USGA MEDIA CONFERENCE
April 20, 2022
STU FRANCIS: Good morning, everyone. My name is Stu Francis, USGA president, and it is my honor to be here today for such a special event.
Today, we are incredibly excited to kick off a new chapter in our storied relationship with the Pebble Beach Company, an organization that means so much to all of us at the USGA, and a place that has hosted so many memorable USGA moments, beginning in 1929 with the U.S. Amateur, and continuing through 13 incredible, memorable national championships.
Pebble Beach is one of my favorite places in the world, and, undoubtedly, one of my favorite places to play golf. Over my time with the USGA, it has been home to so many of my fondest memories.
Just being on-site again brings me back to Gary Woodland's 2019 U.S. Open victory, which he capped off with an incredible putt and a memorable fist pump right behind us on the 18th green.
As you all know, we will be back here in a little over a year for the 2023 U.S. Women's Open presented by ProMedica, and again in 2027 for the U.S. Open. We can't wait to see who will add their names to the history books.
But today we are here to share some very exciting news about our future here. USGA championships showcase and celebrate the world's best, and give them the stage for achieving their dreams, all ages, individuals and teams alike. In doing that we host the national championships in golf and in America while showcasing the nation's best courses. Well, right here is clearly one of them.
Pebble Beach has been an incredibly special place for the USGA and today we want to make it clear that it will be a very special place for the USGA for a long time to come. We are thrilled to announce a long-term partnership with Pebble Beach Company that not only cements its place as a permanent stop on our Open Championship schedule and, yes, that is both the U.S. Open and the U.S. Women's Open. But it also includes a number of other championships we'll bring here and several groundbreaking initiatives meaningful to the game of golf.
We have a lot to get through this morning. First, Pebble Beach will become the third U.S. Open anchor site. In addition to the previously announced 2027 U.S. Open, we have committed to Pebble Beach that we will bring three more U.S. Open Championships here over the next 22 years. I know John will elaborate a bit more later in the program on this and what we plan to do. We are also committed to bringing the U.S. Women's Open presented by ProMedica here on a regular basis, adding three more Women's Open championships to the calendar in addition to the one we're conducting in 2023.
We've also announced that for the first time ever we will stage back-to-back U.S. Senior Open and U.S. Senior Women Opens here at Pebble Beach. They will take place in 2030 at Spyglass Hill.
Outside of the championship realm, a first of its kind relationship between the USGA's Greens Section and Pebble Beach will also be embarked upon where we will invest together in turf grass and water conservation research already under way and we plan to accelerate that to really get ourselves in a position where we can help assure a sustainable game for generations to come.
And while it doesn't end there, I would like to play a short video, welcome in a special guess, and then turn things over to John and David for further information. Thank you.
BETH MAJOR: Stu, thank you so much for sharing all that wonderful news and thank you everyone for being here today. Good morning to you all.
As Stu mentioned, the incredible golf course behind us has played host to some of the most memorable U.S. moments in history and we are truly honored this morning to welcome the owner of a few of those moments, Gary Woodland, who is joining us via the Cisco Webex virtually today to help celebrate what is truly a monumental day for both the USGA and Pebble Beach. Gary is a four-time winner on the PGA TOUR who most notably won his U.S. Open right here at Pebble Beach. I'm hoping that he'll be with us momentarily. He will not be with us momentarily, so this is why I asked Stu to stay up here.
Stu, I know that you have an incredibly special feeling about Pebble Beach, but also that you have an interesting story related to Gary at Pebble Beach. Can you talk a little bit about those two things, certainly your feelings about Pebble, but then also share the story about your encounter with Gary during the 2019 U.S. Open here.
STU FRANCIS: Sure, happy to. Well, Gary's certainly an extraordinary human being, as I think you've all seen in terms of his relationship with Amy Bockerstette, everything he's brought to the game in terms of humanity, but we had a very nice moment.
Nick Price, who is also on our Executive Committee and I were here early for the U.S. Open and we, Nick said, Let's go up to player dining on Monday for lunch, just to check it out, I want to see what it's like. He's obviously a veteran of player dining in professional championship, I'm not.
But we walked in and Gary was there with his caddie and Gary waved and said, Hello, Mr. Price, how are you? And Nick said, Well, call me Nick, first of all, but let's get together for lunch and talk about it.
