I’m on the second (and final) leg of my West Coast swing up in Seattle, WA – where I grew up and where my family still resides. Today, I’m attending the 2010 U.S. Senior Open Press Conference & Golf Outing at Sahalee Country Club.
Anyone remember the 1998 PGA Championship or the 2002 WGC-NEC Invitational? If you do, you know that Sahalee is one tough track. Like many of the older courses in the area, tall evergreen trees line the fairways, which are, like, 10 yards wide. OK, not really, but let me tell you, they’re narrow, and if you miss them, you’re likely to find trouble. Ball placement is always important, but that’s an understatement at Sahalee. On some holes, even if you hit a great shot in the fairway but you’re not on the “correct” side, you might have a inconveniently annoyingly placed tree that blocks your line of flight to the green. Then, there are a gagillion bunkers that guard the fairways AND the greens. Yeah. They’re everywhere. Water hazards, you ask? Yeah. Those run rampant as well. That said, all parts of your game better be working if you looking to shoot low.
I haven’t played Sahalee since High School (circa 2001), but I remember it quite clearly because the course is indeed as beautiful as it is challenging. I’ll just keep ‘em in the fairway and avoid those darn’d three putts!
I have fond memories of the ‘98 PGA Championship. I remember watching Tiger Woods play for the first time. The package came complete with club slams/throws, which I’m not going to lie – kind of tainted that perfect image I had of him as a kid; I never fully recovered. I also scored the ball he played with on the final day. No big deal.
I’ll never forget following Fred Couples, our hometown hero and fan favorite. Earlier this year, he was named the honorary chairman of the 2010 Senior Open. Freddie turns 50 in October, making him eligible to play in the Championship next year. I wonder if that had anything to do with the venue selection.
I’d also like to know how the course set-up will compare to tournaments held in ‘98 and ‘02. Have there been any major renovations and changes? How is Sahalee and the USGA preparing for ‘10? Some of the guys who played in those tournaments are now on the Champions Tour – how will they respond to the course?
Without further ado, here is today’s schedule of events:
- 11:15am—Press Conference
- 1:30pm—Golf Outing
Notables attending include:
- Mr. Steve Boggs – General Manager, Sahalee Country Club
- Mr. Chris Falco – President, Sahalee Country Club; General Chairman, 2010 U.S. Senior Open
- Mr. Tim Flaherty – Director, U.S. Senior Open & U.S. Amateur Championships, United States Golf Association
- Sahalee Founding Members – Mr. Gene Lynn, Mr. Dixon Irvin, Mr. Jack Wright
- Mr. Bruce King – Retired KOMO Sports Director
- Mr. Jim Pike – Director of Golf, Sahalee Country Club
- Mr. Ken Still – 1969 Ryder Cup Team Member
- Mr. Rich Taylor – Head Golf Course Superintendent, Sahalee Country Club
- Mr. Mike Zinga – Championship Director, 2010 U.S. Senior Open
I’ll be tweeting during the press conference (and perhaps even during my round depending on the circumstances, but it’s against USGA and Sahalee’s rules <gasp>. So I hear.) If you have any questions or comments, I’d like to hear them and I’ll do my best to get an answer. You can reach me via Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, text message, BBM, email, or just drop ‘em below.