The format of today’s post follows in the tradition of the late, great Herb Caen, San Francisco columnist and man about town.  In other words, I’m just throwing out random items, separated by three dots.  It seemed appropriate at a time when the golf world has turned its attention to The City by the Bay…And so, an appropriate place to start is to point out that a more accurate geographic identifier for my hometown is The City by The Ocean, because it is the proximity to the rather chilly waters of the Pacific that produces the fog that not only shrouds my neighborhood right now, but more importantly, is also saturating the rough at Olympic to the pliability and forgiveness of a wet mop…The cool, heavy air of the southwestern corner of SF will be the invisible course condition in the next four days.  Those of us who play our golf in this corner of the world always look forward to the pre-tournament interviews out here in which the best players in the game admit that they are going to have “club up” to hit shots a given distance.  What would be a 7-iron elsewhere is now a 6 or even a 5-iron.  After a season or two of hearing the hushed tone of the commentator on the course saying, “160 yards…9-iron,” it is satisfying to hear players say that they just can’t hit it as far out here by Lake Merced.  That’s right, you’re living in my world now…And speaking of Lake Merced, which is not only the body of water towards which all putts will be breaking this week (you’ll get tired of hearing that!),  but also the namesake of the club where I belong and play my version of the sport.  If you want a good visual of what my course looks like, just imagine a shorter Olympic with tighter fairways and more undulation in the greens.  I mention all this only as an intro to the following question: I have raised the question as to why we golf, but there is also the matter of where you golf.  I am fortunate to have been able to join a private club. But that’s not my point here.  What I’m thinking about is the view I’ve had over the past two months of the Olympic Club.  For many weeks now, huge hospitality tents have sprawled across the fairways of the Ocean Course, the less attractive sister of the Lake Course.  This means that members of Olympic have lost their facility for months.  Is the prestige of hosting the Open worth that amount of inconvenience and golf deprivation?  I don’t think so.  I’d much rather see the shots of sloping fairways lined with cypress trees and think to myself, “Hey cool, that’s just like my course. I think I’ll go out and play there. TODAY.”  I’ll trade prestige for convenience any day, any time…Betting tip from a local: go with the grinders. This is not friendly territory for the boomers.

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