Chamblee, Duval Lambast USGA For Setup

The United States Golf Association seems to be at the center of at least a few controversies every year with their crown jewel, the U.S. Open, rarely immune to stirring the pot. The 118th U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills this past weekend definitely brought unwanted attention to the USGA’s ability — or lack thereof, depending on who you ask — to set up a golf course to be both tough and fair. 


While players, caddies and fans had their fair share of criticism for the course and the USGA last week, Golf Channel analysts Brandel Chamblee and David Duval levied some of the hardest hitting condemnations on Live From The U.S. Open on Sunday evening. 

“Something was amiss in a big, big way (at Shinnecock Hills),” Chamblee said. “I think the USGA has lost a lot of the trust of the golf world. They’ve done it for numerous reasons.

“On their watch, they missed COR – the rebound effect in drivers. They missed the rebound effect and the combination of the rebound effect (with) the ball. They missed it, on their watch. And now, the feeling is that they’re crying foul, even though it was on their watch. And so, essentially, the equipment companies got it done, by (the USGA’s) standards, legally.

“On their watch, there have been huge mistakes in major championships. We well know this one – a colossal mistake all the way across the board. The golf course was bumpy the first day; they didn’t quite get that right. It was awful the third day. And today, in a different kind of way, it was far too easy.

“And then there’s penalties that they levy that make absolutely no sense, penalties that they don’t levy – not disqualifying Phil Mickelson yesterday. There seems to be no obvious leadership to me; no obvious leadership heading in the right direction.”


Duval picked up where Chamblee left off, albeit in a slightly less scathing manner. 

“I think (the USGA) got it right on Friday,” Duval said with a smile. “Other than that, I think it was a miss every day. I think the pendulum swung too far (Sunday). It should have been a little more difficult today and they should have had the ability to maintain that difficulty through the entirety of the championship.

“I think it’s time for a little consultation with the European Tour and the PGA Tour. These people run professional events week in, week out. I think it’s time for the USGA to consult them on how to consistently get a golf course the same every day and to monitor it so that the difference from you start in the morning to when you finish in the afternoon is not so dramatic and unfair.”