Merion Golf Club to host U.S. Open in 2013


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The 2013 U.S. Open Championship is still more than a year away, but preparations are already in full swing at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa., the host of one of the sport’s highest-profile events.

The course where legends like Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus and Lee Trevino made history will now be a test of shot-making for a new generation of players who may never have heard of Merion in its 30-year absence from the golf tour.

Merion last hosted a U.S. Open in 1981 (in addition to several thrilling and memorable ones in 1934, 1950, and 1971). As golf’s popularity increased in the modern era, and its television viewers, spectators and corporate participants swelled, the likelihood of another U.S. Open here diminished as other courses (more suitable for larger crowds, more sponsor tents, and longer layouts for the new breed of power-hitters) got the nod for hosting.

But after some smaller, but significant golf events were held at Merion in the past decade, including the U.S. Amateur and Walker Cup, the United States Golf Association announced in 2006 that the U.S. Open Championship would be coming back to Merion for the fifth time in 2013.

From that moment, the work of coordinating a major sporting and media event had begun. That process is now in full gear as teams of USGA, Merion Golf Club, and area officials partner to prepare the course and its facilities for the world.

As the general chairman of the U.S. Open committee at Merion, Rick Ill’s role is overseeing the planning and preparation from the Merion Golf Club perspective, in coordination with an on-site team from the USGA. That’s no small task considering the unique challenges a 100-year-old course, on a postage stamp size 138 acres, in a residential neighborhood, will entail. But Ill’s team has been busy addressing all these issues since early 2010.

“Obviously this course was built in an era that didn’t have the size and scope needs of spectators and media, and moving this many people around, so we had to come up with lots of solutions,” Ill says.

“On site we are looking at major grandstand areas to keep people in one spot, hopefully, with seating for 17,000 people, to ease some of the course congestion and keep people in strategic areas. Likewise, some of the corporate and hospitality areas will be adjacent to the club grounds on private property, and we are working with the local neighbors and some other off-course sites to make all that happen.”

The USGA has set a 25,000 spectator limit for ticket sales for the 2013 Open by event standards a much smaller gate than for larger venues over the years. That number will be closer to 33,000 when adding the media and volunteer force. “Just getting this many people to the course is the first hurdle, so we have been working with area venues to discuss parking and shuttling possibilities from the soccer facility in Chester, Villanova University and Haverford College, etc.,” Ill says.

The checklist of items that need to be finalized before the event kicks off in June 2013 sounds dizzying when you consider such things as dealing with government officials to shutting down Ardmore Avenue and Golf House Road the week of the event, working with SEPTA to build pedestrian bridges, coordinating member and corporate sponsor events, building an area volunteer and course marshaling corps, working with the USGA for course and grounds upgrades, security, emergency, weather contingencies, and the list goes on.

Yet for all of the challenges that are being met regarding the grounds and facilities, Ill is most animated when talking about the East golf course—no surprise being that Ill is an avid golfer and former Merion Golf Club president from 2006-2011.

“It’s exciting to bring the Open back to Merion. We thought we’d never see it here again,” he says.

“The East course will play well under 7,000 yards, and it can’t be lengthened simply because we are out of room. But we have made a lot of changes that affect shot value, and with the USGA setup from Mike Davis (executive director of the USGA) and his folks, I really don’t think the pros will tear this course up.”

New changes in store for the course include the addition of strategic bunkering on holes 2, 15 and 16. Hole No. 3 will play from the back tee area of current hole No. 6, creating a 265-yard, uphill par 3, a monster shot by any standards. Add fairways that will be narrowed to 22 to 24 yards wide, greens running at a slick 13.5 on the Stimpmeter, and the usual U.S. Open high rough, and you’ll have a course that should provide a fitting challenge for the best golfers in the world.

“A lot of today’s greatest tour golfers haven’t played here, or maybe didn’t even know about Merion until it came back into the U.S. Open lineup again,” says Hank Thompson, the USGA’s championship director. “Based on the number of tour players who came over to play Merion while they were in town last year for the
AT&T National at nearby Aronimink Golf Club, I’d say there is quite a mix of curiosity and excitement.”

Thompson will call the Philadelphia area home for a two-year period leading up to June 2013 with his on-site duties coordi-nating activities that take place “outside the ropes” (golf speak for the areas that will accommodate the spectators and general public, outside of the playing course).

“This is a great event for the game to bring the U.S. Open back after 30 years to a sports-crazy area like Philadelphia, to a course as rich in USGA tradition as Merion,” he says. “And it’s our job to make sure that excitement comes through in as great a spectator experience as we can provide.”

 


Ticket Information

Tickets for the 2013 U.S. Open Championship (June 10-16) go on sale to the general public Monday, June 11, 2012. For more info, visit usopen.com or usga.org. The event has sold out in years past, and with a smaller ticket distribution for 2013 due to the size of Merion, spectators are advised to get their tickets early.

