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Sahalee blog: Facing a forest of challenges

Sahalee blog: Facing a forest of challenges

Credit: KING

A look down the fairway from the 1st tee at the U.S. Senior Open at the Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish, WA.


Posted on July 28, 2010 at 11:10 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 28 at 2:23 PM

SAMMAMISH, Wash. - "It looks like you have to walk sideways."

That's the view from the first tee according to Tom Lehman.

Sahalee introduces itself to players not with a friendly handshake but with a punch in the mouth.

"Here I am" the course says, "trees right, trees left and not much room in between. Get used to it." And the players have to get used to it in a hurry.

Many have just arrived from the British Senior open at Carnoustie where Peter Jacobsen says "the biggest tree is probably a 3 and a half foot bush."

And the not necessarily good news is that the USGA has decided to cut the rough down a bit from what they usually have. Benevolence?

Just out of the goodness of their hearts? Not hardly.

They are doing it to allow more balls to bounce through the rough and into the trees so that the golfers will be challenged to hit courageous escape shots and the viewers will be treated to more golf tragedy in the firs and cedars that define Sahalee.

Nice of them; cut the rough to make things harder. That is the USGA to the core.

"Most tour players are used to courses that are a little more open" says Jacobsen. "There is nothing open about this course."\

Poised for production

I got a look inside the production trailers in the NBC sports production compound.

They'll have nearly 30 cameras on the course. Holes 8 to 18 are hard-wired and they have 3 mobile camera and microwave units to follow the action anywhere.

We'll have a behind the scenes tour on Friday, 5pm news.