Merion to keep wicker basket pins in place for 2013 U.S. Open

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Merion Golf Club uses wicker baskets atop its pins rather than the traditional flag.

Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Monday, April 29, 2013 | 4:45 p.m.


Legendary Merion Golf Club's East Course in Philadelphia will host its fifth U.S. Open this June.
On Monday, it was revealed that a special part of Merion will be kept in place for the season's second major. Rather than using pin flags, Merion instead uses a pin with a small, red wicker basket on top of it. 
Shane Bacon had the details on Yahoo's Devil Ball Blog:
For the first time since 1981, the world will descend on Merion Golf Club's East Course on June 13 for the second major championship of the year and the fifth time the U.S. Open has been hosted there.
One thing you should expect to see? Wicker baskets adorning the tops of the flagsticks all across Merion's famed links.
Devil Ball put a call into the USGA on Monday morning asking if the traditional wicker baskets would be in play and it was confirmed they would.
Why wicker baskets instead of traditional flags? Let the Merion Golf Club website explain it...
"The wicker baskets' origin is a mystery to this day. There was a great deal written in 1912, and for three years thereafter, locally and nationally about this new course in Philadelphia. However, there was no mention of the soon-to-be famous wicker baskets. It could be assumed they were not there. By the summer of 1915, William Flynn, Merion's Superintendent, received patent approval for his wicker basket design. Merion had baskets that fall and from then-to-today. It could be assumed, due to lack of written proof, that Flynn convinced Wilson to use the baskets, and Merion received its "basket notoriety" the next year during the 1916 U.S. Amateur."
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.