We all love holidays and special days (birthdays, anniversaries, graduations).  The BIG holidays such as Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve and Day and the SPECIAL days are really family events.  In other words, as a good husband and father, it is up to you to make those days fun and memorable even if that simply means that you follow orders.

A husband/father CANNOT forget these two rules, especially when it comes holidays and special days:

Rule No. 1:  The WIFE always makes the rules.

Rule No. 2:  The RULES are subject to change without notice.

However, American physician and poet Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (1809 to 1894) famously said, “The young man knows the rules, but the old man knows the exceptions.”  I think most of us would agree that his observation is spot on and as far as I can figure out, Father’s Day is the ONE holiday/special day that a husband/father can declare, “This is what we are going to do this Sunday.  Father’s Day is MY day, not OUR day.”

Obviously, the list of possibilities is almost endless, but I know what I am going to do on MY day.  I am going to play golf in the morning with my friends, then watch the final round of the 118th U.S, Open Championship at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club guilt free, open up a bottle of hardy Cabernet, grill steaks for my family and then ask my wife to say a little thank-you prayer before we eat.

That is my idea of “perfect,” because I really do enjoy watching the four Majors and doing so free of “the stare” or any “when-you-have-a-moment” requests is heavenly.  I am particularly excited about this year’s Open because it is being played on a classic course and there are so many legitimate contenders.

Here are a few basic facts about Shinnecock Hills Golf Club:

  • It was founded in 1891 and it is the oldest incorporated golf club in the U.S.
  • It is one of the five founding member clubs of the USGA. The others are: Newport Golf Club (RI), Saint Andrew's Golf Club, Yonkers, NY, Chicago Golf Club and The Country Club in Brookline, Mass.
  • This will the fifth time it has hosted the U.S. Open.  In 1896 it hosted the second U.S. Open.  The other years were: 1986, 1995 and 2004.
  • The original 12-hole course was designed by Willie Davis, and expanded to 18 holes in the spring of 1895 by Willy Dunn.
  • In 1916, Charles Blair Macdonald was asked to update the course.  With the assistance of Seth Raynor, they lengthened the course to about 6,000 yards.
  • Due to road construction through the property, William Flynn was hired to do a major redesign of the course.  That work was completed in 1931.  Since that time it has been considered a Flynn-designed course.
  • In 2012, Shinnecock hired Coore & Crenshaw.  They used aerial photos from 1938 and archive photos to restore the course’s original look.
  • The 35-35 par 70-course will be 7,445 yards for the Open.  There will be 156 players in the field, including Ernie Els, who won the Open in 1994 & 1977, and Jim Furyk, the 2003 champion. 

Below you will find the players who are considered to be the favorites by the pros in Las Vegas and a list of the top 2017 finishers.  Who do you think will be the contenders?  See my picks below!

Name/Odds/Best U.S. Finish

Dustin Johnson 7/1; Won 2016

Jordan Spieth 16/1; Won 2015

Justin Thomas 16/1; Tied 9th 2017

Rory McIlroy 16/1; Won 2011

Justin Rose 18/1; Won 2013

Tiger Woods 18/1; Won 2000, 2002, 2008

Brooks Koepka 20/1; Won 2017

Jason Day 20/1; 2nd 2011  & Tied 2nd2013

Rickie Fowler 20/1; 2014 Tied 2nd

Jon Rahm 22/1; 2016 23rd

Phil Mickelson 25/1; 2nd/Tied 2nd 1999, 2002, 2004,

2006, 2009

Bryson Dechambeau 35/1; Tied 15th 2015

Henrik Stenson 35/1; T4: 2014

Hideki Matsuyama 35/1; T2: 2017

Branden Grace 40/1; T4: 2015

Tommy Fleetwood 40/1; 4th: 2017

Jimmy Walker 50/1; T9: 2014

Patrick Reed 50/1; T13: 2017

Paul Casey 50/1; T10: 2007

Sergio Garcia 50/1; T3: 2005

Bubba Watson 60/1; T5: 2007

Francesco Molinari 60/1; T23: 2014


Name/Odds/Best U.S. Finish

Louis Oosthuizen 60/1; T2: 2015

Alex Noren 65/1; T51: 2011

Marc Leishman 65/1; T18: 2016

Patrick Cantlay 65/1; T21: 2011

Tony Finau 65/1; T14: 2015

Webb Simpson 70/1; Won: 2012

Adam Scott 80/1; T4 2015

Matt Kuchar 80/1; T6: 2010

Emiliano Grillo 100/1; T54: 2016

Xander Schauffele 100/1; T5: 2017

Rafa Cabrera Bello 100/1; T32: 2016

Brandt Snedeker 125/1; 8th/T8: 2010, 2015

Byeong-Hun An 125/1; T23: 2016

Charl Schwartzel 125/1; 7th: 2015

Keegan Bradley 125/1; T4: 2014

Kyle Stanley 125/1; 53rd: 2009

Matthew Fitzpatrick 125/1; T35: 2017

Shane Lowry 125/1; T2: 2016

Daniel Berger 140/1; T28: 2014

Martin Kaymer 150/1; Won: 2014

Graeme McDowell 160/1; Won 2010

Lucas Glover 275/1; Won 2009

Top 2017 Finishers at Erin Hills (Erin, WI)



Brooks Koepka


Hideki Matsuyama


Brian Harman


Tommy Fleetwood


Xander Schauffele


Bill Haas


Rickie Fowler


After much consideration and hand wringing, I have decided to put “a few hard earned ______” and my reputation on the line by picking the Top Three Finishers, all of whom are currently among the Top 10 players in the world (1. Dustin Johnson; 2. Justin Thomas; 3. Justin Rose; 4. Jordan Spieth; 5. Jon Rahm; 6. Rory McIlroy; 7. Rickie Fowler; 8. Jason Day; 9. Brooks Koepka; 10. Hideki Matsuyama.)

1st:  Justin Thomas – He is playing with Dustin Johnson and Tiger Woods the first two rounds, but that circus won’t bother him. He will enjoy the moment and he has the personality to deal with adversity over four days.My Picks Are: 

2nd: Justin Rose – The 2013 U.S. Open champion is playing well right now, having just won the Fort Worth Invitational and tying for sixth at the Memorial.  He is long enough, and patient enough to win on this very demanding course.

3rd: Rickie Fowler – Right now he is the Best Player To Have Never Won A Major, but he has been close: 2018 Masters, T2;  2014 U.S. Open, T2; 2014 The Open Championship, T2; 2014 PGA, T3.  He will be a contender because he has the imagination to deal with all the crazy bounces and lies and the unforgiving wind at Shinnecock. 

Play Away!

Allan (My Index is 10.3, which translates to a 12 handicap on my home course.)


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  • Andy Cowherd

    1. No comments on the greens?
    2. No St. Andrew’s on Sunday?

  • KEN tuchtan

    A – once more a GREAT newsletter. Lisa & I say Happy Father’s day to you from Plaza Baldaccio in Tuscany, Italy.

  • Ted Strange

    It was great to see you and Nancy again. Love your articles and thanks for the hat

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