Times golf writer Scott Hanson offers perspective from Chambers Bay.

Share story


The cutest little girl, in her pink U.S. Open dress, asked her grandpa, “Why do you have to be quiet in golf when they can scream in basketball and football?” Later, when she was informed that the 18th hole was a par 5, she said, “It would be a par 50 for me.” And when a man proclaimed that Bubba Watson hits the ball a mile, she told her grandpa, “no one can hit the ball a mile, Grandpa, except you.”

Listening to the two will be some of my favorite memories of this U.S. Open. That’s because “grandpa” is my father, and the little girl is my 7-year-old daughter, Elizabeth. As my dad tried (sometimes in vain) to teach Elizabeth some of the finer points of the game, I realized that this is why the USGA let kids 12 and under get in free with a paying adult. It can introduce a new generation to the game.

I am pretty sure that coming to the Open has spurred Elizabeth’s interest in golf, and she told me she intends to be the first female to play in the U.S. Open. But even more special to me is that it’s the first time my father and daughter have gone on an outing together, just the two of them.

I intruded on their time for a bit; it meant a lot to me to share a couple of hours with them at the event that has dominated my life for several months. So thank you, Dad and Elizabeth. You made my day.