U. S. Open (of golf)

I have just spent a couple of hours at the U. S. Open, a golf tournament that it is apparently a big deal in the world of golf. No cameras or cellular phones are allowed for security reasons. I suppose they are worried that someone might call in an airstrike. As a result, I have no photos.

This security restriction is the doing of the United States Golf Association, a fascistic organization that seeks to control every aspect of the game of golf. Their motto, emblazoned all over the golf course at Oakmont, is “For the good of the game.” What is for the good of the game? Lexus, apparently, and sixty thousand people stomping the grass at Oakmont Country Club into oblivion. What is not for the good of the game is anything that does not funnel money into the USGA.

Everyone in Oakmont and surrounding municipalities is terrified of this organization. Plum, a comically named adjacent boro, barred it’s residents from allowing parking in their yards at the behest of the USGA. Many property owners have told me that they wanted to do one thing or another during the golf tournament but did not because of the fearsome reputation of this group dedicated to hitting a little white ball with a series of sticks. I think it is because of their quasi-governmental logo.

If there is one thing that the USGA is good at it is merchandising. There is a giant, air-conditioned tent full of all variety of crap you can buy with official U. S. Open logos: hats, ties, shirts, ball markers; all the sorts of things you get your dad for Fathers’ Day if you can’t think of anything good. Judging by the number of jags walking around with that stuff on, they were very successful.

There are also a whole lot of people watching golf. They like Tiger Woods especially. I tried to get close enough to see him do something, but the best I could do was glimpse him walking down the fourth fairway. He looked like a guy I had seen playing golf and selling Buicks on television. I failed, to my disappointment, to be star-struck.

I also watched a few people putt on the sixth hole early in the day. There was one guy with incredibly vivid yellow pants on. If only the Post-Gazette’s LaMont Jones had been there. When a golfer named Dimarco came by with another golfer, I asked the guy standing next to me a question.

“Are these guys particularly famous for playing golf?”

“What?”

“Are these guys famous golfers?”

“Dimarco? Yeah. They wouldn’t be here if they weren’t famous.”

There you have it: Oakmont Country Club, where they are famous.

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