So we had lunch together, Gary, his caddie, Nick and I, nice chat about the world of golf, how he's playing, he said, Well, I'm playing pretty well, I feel pretty good about the week. Little did we know that he was then going to go win the U.S. Open and as he sank that birdie putt on 18 raised his fist pump and walked off the green, he looked at me and said, Who would have figured six days later I would be the U.S. Open champion.
So, great things can happen in golf, great things can happen at Pebble Beach, and I think that's just one example of it. But he couldn't be a better representative of golf, of the USGA, and of Pebble Beach and the best players win at Pebble Beach.
BETH MAJOR: Well said, Stu and fortunately I think Gary joined us just in time to hear you say those wonderful things about our 2019 U.S. Open champion. Gary, hello.
GARY WOODLAND: Hey, how are you guys. Can you hear me?
BETH MAJOR: We sure can. Thank you for joining us today. Not sure if you heard Stu saying some wonderful things about your time with him early during the week in 2019.
GARY WOODLAND: I caught a couple of those, I wasn't going to interrupt, I was going to let him keep going about that, I liked that. (Laughing).
BETH MAJOR: Well thank you again for being here with us today. Stu referenced Nick Price and Nick has talked a lot at the USGA about the importance of where a U.S. Open champion wins his U.S. Open. Can you talk about what it means, not only to be a U.S. Open champion, but to be a U.S. Open champion at Pebble Beach.
GARY WOODLAND: Yeah, first of all Pricey's the best. It's hard to explain. It's a dream come true. As a kid growing up and especially growing up here in America, you always dream of making that winning putt and at the U.S. Open. And I was able to have that opportunity.
Now, when you're a kid and you're hitting that putt you're dreaming of doing it at Pebble Beach. It's the most iconic golf course we have in America. I know Jack Nicklaus has talked about that would be the last round he would ever play would be go back and play Pebble Beach. The views and the history and everything that's everything that's there about Pebble Beach speaks for itself.
To have the U.S. Open, our biggest national championship go to this iconic golf course and be welcomed by the community there, it's amazing. And for me to have that opportunity to not only win my first major but win it at Pebble Beach and it being the U.S. Open is a dream come true.
BETH MAJOR: It was something we certainly enjoyed and loved watching you realize that dream. It was a special week for all of us. We referenced earlier the memorable moment that's are created at Pebble Beach. You certainly had quite a few of them. Can you talk us through maybe some of them on Sunday in particular, maybe 14, 17?
GARY WOODLAND: Yeah, it was the two biggest shots of my life. 14 was by far the biggest golf swing, best golf swing I've ever made in my life. It was -- I had a one-shot lead, there's so much that can happen on that par-5 there is out of bounds to the right, that front typical left pin location there is a beauty and left of that green is just no good, the grand stand's there the rough's brutal it's hard to chip it close to that.
My caddie talked me into -- I was wanting to lay up, he talked me into being aggressive, he wanted me to hit it over the green and into the camera tower and be able to chip back down the green and be able to get it up-and-down. And it was getting a little cold so the ball didn't fly as far as we thought we could, but it was the best swing I've ever made in my life and it set me up there to have birdie and give me a two-shot lead that really allowed me to be a little more conservative coming down the stretch, which was great.
And then 17, I got out of position and there weren't too many options I had a two-shot lead, I knew that, I knew Brooks was in front of me and he was making a run and he obviously had a good chance to make birdie or eagle, it was a beautiful par-5 on the last hole, it was just so much drama can happen. So I knew I needed to be aggressive and hitting that chip shot off the green it just came off perfectly. And it was a dream, getting that up and down on the green -- I was trying to make 4, just to go to the last with a lead, but to get that up-and-down and give myself a two-shot lead on the last allowed me to play a little more conservatively and enjoy that moment a little bit.
BETH MAJOR: And then I think the moment that we all certainly remember on 18, you know, you claim the U.S. Open title, arms raised, crowd, the view that we're all enjoying right here, how often does that sort of run through your mind again?
GARY WOODLAND: A lot. It's funny, anywhere I go obviously it's nice to, like I said, to win a major championship, even win a golf tournament for that matter, but you always see U.S. Open Pebble Beach hats. I mean, I see them they airport, I see them at other golf tournaments, so it's a great reminder for me every time I see that always puts a little is smile on my face and brings back some great memories.
