Renowned golf instructor Brian Mogg’s suggestion for how the unsuspecting field should prepare for the upcoming U.S. Open at Chambers Bay would have to be considered uncommon:
That is because it has nothing to do with golf.
His tip? Drive from downtown Seattle to Tacoma during peak traffic congestion for a week.
“That is the kind of mindset you have to have - to be that patient,” said Mogg, a Lakes High School graduate.
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While the rest of the world is seemingly just finding out about Chambers Bay, Mogg - a former Ohio State All-American who has been named a top-50 instructor nationally - knows the venue like the back of his hand. He not only has played it a number of times, he started a Mogg Academy school at the University Place course in 2011, hosting a series of weekend group lessons there eight to 10 times a year.
Because of all the uphill, downhill and sidehill lies Chambers Bay requires, Mogg thinks the extraordinary ball-striker with a creative way of thinking around the course will have a distinct advantage.
One of the first names to pop into his head of a golfer who should do well at this U.S. Open? Spain’s Sergio Garcia.
“He has enough length, and he is a shotmaker,” Mogg said. “And Chambers Bay is not Winged Foot or Oakmont where golfers know what their past record is. Everyone has a fresh slate (at Chambers Bay).
“At a typical U.S. Open like at Oakmont, you know somebodly like Graeme McDowell would be a phenomenal pick with boring, consistent pars. I do now know if McDowell would be a great pick at Chambers (Bay). I think it favors a guy like Sergio, who doesn’t fit the (U.S. Open) mold.”
Whatever happens, and whoever wins in June, Mogg expects it to come down to a leaderboard full of the sport’s stars - Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, even Matt Kuchar.
Why? He points to the 2010 U.S. Amateur leaderboard from Chambers Bay as proof where the two finalists - winner Peter Uihlein and runner-up David Chung - were also the two hottest golfers coming into the event.
“The cream literally came to the top,” Mogg said. “At Chambers Bay, something about it clicked with the best players who showed up - and should for the U.S. Open.”