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Friday, February 22, 2019

USGA Turns to the Classics for U.S. Amateur

The USGA announced today the next six venues for the U.S. Amateur. Sticking with tradition, and somewhat surprisingly, the six venues announced are:
  • 2021 - Oakmont Country Club
  • 2022 - Ridgewood Country Club
  • 2023 - Cherry Hills Country Club
  • 2024 - Hazeltine National Golf Club
  • 2025 - The Olympic Club
  • 2026 - Merion Golf Club
These classic American courses are steeped in history and are well deserving of the honor of hosting such an important event. I am somewhat disappointed, though, in their interest in creating a theme I guess, they also ended up shutting out many of the newer but equally deserving courses this country has to offer.

“This distinguished group of future U.S. Amateur sites aligns the USGA’s oldest championship with courses of historical significance and proven competitive excellence which will be beneficial to both the player and fan experience,” said John Bodenhamer, USGA senior managing director of Championships. “Amateur golf is primary to the USGA’s mission and the partnerships with these prominent clubs affirm our commitment to supporting and growing amateur competition.”

Again, I mean no disrespect to these fantastic courses. I'm sure they will host terrific events that will create fine champions. It does strike me somewhat odd, in this era of trying to re-invigorate interest in golf with younger generations, the USGA took this opportunity to return to the classics. Tradition is an important part of the game to be sure and these courses certainly honor golf's great history. Moving the game into the 21st Century is also an important mission for the USGA to embrace. I don't see how this move supports the latter goal.

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