I had three putts to win which is obviously a dream come true and then the fact that the first one went in was amazing. I was so in the moment and so prepared for what I was doing I was very unprepared for the media onslaught and everything that came with it after the tournament was over. I was ready for the next shot, but fortunately I guess I didn't have any more, the tournament was over. So it was a dream come true.
BETH MAJOR: Well and as someone who was part of that media journey, you certainly handled that as well as you did everything on the golf course and continue to this day to be a wonderful advocate for the USGA, the U.S. Open and Pebble Beach and all of our friends here and we very much appreciate it.
Gary, I'm not sure if you heard at the beginning of the program, we have announced a variety of U.S. Open and U.S. Women Opens that will be coming to Pebble Beach over the next 20 plus years. Can you talk about what that means for the players, not only of today but the players of tomorrow who know that they will some day be able to compete for both a U.S. Open and on the women's side a U.S. Women's Open here at Pebble Beach for years to come?
GARY WOODLAND: It's amazing. Like I said, growing up here in America you're dreaming of making that putt to win the U.S. Open, but you're dreaming of doing that at Pebble Beach. And obviously now with future dates ahead it gives those kids that dream as well, both men and women. It's beautiful that the USGA brings the women's tournament there as well, the Women's National Open along with the Men's, continue to go back and be a part that have history.
You look at the winners that have won before I did, you talk about Nicklaus and Palmer and Tiger, the list goes on and on down that list. Tom Kite. It's amazing. Graeme McDowell. And to throw my name in that mix is something that can never be taken away and future kids will have that dream and that opportunity as well.
BETH MAJOR: And we look forward to it. Gary, thank you so much. I would like to offer everyone in the room and everyone joining us on the video to ask a question or two as well.
Q. Like you mentioned, knowing that you have a spot in the U.S. Open based on your win for the next few years, how does that help you build your schedule knowing that you have that place in the U.S. Open you don't have to worry about qualifying and kind of how do you circle that on your calendar every year?
GARY WOODLAND: Definitely, it's a huge lift off your back. I mean a lot of guys, you try to fight to get into those major championships and being exempt into those for the next so many years is amazing. So it allows me to get ramped up, I like to take the week off before the U.S. Open, which I will do this year, I like to get in early, as I did at Pebble Beach, I went in the weekend before, try to get all my work in before the circus and everything shows up. So it's nice to get in and be able to know that you're in these tournaments and schedule around that, but it's nice for me to be able to go in early, get my work in, get prepared for the golf course, get my game trending in the right direction for the major championships.
Q. I think champions typically give the USGA a club from their U.S. Open victory. Did you, was it the 3-wood, lob wedge, did you donate anything?
GARY WOODLAND: I have talked we're in the process of doing that, actually. Jason Gore came up to me a couple weeks ago and we talked about that. So, yes, I will be in the process of giving one, if not two.
BETH MAJOR: Perfect. Thank you so much, Gary, thank you again for joining us for this monumental announcement that points to incredibly bright future for the USGA, for Pebble, for the U.S. Open, the U.S. Women's Open, we are so thrilled to have you be a part of the history here with us and look forward to much much more to come. So thank you again and we'll look forward to seeing you in a few months.
GARY WOODLAND: Thank you so much for having me.
STU FRANCIS: Maybe we better book a Monday lunch at the Country Club this year.
GARY WOODLAND: I look forward to it. (Laughing).
BETH MAJOR: Thanks so much.
GARY WOODLAND: Thank you.
BETH MAJOR: Stu, thank you. I would now like to welcome USGA Chief Championships Officer, John Bodenhamer and Pebble Beach Resorts CEO, David Stivers for more on this landmark partnership.
Gentlemen, good morning. Exciting day. And a beautiful day. A-plus on the weather. And the view is always beyond A-plus. So thank you.
Can I ask you to both offer a few initial thoughts on today's announcement? John, why don't I start with you.
JOHN BODENHAMER: Oh, boy. I guess sitting here and really a couple thoughts go through my mind and as I've thought about this day, but I think most of all just looking behind us, words can't describe it. It's awesome, a day like this, arguably the greatest walk in golf. I mean just look out there. It just speaks for itself.
I think a couple things I would share, Stu touched on it, 1929, as I thought about this day, those that have come before us back in 1929 and that love affair that the USGA started with the U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach and that love affair with Pebble Beach. And all of the 13 championships since then, I kind of think of them as chapters in a novel chronicling that love affair, because it truly is, we love this place. And I'm, I think all of us at the USGA are just grateful to our friends and our partners at Pebble Beach for standing beside us in true partnership and allowing us to write 10 more chapters. 10 more chapters with 10 more championships and tell that story. It is a great love affair and if you think about it it's inspiring.
