There’s a reason the U.S. Open was dubbed the “People’s Open” in 2002, when it was played on the Black Course at Bethpage State Park: For the first time in the golf tournament’s history, it was contested on a municipal course.
It sent a message that a public course can be as great as an elite country club layout. And that’s a unique benefit of being a golfer. A baseball fan won’t ever swing for the fences at Yankee Stadium, and an NBA nut can’t go to the net at the Garden. But anyone with patience to wait in line can negotiate the same fairways as Tiger.