Los Angeles Country Club Doesn't Deserve Another U.S. Open, Even Though It'll Get One

123rd U.S. Open Championship - Final Round
123rd U.S. Open Championship - Final Round / Harry How/GettyImages

Early in the week, for those like me who devotedly devour every second of U.S. Open TV coverage, the USA Network posted a graphic lauding a record-breaking number of amateurs (10,187 to be exact) who attempted to qualify for the 2023 U.S. Open at Los Angeles Country Club.

The purpose, one can assume, was to highlight just how open the U.S. Open really is.

Yes! Even you could one day play in the U.S. Open!  

But while this is the most inclusive event on the yearly golf calendar, the 2023 U.S. Open was anything but open. The snooty membership at Los Angeles Country Club assured that, reportedly buying thousands of tickets earmarked for the public in an attempt to kibosh the raucous fans who give the U.S. Open its lifeblood from trampling on their billion dollar property.

It worked. This was the dullest and most docile atmosphere for a U.S. Open I can remember, a far cry from last year's event at the equally-exclusive Brookline Country Club and nothing like the free-spirited vibe when they play this event at public courses like Bethpage Black.

That's the kind of U.S. Open I prefer -- a melting pot of humanity, some who love golf and play it, others who are there to be entertained and yell at the top of their lungs, and some who are deciding whether this historically-elitist game is one they should take up.

It's welcoming. It's lively. It's open.  

It's also the opposite of LACC. 

Located in Beverly Hills and known as one of the more exclusive country clubs in America, LACC decided to shun the people they consider a lower class. According to Golf Digest, they bought half of the 9,000 tickets set for "general admission" in a successful attempt to limit the number of fans entering their sacred sanctuary. And it resulted in muted reactions like this.

For all I know, they burned those 4,500 tickets, because there certainly weren't 9,000 fans following the leaders during the weekend. Hell, there were moments when it felt like there weren't even 90 fans cheering on Sunday. 

Of course, the 14,000 seats allocated for suites and hospitality tents were available for purchase for thousands of dollars. If you can afford those, it seems LACC feels you deserve the opportunity to gaze upon their perceived masterpiece

As for the general population, it seems they don't have time for you. 

The punishment for these actions should be LACC getting banned from ever hosting a U.S. Open again. If they weren't already granted another U.S. Open in 2039, I imagine the USGA wouldn't rush to get them back in the rotation based on this forgettable championship. 

Alas, LACC does already have 2039 in the bag, and there's no way the USGA would renege on that offer. It's not proper etiquette, and we all know how much of a stickler the USGA is for rules, even if this one is unwritten. 

But if the USGA has any gumption, they'll never let this embarrassment occur again. They should get a rolodex of every LACC member and ensure none of them are allowed to purchase general admission tickets when this event returns in 16 years. 

It's called the U.S. Open for a reason, after all, and I never want to experience another closed championship like this again.