And I think on a personal note I would just add one other thing. I played a lot of competitive golf when I was younger, you probably wouldn't know that if you played with me today, but I was a college player and I did get close to qualifying, final qualifying for the U.S. Open 1982 here at Pebble Beach. And, but I didn't make it and I did watch on television and I remember Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus and that epic duel at Pebble that day and I remember as a young boy dream to go play in the U.S. Open, watching Tom win.
And I'm right-handed, but I watched Tom Watson pull tees and ball markers and green repair tools out of his left pocket and from that day forward I put my tees and ball markers and green repair tools in my left pocket and I pull them out and I still do to this day.
That's what the U.S. Open and the U.S. Women's Open do, it inspires young boys and girls to greater things. It inspired me at Pebble Beach and I think as we think about the next 10 championships all the boys and girls and players that will inspire when they watch USGA national championships here.
BETH MAJOR: Thanks, John. David, can I ask for your thoughts?
DAVID STIVERS: Absolutely. Good afternoon everybody. How about this backdrop back here? It's pretty nice. When I reflect on our ownership group and their journey to acquire Pebble Beach 23 years ago, one of their, one of our major goals, probably the most important goal that we had was to insure that Pebble Beach would continue to be open for every golfer to play, as well as to continue our championship history here at Pebble Beach.
So the opportunity for us to host major championships, both men and women for the next 25 years, for a quarter of a century, really honors the stewardship that's been presented to us to take care of this national treasure. So we can't thank the USGA and Stu, John, the whole USGA team, for their partnership and their commitment to Pebble Beach.
BETH MAJOR: We certainly thank you for your continued commitment and partnership as well, as well as the friendship. It is, I think that comes through to everyone how much we truly enjoy being with the team and look forward to much much more moving forward.
John, David mentioned the Men's and Women's Championships. Obviously some great parity that we're bringing four U.S. Opens, four Women's Opens, the Senior Open and Senior Women's Open. Can you talk about that? Clearly not an accident that you see this sort of parity in this announcement.
JOHN BODENHAMER: It is not an accident and I think leading up to today and then today you see a number of things. You see the long-term nature of what we're doing, there's a strategy behind that.
Five years ago we rethought our strategies and why would we go out that far? Well there's some intentional reasons. Really started with somebody Stu mentioned a member of our board one of the finest human beings I ever met, a guy by the name of Nick Price, former world No. 1, major championship winner. We were talking about what the special sauce was with the U. S. Open and U.S. Women's Open, and where we should take our national championships and Nick just looked at all of us and said -- Stu will remember this -- It's important where players win their U.S. Open, men or women. The ghosts of the past do matter. Those moments that are made, those iconic moments, players want to win, you heard it from Gary -- what a great champion, by the way, U.S. Open champion.
But it does matter. It makes a difference. Players want to win there. We think of those great places -- our litmus test, to coin Jason Gore, came up with a few years ago, the cathedrals of the game. Now you think about that. There are just certain places where you go and you stand out on them and they're just meant for a U.S. Open and a U.S. Women's Open. This is one of those places, this is a cathedral.
When you play here at Pebble Beach it is a bit of a religious experience, if you're a golfer.
I think secondly, too, just the long-term nature, it allows us continuously improve, put our stake in the ground, partner with Pebble Beach, think strategically differently than we ever have to make things better for players, fans, viewers, what you see.
You know, I'm surprised that some of you in the media haven't coined a special term to describe Pebble Beach. You think about 8, 9, 10, it's a pretty amazing place, maybe someone will come up with Pebble's Peril. All the drama and peril that are on those cliffs, on the beach. But now fans are going to see that on a more regular basis and there's going to be stories to tell and we're excited about that. But it does just allow us to improve and improve and improve as we go forward in partnership with Pebble.
But I think there is one other thing that I would mention and it calls out something that is very important to the USGA. There are a lot of great things happening for the women's game now and we should all celebrate and champion those, but I'm here to say and very proud that what we've done with four U.S. Opens and four U.S. women's Opens and a Senior Open and a Senior Women's Open is intentional because from day one 1895 -- we were founded in 1894 -- in 1895 we played the U.S. Amateur and a day later as an afterthought we played the U.S. Open. And then a short time later we played the U.S. Women's Amateur.
