I just finished reading Open: Inside the Ropes at Bethpage Black, John Feinstein's chronicling of the 2002 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black in New York. The Open at Bethpage Black marked the first time the U.S. Open was held at a truly public course. If you might not be familiar with Bethpage Black, it is one of five courses that comprise Bethpage State Park on Long Island. The Black Course was designed by the famous golf architect A.W. Tillinghast. The course is so famous and desirable to play, even though it is suggested for only low handicapped golfers, that people literally sleep in their cars overnight for the opportunity to gain one of the coveted daily tee times.
In his book, Feinstein takes us from David Fay first developing the idea in 1995 to play the Open at Bethpage, the logistics and difficulties behind making that idea a reality--including the fallout from 9/11, the actual tournament that was won by Tiger Woods, to the USGA's agreement with the State of New York to have The Black again host the Open in 2009. In this book, Feinstein gives us an in-depth look at people who run the United States Golf Association, as well what it takes to stage one of the largest and most prestigious golf championships in the world. It is both fascinating and entertaining, and I highly recommend it for any true golfer's reading list.
By reading Open, I have now completed the John Feinstein "Grand Slam" of golf books, which also includes A Good Walk Spoiled, The Majors, and Tales from Q School. Tonight at Borders I picked up my next read: One Magical Sunday: (But Winning Isn't Everything). Co-authored by Phil Mickelson, it is his firsthand account of his life leading up to his winning his first major, The Masters, in 2004.