Check out Guy Yocom's Golf Digest feature on how we are arriving at Shinnecock Hills with a restored golf course, narrowed in response to Erin Hills and the importance for the USGA to get this right.
The piece in print or online is accompanied by some incredible Dom Furore images and some very rich details on the evolution of Shinnecock since 2004 when it last hosted the U.S. Open.
Most fascinating to learn was Ray Floyd's role in suggesting the course was too wide after watching the proceedings at Erin HIls.
"I said, 'Mike, we need to have a chat,' " recalls Floyd, at age 75 retired but still an influential voice."I asked him, 'Were you happy with the [fairway widths] at Erin Hills? I don't think you were.' Mike told me he absolutely was not. I said, 'Well, it's going to be on steroids at Shinnecock, because it doesn't move and flow as much. You've got it dead wide, and we've had three really good U.S. Opens here with it tight and narrow.' "
The alert from Floyd, combined with conversations Davis had with smart people in golf, must have set off internal alarms. His reaction, expressed in action more than words, was almost immediate. Within weeks, the USGA undertook dramatic alterations to Shinnecock Hills.
Of course historians will recall that the last time Shinnecock hosted, the USGA was coming off a record-scoring U.S. Open. Let's hope the re-narrowing is as far as things go. As Yocum details in a number of way, it does seem very unlikely the course will ever be allowed to spill over the top this time.