Major golf champion Phil Mickelson was on site yesterday. USGA Executive Director Mike Davis is there today. No doubt they were walking. Since there are no cart paths at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa., walking is a must. Essential. The norm.
These days, however, there is a serious purpose behind it. Each step counts. And not just because the biggest golfing event on the radar goes down next week.
As his staff prepares for the 113th U.S. Open that begins one week from Thursday, Merion director of golf course management Matt Shaffer's crew, spearheaded by superintendent Arron McCurdy,is raising money for people hundreds of miles away. Called "Walk to the U.S. Open," Shaffer's department is doing its part to help the American Red Cross aid those who were affected by the recent wave of deadly tornadoes in Oklahoma. They request a flat donation for miles walked or an initial donation, with an incentive pledge for every 500 miles they walk (an example of that is if somebody donates $50, there is an additional $50 promise if they walk 500 miles or an additional $100 if they walk 1,000 miles).