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Tuesday
Aug172010

Flashback: Fans In Bunkers

While the below images show fans in bunkers during tournament play, none were as on top of players and masking bunker boundaries as what happened with Dustin Johnson.

From Rob Matre, Tiger in 2008 at Torrey Pines.

And from the old magazines, courtesy of the art department.

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Reader Comments (16)

Geoff, those shots, fascinating as they are, were taken well before the modern gallery control measures we see today. And...well before the highly manicured perfection that professional golf seems to demand of its host courses. It's kind of hard to infer anything from them other than a question of whether there were marshals and what did they do besides hush fans before a swing.

What is truly interesting is the shot of Tiger in the bunker with the gallery in it. While yes, there ARE fans in the sand, look at it's overall condition. It's groomed. Were fans in the bunker before Tiger's ball arrived there? Not likely. Secondly, let's keep in mind that it was the playoff day, where there were no players trailing the Woods-Mediate pairing. So, it's similar, but very different.
08.17.2010 | Unregistered CommenterCharles Boyer
All great points Charles, which all would validate why I can understand Dustin Johnson making the mistake he made.
08.17.2010 | Registered CommenterGeoff
Brandel Chamblee used the 1930 British Open as an example of fans being in the bunkers with the players. I think the numbers of fans are the bigger problem. One or two fans wouldn't obscure the margins of the bunker, 1000 can and probably did.
08.17.2010 | Unregistered CommenterScott
re the tiger picture, i think we can forgive the blind guy with the white cane, standing next to the cameraman
08.17.2010 | Unregistered Commenterjay
Geoff:

I have looked at the replay of Johnson walking up to the bunker many times, both the ground level and overhead shots and it was very difficult ,if not impossible, tell he was in a bunker. The whole thing was filled with people, many on the higher portion of the bunker to gain a better viewing advantage. I feel badly for Mr. Johnson the moment he got caught up in was so intense. I certainly looked like an area where the grass was beat up and the sandy soil beneath exposed.

I really enjoy your blog. I love following golf and for a senior citizen I should be doing something better with my time; however you make following the sport interesting and fun. You expose the quirky side of the sport. I do not enjoy reading sites trumpetting the company line.

I ran into it when reading golfobserver.com and Sal Johnson's comments on you blog when the Woods issue broke. Though his remarks appeared somewhat less than complimentary, they piqued may interest and I rarely read any other golf site now. If you recommend it in your blog its worth reading.

Love your insights on golf course design and it has opened my eyes on some of the details that make a course challenging, interesting, yet fun to play.

One last comment, I enjoyed your comments regarding the Atlanta Athletic Club course slated for the next PGA championship (I think). Poor guy (genral manager/owner?) who responded to your observations was definitely over matched in the blog/email exchange.

Keep up the good work. I most likely begin reading the books you recommend on your blog.
08.17.2010 | Unregistered CommenterRobert McIver
Since Tiger is in the conversation, neither he or Stevie would have been sucked into the same mistake made by Dustin Johnson and his caddie, they know the rules. As a reference I offer the VW size object that fans moved for him at TPC Scottsdale. In my mind the last time a boulder qualified as a "loose impediment" was when a glacier had hold of it, but then again, the PGA Tour is not the PGA.
08.17.2010 | Unregistered CommenterOld Hornet
In the Tiger picture, I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that ZERO of those people were in the bunker walking around before Tiger hit it in there. Looks like a lot of people were anxious to get a closer look, but I don't think the situations are really analogous.

Also, I'm pretty sure that's not the sixteenth hole, like the caption describes. 16 is a par three. I know Tiger was all over the yard that week, but why would he be hitting a mid to long iron from a fairway bunker on the 16th hole?
08.17.2010 | Unregistered CommenterSeitz
Geoff,
since the TW picture is no longer there, can you post a link?

My local blogger, Kevin Robbins with the Austin Ameican Statesman told me to check your action out, and I have been quietly observing for a while, but I can no longer sit silent:: DJ should have been out the door marching back to the site and pointing to the spot from which he hit.

As Hogan said, It's in the dirt.

And Mr. McIver, what is ths "Wood's issue" of which you speak? :)

all play well, and play nice.:)

digsouth
08.17.2010 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
In viewing the black and white pix, I realize that I didn't know there was a gallery when that 5 iron was struck on the moon.....

also, my bad, Geoff , I found the TW picture: that little red X thru me a curve....Maybe TW will be putting with one of those red x jobs next.

digsouth
08.17.2010 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
Gallery trampling of bunkers was common until holes were roped from tee to green. That happened
lst at the 1954 Open at Baltusrol It was the idea of architect Robert Trent Jones who was inspired
by The Old Course which just goes out and in. Spectators were kept outside by thin fencing

Before then teams of marshals were assigned to the sexiest groups equipped with fairway wide
roping. They fought desperately to keep mobs behind the ropes, not always with success.

There was a crucial moment in 1954 when the crowd,used to getting in the fairways, went
under the ropes to get close to Ben Hogan. Play was stopped,It was not resumed until the
gallery did as told.There were no further disruptions

Look at Bobby Jones pictures. For the last leg of the Grand Slam at Merion they protected him
with full dress Marines. He also relied on muscled friends from Atlanta. The total gallery
count for a Jones event was perhaps 6,000 - but they all wanted to see him
08.17.2010 | Unregistered CommenterFrank Hannigan
response to Mr. digsouth

The Mr. Woods issue I refer to is his accident in Nov 09 and the subsequent unraveling of a portion his business life and personel life. I was unable to find acceptable coverage on the normal golf sites; golfwold.com, golf.com and ESPN so I looked at golfobserver.com and the though comments Sal Johnson made about Geoff's site were less than flattering, they intrigued me to take a look at his site. I am still somewhat amazed how he noted TMZ and like ilk,though at times were off base, generally had a grip on the story. For me, the ongoing revelation of numerous affairs was too much by these sites; however Geoff covered them with an attitude, I felt was, "heres all the info, if want to look at it go ahead, howerver I think we beat the horse to death."
08.17.2010 | Unregistered CommenterRobert McIver
Robert,

thank you for taking the time to respond. i was funnin' ya a bit about the 'wood's issue'......gosh it's all there is in golf coverage it seems, doesn't it?

And I too was steered to this site by a Blog in my local paper, and a couple of e mails with the writer.

I have read Geoff's post's for month's and hope all can tolerate my occasionally quirky or slightly off color posts.

You have a great week!

digsouth
08.17.2010 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
But nobody is asking where the rakes are for the bunkers in these pictures!!!!
08.17.2010 | Unregistered CommenterTommy Naccarato
Tommy/AKA Art Department
Great work on the photos--maybe you photoshopped the rakes out?

digsouth--really?? "quirky and slightly off color posts"..yeah, right. You've been disrespectful to Frank Hannigan (who we really appreciate here in Shackland) and to Mr. McGiver--not buying your smoke.
08.17.2010 | Unregistered CommenterS.D.
I'm with Frank on this one.
08.18.2010 | Unregistered CommenterErik J. Barzeski
Thanks S.D. Major thanks also must go to British Golf Illustrated, which, if any of you ever have a chance to peruse those old issues of that great magazine can provide you a billion reasons why we need to return to making the sport more simplistic.

PLAY IT AS IT LIES!

Who knows, you might pull off a shot you yourself never thought you were capable of and will stick into those memory banks for a long, long time!

Also great props to Frank Hannigan, for being the voice of reason that he is!
08.18.2010 | Unregistered CommenterTommy Naccarato

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