Chat with Mike Davis
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, executive director of United States Golf Association (USGA), Mike Davis, will be here to chat about the 2011 U.S. Open which gets underway June 13 at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland.
Davis joined the USGA in April 1990 as assistant manager of Championship Relations. Since that time he's held positions as director of Championship Relations, U.S. Open Championship Director and senior director of Rules and Competitions. He was recently named the organization's seventh executive director in which he is responsible for managing all aspects of the Association's day-to-day operations.
Send your questions now and join Davis Friday at 2 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (10:26 AM)
Hang in there folks, Mike Davis will be here at the top of the hour. Keep sending in your questions!
Buzzmaster (11:03 AM)
Hey folks, Mike is a little delayed so we're pushing the chat back to 2 p.m. ET today!
Buzzmaster (2:18 PM)
Mike is here!
John (Rockville, MD)
Through the reconfiguration of Congressional's Blue Course, which hole do you believe plays the toughest for this years U.S Open?
Mike Davis (2:19 PM)
Either the par 4 18th or the par 4 11th should play the toughest in relation to par.
Mike Ditch Jr. (Kansas City, KS)
With the perceived need for longer courses and hospitality areas, are we going to see courses like Congressional, Merion, Olympic, etc. be left out of consideration after these next couple of years?
Mike Davis (2:21 PM)
I sure hope not. We will do everything we can not to turn our backs on some of this country's most storied championship venues. While Merion, which will host the 2013 U.S. Open, is a very small course logistically, we believe having it host the Open will be great for the game and for the championship.
KB (Chicago IL)
How fast would you like to see the greens come championship time? Is there a number you will not go above?
Mike Davis (2:23 PM)
We are planning on green speeds between 14 and 14 1/2 on the USGA Stimpmeter. This should be the ideal speed that will allow us to best test the players' skills, yet not lose good quadrants of the greens for hole locations.
Chron Rice (toronto)
will it prove to be a tougher test than pebble beach? how do you think the course will perform after a 14 year absence from the US open? will anyone break par after 72 holes?
Mike Davis (2:25 PM)
Mother Nature will in large part dictate what the winning score will be. Congressional will play very long, yet will be softer and less windy than Pebble Beach. I honestly do not know what the winning score will be.
Mike, how much do you hope Tiger will be playing in the U.S. Open? What does it affect if not?
Mike Davis (2:26 PM)
I sure hope Tiger plays and is competitive. While the U.S. Open can certainly hold its own without any particular player needing to be in the field having Tiger, a three time U.S. Open champion, certainly adds interest and drams to the Open.
Cheesehead Sports Nut (Chicago, IL)
Let's look ahead to 2017, what convinced the USGA to give the 2017 U.S. Open to Erin Hills?
Mike Davis (2:29 PM)
Erin Hills is built on one of the best pieces of inland property, in my opinion, in the United States. The fact that it is built on sand allows the ball to bounce and run, making the test of golf even better. Logistically, it might be the best U.S. Open site we have. Last, we also like the notion that it is open to the public golfer on a daily basis. 2017 should be fabulous.
koua (milwaukee wi)
will you be at erin hills this year in August
Mike Davis (2:29 PM)
Yes, very much looking forward to the U.S. Amateur in August.
How much input did the USGA have in the design of the new #10 at congressional?
Mike Davis (2:31 PM)
Very little. We knew what Rees Jones' plans were and we approved, given we thought it would help both the logistics and the competition for the championship.
Benjamin Claussen (Greeley, CO)
One of the worst feelings in the game of golf is when you smoke one down the pipes and your competitor then proceeds to slice one into the woods. You walk up to your ball and find it laying in a fresh juicy divot. Your competitor makes a deal with the devil and puts it on the green and you proceed to chunk your perfect tee ball into the bunker. Have you ever considered declaring divots in the fairway a temporary GUR?
Mike Davis (2:32 PM)
The problem with declaring an old divot as GUR is determining when a divot stops becoming a divot.
Is there any chance of another drivable par-4 at the Open this year, or will Congressional be played from the back tees all the way around?
Mike Davis (2:34 PM)
There will be no drivable par 4s at Congressional, but there will be plenty of opportunities for us to vary teeing grounds and introduce risk/reward. For example, all three par 5s will allow for players to take risks.
koua (milwaukee wi)
Do you believe the course setup this year at Congressional will favor a long hitter vs. a shorter hitter. If so, how can we get everyone short or long a good chance of winning our national championship
Mike Davis (2:37 PM)
If history tells us anything, Congressional should favor a long and high ball hitter. Players like Woods, Els, Garcia, Norman, Couples, Stadler and Weiskopf are past winners at Congressional.
JL (Bethesda, MD)
Are you going to play the tees all the way back on 14?
Mike Davis (2:38 PM)
Yes, on some of the days.
Did Pinehurst consult the USGA before it went thru with the renovation at #2?
Mike Davis (2:40 PM)
Yes, the USGA was engaged in the entire process at Pinehurst No. 2. The architects, Coore & Crenshaw, did an outstanding job with the recent restoration.
Mike Davis (2:41 PM)
Thanks everyone for submitting your questions. Be sure to watch the U.S. Open in a couple of weeks. Good golfing!