The finish at the U.S. Open concluded an exciting week that was good for the game of golf. Matthew Fitzpatrick’s win provided a dramatic conclusion befitting our national championship and the historic venue over which it was contested, The Country Club at Brookline, Massachusetts.
We were reminded about Francis Ouimet’s upset over Harry Vardon and Ted Ray at this storied venue in 1913 and the unprecedented boost it provided to American golf. In The Story of American Golf, Herbert Warren Wind recounted what a “wholesale therapeutic” Ouimet’s win was for American golf:
“Here was person all of America, not just golfing America, could understand – the boy from the “wrong side” of the street, the ex-caddie, the kid who worked during his summer vacations from high school – America’s idea of the American hero. Overnight, the non-wealthy American lost his antagonism toward golf.”
Consequently, interest in the game boomed and millions of Americans, from all walks of life, took it up.
Golf can be a force for good. Barry Srvluga in a column for the Washington Post, highlighted the great work being done by the National Links Trust – https://www.nationallinkstrust.org. In addition to renovation work being done to historically significant munis in DC, the Trust has become an advocate for the preservation of munis nationwide. They represent an important voice for affordable and accessible golf. As Svrluga noted, “…if golf can be a force for good, it’s more likely to happen at the community level.”