On the Saturday of U.S. Open week, just a few hours after I had returned from my blogging duties at Pebble Beach, I found myself at a neighbor's house for a backyard barbecue. And before I could even get my hands on a plate of food and an ice-cold beverage, the questions started.
"What the heck is wrong with the greens at Pebble Beach," they asked.
So in the most complete yet non-technical way possible, I explained that there was nothing wrong with the greens at Pebble Beach, and in this instance, there was really no correlation between appearance and conditions. I talked about Poa annua, what happens to it when it's maintained as intensely as it is for a U.S. Open, why it discolors, why it's bumpier in the afternoon than in the morning ... I covered it all. Sure, I would have rather given my undivided attention to my burger and beer. But since the avid golfers in my neighborhood were asking me about it, I felt I owed it to them — and, frankly, to superintendent Chris Dalhamer, CGCS and his team at Pebble Beach — to explain exactly what was happening on the ground and why in this case, seeing wasn't necessarily believing.