From day one the USGA's been about the game, men and women together, and today and what we're doing with these long-term strategies is a celebration of that and again we're thrilled that Pebble would stand beside us to do just that.
BETH MAJOR: Wow. Championships will be an incredible focus of this partnership and certainly the moments that we've celebrated, whether it's with Gary, whether it's next year's Women's Open or many more to come, we'll always be a highlight, but this announcement is about more than championships.
David, can you talk about what you're most excited about related to today's announcement?
DAVID STIVERS: Yeah, there's a number of things. I think that when you -- we have three very important strategic initiatives at Pebble Beach that this partnership is going to help us to further. The first is that this will help us to attract and nurture the next generation of leaders at Pebble Beach and at the USGA. We're going to be partners together, making joint investments on community-based programs. We're going to be targeted at the youth in our area and that's going to help both of us to keep this thing going.
Second is really environmental stewardship. All of the golf courses within Pebble Beach, ours and our neighboring golf courses, are irrigated entirely with reclaimed water. And that's been the case for over 30 years now, well before my time. And during that time we have saved billions of gallons of potential able water. It's one of the most successful projects, water saving projects on the central coast. So the chance to partner with the Greens Section of the USGA to advance the research into water conservation is just going to help make all of our courses, including Pebble's courses that much more sustainable.
And then the third thing, this is really more of an indirect benefit and is that being able to host the national championship both men's and women's for every three to five years for the next 25 years hopefully is going to entice young people to pick up the game. That's why we partnered with Tiger Woods to reimagine our short case The Hay. That's why juniors 12 and under, we allow them to play The Hay for free. It's why we're trustees of the First Tee. That's why we're very actively involved in Youth on Course and Drive, Chip & Putt.
So being able to invest back into the game through junior golf programs, it's very good for the Pebble Beach Company and it's certainly good for golf.
So from my perspective everyone talks about dreams, I guess as a business guy my dream is that in 2035 the champion who wings the U.S. Open Women's Open at Pebble Beach is going to be a young girl that picked up game on The Hay and learned to play it here. Who knows. You know, things can happen.
BETH MAJOR: Love that dream. I actually drove past The Hay on my way in this morning and knowing we were making that announcement, saw two young people out on the course and thought if only they know what's coming and perhaps that this dream could very much be a reality for them. So I think we all share that dream. So, John, David thank you so much.
I would like to open it to questions, both for those in the room and then also I think we have a few on line.
Q. The first one is for John. Why was it important to have three additional Women's Opens and why the USGA move towards anchor sites for the women?
JOHN BODENHAMER: I think we already have. We have developed a number of long-term relationships. That was part of our strategy as I said. I think we are reclaiming our leadership role in the women's game and really taking the Women's Open to the greatest places, most iconic places, we think it will inspire the women's game, absolutely, we've done it, we're going to continue to do it, stay tuned for more.
Q. David, next up is actually the 2023 Women's Open, which was previously announced. What he was the feeling like here at Pebble about that and what are you most excited about?
DAVID STIVERS: Well, I think it starts with the reaction that we've gotten from the players and Gary and John and Stu all said it, it matters where you win.
What we've heard, when we were up at, for example, Olympic Club last year and talking to some of the players, is they circle it on their calendar, they can't wait to get here, they can't wait to compete to be the first U.S. Women's Open champion at Pebble Beach.
For our team, the buzz has been incredible. We look at it in part from a business perspective and our sponsors, our customers are super excited to be here. Our goal with every one of our U.S. Open Championships is to put on the best U.S. Open Championship ever, try to exceed what we did the previous time and we're certainly going to shoot for that goal with our first Women's Open. Very excited about it.
BETH MAJOR: I don't know, do you want to add to that a little bit? I know we've certainly heard from the players how incredibly excited they are about playing a Women's Open at Pebble Beach. I know Jason and his team have heard this a lot. Do you want to share some of that as well?
JOHN BODENHAMER: That's a great question. I think we do know. Jason Gore, three years ago we created a player relations capability within the USGA and for the first time in our history over the last three years we're engaging players in a way that we never have before.
We're listening to what they think and we're explaining why we make the decisions we make. And it's building a relationship in a meaningful way. And we know, we ask the players, Nick's point, Where do you want to win your U.S. Open? And they tell us. And Pebble is right there at the top of the list.
