News & ToursAugust 12, 2010

Fog delay ends, play begins at Whistling Straits

HAVEN, Wis. -- So finally we have golf in the 92nd PGA Championship after a delay of three hours, 10 minutes for fog.

Other than consideration for the safety of fans, we're not sure why fog has to delay championship golf. I mean, don't they purposely build blind shots on links courses in the United Kingdom? But we've seen it now this week and in the 2006 U.S. Women's Open at Newport CC in Newport, R.I., when the first round was totally wiped out and forced a 36-hole final day, and fog also halted play midway through the first round of the 2000 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links.

But it didn't always used to be this way.

One of the most famous days of foggy golf occurred in the fifth round of the 1959 U.S. Amateur at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo., when 19-year-old Jack Nicklaus defeated Dave Smith 1-up in a fog so thick that the two contestants never really saw any of their shots finish. As Nicklaus recounted in his book, "My Story," they merely used a collection of forecaddies to keep track of their shots. "We played every shot almost totally blind. We had forecaddies for forecaddies for forecaddies and they would shout out the direction of shots down the line to the next man."

Times are different, sure. And some of the old ways get lost in the, um, fog of history.

-- Dave Shedloski

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