 


Merion Golf Club Highlights 

• Merion Golf Club is founded in 1896.
• Then-unheralded course architect Hugh Wilson designs the East Course in 1912, and the West Course in 1914.
• Bobby Jones wins the U.S. Amateur here in 1930. The term “Grand Slam” was coined after this win. He had won the three other majors prior to that year: the British Open, British Amateur and U.S. Open.
• Ben Hogan hits the famous 1-iron shot on the 18th hole to force a playoff, and wins the next day to capture the 1950 U.S. Open. The accomplishment is even more notable after his comeback the final day, playing 36 holes while limping. Hogan had been in a traffic accident a year prior, sustaining potentially crippling injuries.
• Lee Trevino bests Jack Nicklaus in 1971, winning the U.S. Open in a playoff.
• Host site for five U.S. Open Championships (1934, 1950, 1971, 1981, 2013)
• Has hosted more USGA Championship events than any other course
• Jack Nicklaus on Merion: “Acre for acre, it may be the best test of golf in the world.”

 


U.S. Open Facts

The production of such an iconic sporting event requires years of planning—a lot of blood, sweat and tears to make four days of golf enjoyable for all. Consider that a small city will need to be built in order to accommodate media, spectators, golf officials, players and their families. These numbers help in visualizing the magnitude of just what is needed: 

  • 2,000 tons of air-conditioning equipment—enough to cool 800 homes
  • 50 miles of cable
  • 300 telephones
  • 500 TVs
  • 7 miles of fencing
  • 370,000 square feet of flooring/carpeting–enough to cover 8 ½ acres 
  • 100,000 Nathan’s hot dogs
  • 42,000 hamburgers
  • 18,000 jumbo cookies
  • 125,000 drinking cups
  • 600 restroom units
  • 48,000 bags of potato chips
  • 20 megawatts of electricity—all on-site generated (enough to power 4,000 homes)
  • Close to 5,000 volunteers representing 46 of the 50 states and 16 countries

(for the 1981 U.S. Open at Merion, there were 500 volunteers)

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Cost: 0.00

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View map »


Telephone: 302-239-2434
Contact Name: Nicole Schmid
Website »

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Telephone: 130-265-66466

More information

NEW HEIGHTS Erica Loustau  January 11 - December 11, 2019 Opening Reception: Friday, January 11, 2019  7 - 9 PM Seeking to engage the unused space of our atrium lobby, artist...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Telephone: 130-265-66466
Website »

More information

GARLAND OF SUCHNESS Karoline Wileczek February 1 - 24, 2019 Opening Reception: Friday, February 1, 2019 | 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop Karoline Wileczek's grid pattern work functions...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 130-265-66466
Website »

More information

Schedule a private group tour followed by lunch or dinner with a historic, revolutionary war era presentation.* Ideal for conferences, corporate meetings, special interest groups. $25 per...

Cost: $25–$45

Where:
The University and Whist Club
805 N Broom St
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Sponsor: The University and Whist Club
Telephone: 302-658-5125
Contact Name: Stacey Inglis
Website »

More information

HALF : HALF A Draper Experiment by Willie Yao January 4 -  February 24, 2019 Opening Reception: Friday, February 1 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop The Delaware Contemporary...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 130-265-66466

More information

ORIGINS Rick Rothrock & Stan Smokler January 8 - April 22, 2019 Special Reception: Friday, January 11, 2019  5:30 - 7:30 PM Artist Talk | 6:30 PM The Delaware Contemporary...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Telephone: 130-265-66466

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​Brandywine Baroque, Karen Flint, harpsichordr; Laura Heimes, soprano;  Tony Boutté, tenor;Eileen Grycky, flute; Edwin Huizingal, violin;  Martin Davids, violin; John Mark...

Cost: 5-15

Where:
Gore Recital Hall
Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Road
Newark, DE  19716
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Sponsor: University of Delaware Department of Music
Telephone: 302-831-2577
Contact Name: Megan Everhart
Website »

More information

For the month of February, get a full set of Lashes at Premier Spa and Laser Center for just $199.

Cost: $199

Where:
Premier Spa & Laser Center
537 Stanton Christiana Rd #210
Newark, DE  19713
View map »

More information

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An eclectic mix of paintings featuring Ed Bronstein oils of Philadelphia neighborhoods and cityscapes,​ plein air scenes from Kennett Square and surrounding areas by Dan Chow, mixed media...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville , DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

CCArts Winter class registrations are open   The Center for the Creative Arts presents its Winter 2019 class and workshop offerings. With over 50 classes and workshops there is...