So we're going to go. And that is, it is important because they do want to walk in the foot steps, men or women, where Jack hit that 1-iron on 17 and hit the flag stick and sealed his victory. And Tom Watson pitched in on 17, I watched it as a young boy and it was inspired. And then you go on to Tom Kite on number 7 pitching in. And Tiger's dominant win. Winning by 15. And then Graeme winning on a blustery gay. And Gary.
And now we're going to crown a Women's Open champion in 2023 and it's going to be great history and it's just going to inspire future generations. That's why we're doing it. That's what we do at the USGA. It's our obligation to inspire the game, our championships always have and we're going to do it here at Pebble Beach.
BETH MAJOR: Thanks, John. And David, I know you wanted to add something.
DAVID STIVERS: Yeah, you think of all those memorable moments and as a, as amateur golfers mediocre golfers, I might add, you don't, you can't, you can't play baseball at Fenway Park. You can't shoot hoops at Madison Square Garden. But every golfer can play golf at Pebble Beach and walk in the footsteps of champions and try that shot. Try Tiger's shot in the rough on 6 and you can hit it about 50 yards.
So we're trying to replicate those shots, those are memories of a lifetime, and that's one of the special things about Pebble Beach. It's open to everyone and you can try to relive those moments.
BETH MAJOR: It certainly is. The 50 yards is kind for some of us. (Laughing). Any more questions?
Q. John, is there a possibility of a fourth anchor site for the U.S. Open?
JOHN BODENHAMER: I'm the type of person that tries to avoid using words like ever or never. So you never know. I think there have been so many exciting things come down the road.
Look, everyone of these long-term relationships whether an anchor site or not are different. And it is just -- every one of them -- and they will achieve different things.
So I think you'll see more. You'll see more in the not too distant future. I don't know what all that will be, but I know we're excited about it because we're going where players want to win and we're going to make more great history and it's going to inspire the game and again that's what we do at the USGA.
Q. For both of you, behind you we're looking at the probably the most famous finishing hole in golf. When you look ahead to 2044 and reflect back on 1929, how do you see that hole playing, thinking about how it has played and what the ideal is for it to be played over that span, especially in the future?
JOHN BODENHAMER: It's a great point. I think if you look back at the history of Pebble Beach, you look back at any of the great championships, you read about golf course architecture, you look at how the game has evolved.
I don't know how 18 will play in 2044, but I know the game will evolve -- and Pebble has been great caretakers here. You look at what some of the recent work that has been done -- but one thing I do know for sure, it will always be Pebble Beach, it will always look like that. It will always be a special walk when you walk up 18 and you are in contention at a USGA National Championship.
And I think there are -- we look at Pebble Beach and we get that question, you know, will Pebble be relevant or will I even be alive in 2044, I've heard that one. I plan to be. I plan to be right here in 2044. But I do know that at Pebble it's Pebble and the USGA's going to let it be Pebble. And if we get a little bit of wind the scores will be a little bit higher and if we don't they will be a little bit lower. But like Gary said, winning at Pebble means something special and I know that's what it will be in 2044 regardless. We're confident of that.
DAVID STIVERS: John's proposed that I can be a marshal on 18 in 2044, so I'm pretty excited about that. (Laughing).
You know, the Pebble has stood the test of time. Tiger wins in 2000 and he's the only one that shoots under par, everybody else is over par. And as John said, it's got the greatest water hazard on the planet, the Pacific ocean. Stillwater Cove, Carmel Bay. And I think Pebble's going to, has stood the test of time now for a hundred years and I think it's going to stand the test of time into the future.
Strategic value of the golf course is tremendous, the greens are small, if you get a little bit of wind and they're playing firm and fast, it can, it's going to be a tough test for anybody.
JOHN BODENHAMER: I would add one thing to that too. A lot of, some of these long-term relationship announcements that we've put out there, you know, I chuckle when I get a few questions here and there about 2044, 2050 or that, but I would encourage folks not to think in the current state. Don't get caught up with what is today. Things are going to change, they always have, they always will. And the USGA will shepherd that, it's our responsibility, but this will always be Pebble Beach. Can't change that. Can't change what's out there.
And I know and I think as Pebble has the Pebble Beach Company everybody that's here and leadership all the staff and the great caretakers they are of this magnificent, what Johnny Miller I think called it the greatest meeting of land and sea, it was heaven-made, I think that's pretty close. It is. And they're great caretakers. What they have done to some holes on the golf course, number 11, number 17, just things that you see out there that will keep Pebble Pebble and the USGA when we are here we will just let it be Pebble.
