Erin Summers

Taking in the U.S. Open

Posted June 14, 2014

Graeme McDowell plays his tee shot on the 14th hole during the second round of the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort & C.C. in Village of Pinehurst, N.C. on Friday, June 13, 2014.  (Copyright USGA/Fred Vuich)

Amidst a historical two week stretch, all eyes are on the men’s and women’s U.S. Open’s being played at Pinehurst No. 2.

If you keep your eyes and ears open, the sights and sounds across the course will leave you more than impressed at the spectacle that is The Open.

What the fan in attendance gets that a TV viewer doesn’t, besides a sunburn, is their own personal take.

It’s all about spending a half hour in the merchandise tent with your dad only to leave with the exact outfit that was on the mannequin because you couldn’t pick out just the right thing for your wife. It’s meeting a group of your friends that you grew up with for a reunion -- a little golf and a lot of beers for many that have been observed.

It’s spending hours in the grandstand that overlooks holes 3,4,5, and 6 to see Phil Mickelson tee-off twice and then getting stuck in the gaggle of fans and media following Lefty around.

Maybe you’ve flown in for the weekend from any-point USA to meet your brother and some friends for a guys’ weekend. Maybe Rickie Fowler rented out your family’s house for the tournament and has you over the night before to kick it.

It’s the stories that take place off the course that make the U.S. Open the experience that it is. A wave from a golfer as you cheer him on, getting up early to face the humidity and getting to see Webb Simspon birdie his first hole, getting stuck at a hole crossing and a massive grey squirrel wreaking havoc after getting stuck out in the middle of play.

It’s my first Open and I can’t get over how different Pinehurst looks with all the people, tents and grandstands. And I don’t understand how the volunteers hold their hands up all day long to tell people to be quiet -- how do you even prepare for that?

The golf has been great, but it’s the stories I’ve heard from fans and experiences that I’ve had at the tournament that I won’t ever forget.

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