A Sense of Huber: Course, Interrupted

Atlanta Athletic Club
PGA Championship staff
Preparations are well under way at Atlanta Athletic Club for the 2011 PGA Championship
By
Jim Huber
PGA.com

Series: A Sense of Huber

Published: Friday, July 01, 2011 | 12:13 a.m.


I am a dues-paying member of the Atlanta Athletic Club, have been for the last 28 years, will be until they kick me out for parking in the handicap zone or smuggling my own sandwiches.

I say all of this up front because I find myself once again in the middle of the kind of dilemma only a few "lucky" folks across America are allowed: being part of a host club for a major championship.

Truth be, all things considered, it's a great thing. When the 93rd PGA Championship rolls around in August, I will proudly proclaim "yeah, this is my club, pal. See that bunker there on No. 3? I spent a week there last month. See the lake on No. 15? It used to be a foot lower until I started filling it with balls. See locker B-52? I really didn't make those dents, seriously."

When the PGA arrives, it will mark our fifth major championship over the decades and I don't think there are many clubs with 36 holes in America that can brag of hosting majors on BOTH eighteens. While the 1976 U.S.Open, the 1981 and 2001 PGA Championships were all on Highlands, the 1990 U.S. Women's Open was held on Riverside.

So there.

Now comes the howevers.

The sacrifices can be a bit ridiculous and that is where we are today.

Playing can be an afternoon of noisy interruptions, trucks going this way, tractors that, platforms for hospitality tents being hammered. And my favorite--ever encounter a moving Port-a-Let in your backswing? It will happen.

It is 10 weeks away yet and we have already begun to protect the fairways by keeping carts on the path. The heat might be withering and the four-hour round a fantasy but by God that damn grass will not be run over.

And come the end of July, we will adopt the St. Andrews method of protection. Every golfer playing Highlands will carry a mat, from which to hit. St. Andrews does that for a full year before it hosts a major championship. Course, they, like us, have long ago done away with the sheep.

It is, they keep telling us, a great honor to host a major.

In the long run, they are absolutely right. And as I climb into my other role as essayist and interviewer for TNT's coverage that week, I might be hard-pressed to contain the smile. Especially the first time someone dunks it on No.17 or wings it into Ned's backyard on No. 5.

You all have been most kind these last few months as we have ramped up A Sense of Huber. Your comments and questions have kept me on my toes and I'm very grateful. You can reach me a bunch of different ways, either by commenting below, or e-mailing me at askjimhuber@turner.com or on Facebook at PGA.com or on Twitter @jamesrhuber.

We took on the ascendency of Rory McIlroy last week and received a strong response.

From Al Byrnes: Rory doesn't need to be compared to Tiger-Rory is Rory-brilliant, dynamic. Nothing any of you guys has to say or write is going to have any impact on this player.

@fonsgolf wrote on Twitter: When will you people ever shut up and let players rise or fall on their own merit?

From Artie S.: Finally, from the Young Guns, we have a player who appears ready and willing to take the bit and run with it. For all the potential of Fowler and Johnson and Watson and Kim, we've been left wondering if they even care. McIlroy looks like he really does.

Thanks, y'all. Keep reading and writing.