If Reggie Jackson was baseball’s “Mr. October” for producing clutch hits, Mike Davis is golf’s “Mr. June” for the home runs he’s hit with his U.S. Open setups the past few years.
That’s not to say the USGA’s senior director of rules and competitions is taking it easy with his task at hand next week – the U.S. Amateur at Chambers Bay Golf Links – especially since in many ways he’s breaking new ground by bringing a prestigious championship to a links-style layout.
Davis was one of the first USGA officials to visit Chambers Bay in its early stages of planning – when it was still a sand and gravel pit.
“What really attracted me, this place had roughly 1,000 acres. It was right on the water. And most importantly, it was being built on sand,” Davis said. “Heavy-soiled golf courses … have been one of the things that have kept a U.S. Open away from the Northwest.”
Davis, 45, is a former Pennsylvania junior champion who went on to play college golf at Georgia Southern.
While working for Coldwell Banker in Atlanta, Davis took a job with the USGA in 1990 manning scoreboards. Now he’s in charge of how courses play for U.S. Opens and U.S. Amateurs.
How would he fare if he played next week at Chambers Bay?
“If I had to tee it up, I would probably shoot … 80,” said Davis, whose handicap index is a 1.9. “It’s been a few years since I’ve teed it up in competition. I’ve gotten shorter and shorter off the tee, and I’m not sure how many birdie chances I could find out there.”
Todd Milles, staff writer