Chambers Bay is taking plenty of heat for its layout and design, but few critics have been as pointed as Gary Player. In an interview with Yahoo Sports' Grandstanding podcast, which you can hear above, the voluble nine-time major winner called Chambers Bay "one of the worst golf courses I've seen in my 63 years as a pro."
Player is critiquing the site of this year's Open not just because of its difficulty, but of what it represents for the game of golf going forward. "It's 7,900 yards long," he says. "The world is in dire straits with water. Can you imagine the costs to maintain this? And it's a public course, but they'll probably charge the public $200 to play it. I'd like to challenge anyone with a 16 handicap to do better than 40 over par. It's basically unplayable."
Player, one of golf's true legends, never lacks for opinions, and in his chat with Yahoo Sports he holds forth on everything from the state of golf ("professional golf has never been so healthy; amateur golf stinks! We're in big trouble") to golfers complaining about the course ("As a pro golfer, I would say, 'this is the test in front of me – play it, shut up, and get it done").
With Player, you ask your questions and you get out of the way. Tiger Woods comes in for some criticism – more specifically, the people around Woods right now. Player believes in Rory McIlroy as a whole, and players like Henrik Stenson and Patrick Reed this weekend. Player also talks about his own life, which is impressive by any accord.
Player has kind but cautionary words for America, the nation he loves but finds immensely frustrating. He also believes that the last thing a pro athlete should do is stay silent: "There's no greater sin than a man who has some influence to sit by and be idle. When you think what we get out of life, we should be so grateful and try to make the world a better place." It's inspirational stuff.
Thanks for listening to the Grandstanding podcast with Jay Busbee and Kevin Kaduk. Hit us up on Twitter (@kevinkaduk and @jaybusbee) Facebook (Kaduk here, Busbee here) or via the hashtag #grandstanding. See you next ep!
[Music by Chris Salmon and Tobin Summerfield]
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or find him on Twitter.
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