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Editorial: Exploring the U.S. Open

The U.S. Open is coming to Bethpage. Great! Oh wait – more traffic, closed roads, a longer commute to work and more people on an already over populated Long Island. Uhhh.

Golf Digest is hosting a U.S. Open Challenge prior to the event. Justin Timberlake, Michael Jordan, Ben Roethlisberger and a contest winner will be in Bethpage to play the Black Course and take part in the challenge. Again, more traffic and congestion. Wait – I can go? Great. Media credentials for myself and another Anton Newspapers editor – priceless.

My fellow co-worker Jaime Tomeo and I arrive on a rainy Friday at the Bethpage Course in cute outfits and shoes. (Did I mention the celebrities that were going to be there?)

The rain starts falling. Good thing we packed those umbrellas.

Having never been to a golf outing, we weren’t sure what to expect. We checked in at the media desk and wore the credentials around our necks with a smile.

We started walking and following the crowd.

“They just teed off and are moving,” someone shouted. Everyone started walking faster. So did we, still not knowing where we were going.

The foursome was done teeing off the first hole, terminology we picked up along the way. We rushed to get to the green on the first hole so we could see them putt.

In the rain, down many slippery hills, through the mud and finally – we were at the green. Michael Jordan and Justin Timberlake walked by! How exciting. And they were gone. Just as quickly they moved to the second hole and the crowd followed.

“What? We have to walk? There are no golf carts?” we thought.

So we trekked to the second hole. Exhausted and out of breath, we wondered how people actually play golf since we were having trouble navigating the hilly course as spectators.

We decided to skip the second hole and get a front-row view at the third hole. Thinking we outsmarted everyone, we were greeted by a crowd of people with the same idea.

As we all stood in silence, we watched the four golfers putt and then just as quickly start walking to the fourth hole, again with the crowd following.

After we continued this exhausting process, we decided to hit the shops.

The shopping pavilion was beautiful and air conditioned! We picked up some souvenirs and some lunch.

We were exhausted – our cute shoes were soaked through from the rain and our bodies were crying for a hot shower!

The USGA did a wonderful job setting up for the event. They did not skimp on any detail. (Besides golf carts for those with media credentials!)

It is a beautiful course even to those with little knowledge of golf. It was a great day and we thank the people at Golf Digest for providing us with media credentials and everyone with the USGA for also giving us access to the course.

Next time, as we watch the golf event on TV, we will have a new appreciation for the spectators, as we know how exhausting that really is.