You know what they say, nobody can fock up and destroy a legendry golf course like the USGA. Once again they got in their own way, once again they made the story about them instead of the play between the ropes. I will never understand how it is they view a true test of golf is having greens that look like the court on the final day of Wimbledon... I also hear there was a parking fiasco during the week - how in the hell did they not plan right for that?
I attended on Thursday. At that point, it just looked like the pros were having difficulty reading speed of the greens and accounting for the wind in their approaches (wind was blowing counter to the "norm" there), but it is pretty clear that as the weekend progressed (particularly Saturday), the USGA was playing games with pin placements, and did not fully account for how the wind would dry out some greens on the course, making the speed of the greens largely inconsistent.
In terms of the parking, we had the benefit of having a state cop with us, so we got good parking at the local DPW with a cop van taking us to the gates on about a 5 minute drive. The parking itself was not the problem for the masses. It was the small roads around the course that created gridlock, and the transportation into the course from the parking lots was not sufficient. You have to understand that on that part of Long Island, there are not a lot of large parking lots that were available. Most had to park at a local airport, about 20 minutes, without traffic, from the course and be bussed over. The tournament did not provide enough busses early in the week, and the busses they did use got stuck in traffic, so folks at the lots had to wait forever and a day for the next bus, and once they got on the bus, it was about 40-60 minutes to get to the course.
Also, the marshalls were total a-holes about letting people use the crosswalks on day 1. We waited 3 groups to cut across in front of the 16th tee after Mickelson's group went through on Thursday morning because the marshall was holding everyone up for play on an adjacent green (I think it was 5). It was ridiculous as the players on the green were literally a few hundred feet away. Finally, people in the group yelled at him enough that he finally let us through. By that time, the Mickelson group was already on 18.
Shinnecock is a beautiful golf course.
Also, we sat at the par-3 7th green for 8 groups on Thursday. 24 golfers. Nobody even sniffed a birdie.