Q. Are there any changes being made to the course for the Women's Open, new tees, anything like that or will it play as is?
DAVID STIVERS: It's going to play pretty much as is. The setup as I understand it, inside the rope, the USGA has most of the responsibility there, is going to be a lot like it played in 2019. The fairways will be narrow, the rough will be difficult, so it's going to be a certain test of golf for sure.
JOHN BODENHAMER: We will present a U.S. Open test and presentation for the U.S. Women's Open in 2023 and Shannon Rouillard, our Senior Director of Open Championships has been here working with John in great length. We're ready. We think it's going to be a great test and when I say we'll present a U.S. Open setup, it will be narrow fairways, there will be rough, there will be those hole locations that everybody expects. And you know why? Because we do create something tough, but fair. That's our DNA. And so when you win a U.S. Open, men or women, we want to stay true to that DNA so it's special.
You know, Tom Watson talks about that what his dad used to tell him growing up -- some of you heard this story, I love it, I can't hear it enough times -- Tom, if you could ever win the National Open you would of done something really, really remarkable because you would have won on the greatest course or the toughest course of the year against the world's greatest players. That's really something.
Well he did it. And that's what we own and what's what we present and that's why we do what we do. We want the players to get every club in their bag dirty, we want them to hit it right to left and left to right, up and down and think about what it's, what the ball what the ball's going to do when it hits the ground mental, physical, all of that. Because when they win it really means something.
There was a past champion a few years ago that was in the media center -- some of you in the room may remember this -- and he was asked, after shooting 67 in the third round of the U.S. Open, if he enjoyed it. Did he have fun shooting 67 in the U.S. Open. And if you know this individual -- I won't name him -- but he looked around -- he's a pretty cerebral guy -- and he came back to that member of the media and said, You know, I don't think I would describe today and what I did in shooting 67 at a U.S. Open as fun, but I really feel like I achieved something. That's what we do.
Q. Pinehurst, Oakmont and Pebble have diverse architectural characteristics. What uniquely stands out to you most about Pebble and what makes it a complete examination of golf?
JOHN BODENHAMER: Wow, there's so much. I think it's one of the great things about our country, we can go to different places and showcase all that's great about our U.S. Open and U.S. Women's Open venues.
I guess I would answer that architecturally with Pebble Beach, I think when you talk to the players it's these little putting greens that you need to hit your golf ball in the fairway and be able to control spin to get 'em on these little firm fast putting greens. To me that's Pebble Beach. It's a shotmaker's golf course. You put a little wind behind that, and boy you get the best players, that's why the honor roll of champions is what it is, there's no mistake about it. You have to play here.
Q. John, as you continue to expand the number of anchor sites, what would the ideal number of them be?
JOHN BODENHAMER: We don't have an ideal number. I think that will be organic as we go forward. And I think we think of -- you know, an anchor site is a site -- and everybody's different -- to host a U.S. Open, that was really the start of it and it's expanded to the U.S. Women's Open -- but every five, six years it's an anchor site. But we have long-term strategic relationships with a number of wonderful venues that will host maybe a little less frequently, maybe other championships that we think of as our player journey up through the juniors, the amateurs, and up through the Opens, building that relationship.
So everybody's different. There is no number. We haven't -- that's why I said, I don't use ever or never because you never know. I think you'll see more. I think there are other cathedrals out there, but I think we'll take it one step at a time and we'll do what we think is right for the future of the game.
Q. Given that going every five to six years would it be hard to imagine having more than five or six?
JOHN BODENHAMER: There are finite number of years (laughing). That would be up to our leadership with making some of those decisions. So, again, I can't predict, but we do look at those special places, we'll talk to the players, and keep that special saws that is our DNA as we look to the future and inspiring those young boys and girls.
BETH MAJOR: Well thank you all. Stu, thank you for being here, John, David, and thank you to everyone for being here and being part of this special and significant day. In particular I would like to thank everyone from the Pebble Beach Company for your continued partnership, your incredible friendship and the amazing commitment that you have made to the USGA, to our championships and to continuing this relationship for many years to come. We are beyond excited.
For everyone who is here, all of our guests will be available for interviews following the program and for those here also we hope you can join us for lunch so thank you so much. Enjoy the rest of the day.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports