                                                  BUT YOU HAVE TO MOVE FORWARD."
 formally, many courses simply call with
 questions about, for example, how to
 manage highly elevated salt levels, how         for starters. (Water quality drops during     what they see in normal maintenance.
 to allocate what little water they have, or     droughts, another hurdle for superinten-      That's encouraging."
 how far to keep carts from the greens.          dents.) Still, he believes that educating         Courses in the Northeast have faced
    The Green Section also produces a            golfers is perhaps the industry's biggest     different but similarly extreme weather
 weekly e-publication,       the Green Sec-      current issue. This year, White has created a in 2011. A colder-than-normal           winter
hion Record. Not surprisingly, much of its       series of webcasts that seeks to explain, for followed by record rainfall in April and
 l;ontent this year has focused on heat and      example, why an irrigation system is a        May brought early-season          flooding to
 drought-related     maintenance issues. This    supplement to, not a replacement for, rain.   much of the region. An unusually hot and
 information targets not only superinten-        Understanding      this process can alleviate dry July created a mini-drought.         Then
 dents, but perhaps just as importantly,         complaints about why a low area around a      came the devastation of Hurricane Irene,
 ev1ryday golfers, who are encouraged            sprinkler head might be wet while a nearby    which brought destructive flooding to the
t6  subscribe.                                   mound is brown.                               Catskills region of New York and much of
    "Since many golfers are in leadership           "It's frustrating    to hear complaints    Vermont, Connecticut and western Mas-
 roles within their courses, we want them        when you couldn't manage water any            sachusetts. Estimates placed the damage
 to know what practices make the most            better," White says. "We've had a tre-        in the United States at $7 billion.
sense to put into place," says Moore.            mendous amount of people view. the                Jim Skorulski, a USGA senior agrono-
"How do you survive something like this          webcasts and learn what's· happening          mist in the Northeast Region, has also
with the least amount of damage, and             now, what are the long-term plans, and        been working overtime to help and en-
how do you prepare to recover from that          what we'll have to do that's different from   courage     beleaguered      superintendents
damage next year?"                                                                                         via phone consultations, infor-
    Given the duration and intensity of the                                                                mal drop-bys and TAS visits.
drought, another role for Moore and his                                                                      "People are nervous," says
colleagues isto motivate courses to continue                                                              Skorulski. "The attitude is sort
to do all they can to prepare for next season.                                                            of, 'What next?' and 'This could
    "A lot of people are saying, 'It is what                                                              happen again.' But you have to
it is - we'll take our lumps and move                                                                     move forward. If things aren't
on,' " Moore says. "Right now is the most                                                                 smoothed out, there could be
critical time in the drought for Texas cours-                                                             more trouble ahead."
es, because you have to identify which ar-                                                                   One of the clubs Skorulski has
eas are the most important for you to save."                                                             assisted is Stockbridge      (Mass.)
    Dallas, Texas-based       Bud White, di-                                                              Golf Club, which has a history
rector of the Mid-Continent         Region for                                                           of flooding, albeit not nearly as
the USGA Green Section, was pleased                                                                      severe as what Hurricane Irene
to be able to convince a club to agree                                                                   wrought. He helped the super-
to more aeration and soil amendments                                                                     intendent determine whether to
to deal with the soil's higher salt content.                                                             replace turf through seeding or
(Normal salt levels for the region are                                                                   sodding, offered technical sup-
400 to 500 parts per million; this season,                                                               port about water issues and silt
White has measured          some courses at                                                              removal, and laid the ground-
6,000 parts per million.)                                                                                work to help the club figure out
    White has received a "crazy" amount                                                                  the best strategy for the future.
of calls from clubs this Sl:Jmmer seek-                                                                      Says Skorulski: "The attitude
ing advice on how to deal with the ex-                                                                   around here is, 'We'll just do
treme heat and drought.          Like his col-   DROUGHT EFFECT Wildfires near Lost Pines Golf Club      it. We'll clean it up. We'll move
leagues, he has helped prioritize water use,     in Bastrop, Texas.                                      forward.'" •

CHAMPIONSHIP         TEE Rory Mcilroy birdied the 10th hole (above) during the final round of his record-setting   2011 U.S. Open
victory at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland.

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