I think they did something like this after the 1984 U.S. Open, though this split sounds a bit nastier.
Thanks to reader Steven T. for Richard Johnson's Page Six piece for Sunday's New York Post:
December 30, 2007 -- AT a heated closed-door meeting just before Christmas, steamed members of the fabled Winged Foot Golf Club in Westchester overwhelmingly refused to extend another invitation to the US Golf Association for the 2015 US Open Championship. The stunning rejection came in a 340-162 vote - a clear sign of frustration over the nuisances caused by the 2006 US Open.
Gee, I can't imagine why people would be upset at losing one of the premier courses in the land for corporate tents.
USGA reps fueled resentment by telling club members at the meeting that "The Foot" would be paid even less money to host the huge televised tourney than in 2006, when the tony club was compelled to take the money-losing US Amateur in order to land the Open.Take less money? Wow, I knew times were tough in Far Hills, but isn't that a bit much on the frugal front?
The vote was also a stinging rejection of the leadership of Winged Foot president Leonard Horan, whose autocratic style alienated younger members. Page Six has learned the Winged Foot board last month declined to invite Horan to stand for re-election at the Jan. 13 annual meeting and turned down his recommendation of a handpicked successor. Now, members of the legendary golf mecca are gearing up to fight a 20 percent increase in dues, a final "gift" from Horan.
I would never want to be a club that would have any human being for a member.
**Sam Weinman follows up, and gets confirmation that Winged Foot was offered a lesser deal.
He also conceded some members were unhappy with the economic package the USGA was offering, which includes a rental fee and a sharing of corporate hospitality revenue.
"But that was only a small part of it," Horan said.
According to Pete Bevacqua, a Bedford native who is the USGA's chief business officer, the package offered to Winged Foot is the standard deal offered to every Open site,
Well, is that really true? Sorry...
and the USGA's costs for an Open in Westchester are higher than in almost any other part of the country. Even so, Bevacqua said the USGA would welcome another invitation from the club, and refuted a report of a contentious relationship between the two parties.
"We have a very strong relationship with Winged Foot, and the Open in 2006 was very successful," Bevacqua said.
They're already eyeing anniversary dates...
Since the USGA is currently preoccupied with finding a home for the 2015 Open, Bevacqua and other officials told Winged Foot to submit a new invitation when the club is ready. Among the dates that have historic appeal to Winged Foot are 2021, which would coincide with the 100th anniversary of the club's founding; 2023, which is the 100th anniversary of the opening of the two A.W. Tillinghast golf courses; and 2029, which is the centennial of Bobby Jones' historic win in the first U.S. Open at the club.
"Certain dates appeal to certain people," Horan said, before adding, "2015 appealed to me."