The San Francisco Chronicle's Ron Kroichick considers the Olympic Club's grabbing of a PGA and Ryder Cup, suggesting there were lingering tensions with the USGA over repair costs in 2012 and in revenue anticipated for a possible 2027 U.S. Open, which is now headed to Pebble Beach.
One logical explanation for the Olympic Club’s change of heart: money. Olympic could earn a projected $15 million from hosting the Ryder Cup and PGA Championship, according to one source. Another U.S. Open probably would have generated between $2 million and $3 million.
The windfall is expected to help finance an extensive renovation of Olympic’s clubhouse, which hasn’t had major improvements in 23 years.
Kroichick also says Olympic Club officials didn't like the terms they were offered.
This reflected a larger issue: Olympic Club officials believed they weren’t offered financial terms comparable to other traditional U.S. Open venues.
None of the principals involved would address these differences on the record, but tension apparently spilled into negotiations over the past year for the 2027 U.S. Open.
As he notes, this likely opens up faster returns to other west coast venues like Pebble Beach, Torrey Pines or maybe even Chambers Bay, all of which garner higher ratings due to time zone differences allowing for more viewers to watch the U.S. Open in prime time.
Not noted by Kroichick but certainly something else to consider if you're wondering why the obsession over Olympic Club, which has slipped architecturally in recent years.
The USGA announced another return to Pebble Beach in 2027 once Olympic Club negotiations stalled: it's the first year of their next television contract.
For the PGA of America, landing Olympic Club adds a second west coast venue to its schedule, a vital chip when the organization starts talking--any day now--to networks about its expiring television contract (after 2019 PGA).
Either way, let's hope Olympic Club figures out how to get some of the character back in its decidedly-modern looking bunkers: