Save the U.S. Open Challenge!!!
For the first time four years, Golf Digest will not conduct the US. Open Challenge
this year at Congressional. Prior to the Opens at Torrey Pines, Bethpage and Pebble Beach, an amateur, selected through an essay contest and then a public vote, played the Open venue with a group of celebrities from the championship tees under Open conditions, attempting to break 100. This year Golf Digest, the USGA and NBC decided that the Challenge had accomplished its goal, namely to answer the question, Can a 10-handicap amateur, under Open conditions, shoot 99 or better. The answer is no.
Golf Digest will still consider amateur challenges, just not this year. That decision has disappointed some readers. One reader even suggested that we might pull it together at the last minute--not possible--but made a strong case for keeping the Challenge alive on some basis.
I'm saddened to see the apparent end to Golf Digest's US Open Challenge this year. Although the general consensus among your affiliated message board at Golfwrx.com is that the spirit of the Challenge was derailed by special interest stories, there is a mutual consensus that the event was a significant and appreciated nod to the avid amateur-golfer community at at time when the sport has come under constant attack from political pundits for being an "elitist's" hobby.
Please consider reviving this event at a grassroots level, one that is ready and willing to defend and showcase the sport we love, the only sport that allows amateurs to play in their "Super Bowl" events alongside the world's best.
Thanks, Kevin, well-said. We think the Challenge demonstrated exactly what you say it did, and we hope that we can make that same statement with some kind of future amateur challenge. There is no sport that offers the "Walter Mitty" opportunity golf does. Although we don't suggest doing it every day, the fact that you can play the same course from the same tees under the same conditions as the pros, bonds amateurs and professionals in our sport with professionals in a way that no other game can. Stay tuned.