PGA Professional at the U.S. Open: Day 1
Matt Dobyns, the PGA head professional at Fresh Meadow Country Club in Lake Success, N.Y., competes this week in his first U.S. Open Championship. The 2012 PGA Professional National Champion, Dobyns is making his second appearance in a USGA national championship, having competed in the 1998 U.S. Amateur. He is the lone PGA club professional in the 114th U.S. Open Championship at Pinehurst No. 2.
By Matt Dobyns, PGA Professional
Monday was a fun day getting to know this beautiful course. After a practice round, it will be a most interesting week. You get a feel for what Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore did to bring the natural flora back into the course. I hit into the flora three times, found my ball and three times I was able to get the ball on the green. You hope you can do all of that when it counts.
The guy who plays well this week will be one who has a lot of imagination, the ability to navigate the layout and the greens.
I think this is a great course that offers a lot of options. You can be aggressive or lay back. You have to decide how aggressive you want to be based upon the contour of the greens. You also have to decide where your misses will be.
It’s a three-day course of study. I have played Donald Ross courses in the Northeast and the green speed is quicker here than what I’m used to. I also found something else that you have to be aware once you’re at the edge of the green. You have to judge the grain around the slope. It’s just another dynamic that you have to take into account while playing here.
It is a different feel to play in a U.S. Open than a PGA Championship. It’s interesting to see a large portion of the field play their way in. You have players from the web.Com Tour, the amateur ranks and the legends of the game. It’s the democratic nature of this championship.
My caddie is PGA Professional Chris Crenshaw of Roslyn, New York, a nephew of Ben Crenshaw, and a longtime friend of mine. We grew up together in Texas, and have known each other since we were 13. Chris is a PGA assistant professional at Seawane Country Club in Hewlett, N.Y. He caddied for me in the 1998 U.S. Amateur and is very good at reading greens.
I had a great day getting to know the course, and joined J.B. Holmes and Cameron Wilson for a round.
At first glance, the big clubhouse and the many courses it serves reminds me of Bethpage. I haven’t had the time to tour the clubhouse, but I will later this week. This is the home of American golf and there is a stately feel to it. It is a special place to be.
We begin practice Tuesday at 7 a.m. Another day to get to know Pinehurst.