Thereâ€™s a reason the U.S. Open was dubbed the â€œPeopleâ€™s Openâ€ in 2002, when it was played on the Black Course at Bethpage State Park: For the first time in the golf tournamentâ€™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 thatâ€™s a unique benefit of being a golfer. A baseball fan wonâ€™t ever swing for the fences at Yankee Stadium, and an NBA nut canâ€™t go to the net at the Garden. But anyone with patience to wait in line can negotiate the same fairways as Tiger.