Cost: 0.00

Where:
410 Upper Snuff Mill Row
410 Upper Snuff Mill Row
Hockessin, DE  19736
View map »


Telephone: 302-239-2434
Contact Name: Nicole Schmid
Website »

More information

NEW HEIGHTS Erica Loustau  January 11 - December 11, 2019 Opening Reception: Friday, January 11, 2019  7 - 9 PM Seeking to engage the unused space of our atrium lobby, artist...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 130-265-66466
Website »

More information

IN BETWEEN THEREShelley Thorstensen November 24, 2018 - March 17, 2019 Opening Reception: Friday, December 7 | 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop For her first solo exhibition in Delaware,...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 130-265-66466

More information

GARLAND OF SUCHNESS Karoline Wileczek February 1 - 24, 2019 Opening Reception: Friday, February 1, 2019 | 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop Karoline Wileczek's grid pattern work functions...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 130-265-66466
Website »

More information

A SENSE OF PLACE 47°-80° N Bethany Springer January 16 - May 12, 2019 Opening Reception: Friday, February 1, 2019 | 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop A Sense of Place 47° - 80°...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 130-265-66466
Website »

More information

The Wilmington branch of the American Association of University Women is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its sale of used books to fund college scholarships for women and is also preparing for...

Cost: Free

Where:
Concord Mall
3737 Concord Pike
Wilmington, DE  19803
View map »


Sponsor: American Association of University Women Wilmington Branch
Telephone: 302-428-0939
Contact Name: AAUW

More information

Two-time Delaware Division of the Arts Fellowship recipient Ellen Durkan of Iron Maiden Forge, who is both a graduate of and an instructor at Delaware College of Art and Design, will present a solo...

Cost: Free

Where:
Delaware College of Art and Design
600 N Market. St
Wilmington , DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: Delaware College of Art and Design
Telephone: 302-983-5710
Contact Name: Susan Coulby

More information

Glory of Stories introduces young visitors to art and the Museum through discovery, exploration, and hands-on experiences.Ages 2 and up. Visit delart.org for list of books. ...

Cost: Free to Members, $5 per child and one adult free for Non-Members.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

Glory of Stories introduces young visitors to art and the Museum through a story reading followed by an interactive tour of relevant works of art and a studio art project. This program encourages...

Cost: Free to Members, $5 per child and one adult free for Non-Members

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »

More information

Schedule a private group tour followed by lunch or dinner with a historic, revolutionary war era presentation.* Ideal for conferences, corporate meetings, special interest groups. $25 per...

Cost: $25–$45

Where:
The University and Whist Club
805 N Broom St
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Sponsor: The University and Whist Club
Telephone: 302-658-5125
Contact Name: Stacey Inglis
Website »

More information

HALF : HALF A Draper Experiment by Willie Yao January 4 -  February 24, 2019 Opening Reception: Friday, February 1 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop The Delaware Contemporary...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 130-265-66466

More information

ORIGINS Rick Rothrock & Stan Smokler January 8 - April 22, 2019 Special Reception: Friday, January 11, 2019  5:30 - 7:30 PM Artist Talk | 6:30 PM The Delaware Contemporary...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 130-265-66466

More information

  UHS Used Book Sale 750 Unionville Road Kennett Square, PA  19348    Unionville High School's gymnasium is hosting the annual Unionville High...

Cost: Free

Where:
Unionville High School Gymnasium
750 Unionville Road
Kennett Square, PA  19348
View map »


Sponsor: UHS PTO
Contact Name: UHS PTO
Website »

More information

For the month of February, get a full set of Lashes at Premier Spa and Laser Center for just $199.

Cost: $199

Where:
Premier Spa & Laser Center
537 Stanton Christiana Rd #210
Newark, DE  19713
View map »

More information

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Calling all bicyclists to ride for a good cause. Help the Sea Colony Recreational Association raise awareness and money by sponsoring, pedaling, or cheering on fellow bicyclists. Ride for Delaware...

Cost: General Admission is FREE!

Where:
SeaColony, Freeman Fitness Center
38994 West Way Drive
Bethany Beach, DE  19930
View map »


Sponsor: Delaware Hospice
Contact Name: Jen Neal

More information

An eclectic mix of paintings featuring Ed Bronstein oils of Philadelphia neighborhoods and cityscapes,​ plein air scenes from Kennett Square and surrounding areas by Dan Chow, mixed media...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville , DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

CCArts Winter class registrations are open   The Center for the Creative Arts presents its Winter 2019 class and workshop offerings. With over 50 classes and workshops there is...

Cost: 0.00

Where:
410 Upper Snuff Mill Row
410 Upper Snuff Mill Row
Hockessin, DE  19736
View map »


Telephone: 302-239-2434
Contact Name: Nicole Schmid
Website »

More information

Create a unique design to use as part of a necklace, bracelet, or earrings. The  2 day workshop includes demonstrations and design so that students can leave with a wearable work of art!...

Cost: $160 Members, $180 Non-Members.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

Cub Scout Tigers—Tigers in the Wild, 9:30am-12pm, Scouts will learn the difference between what animals eat, and whether that makes them an herbivore, carnivore, omnivore, or detrivore. Discover...

Cost: $12 - $5

Where:
Brandywine Zoo
1001 North Park Drive
Wilmington, DE  19802
View map »


Website »

More information

A SENSE OF PLACE 47°-80° N Bethany Springer January 16 - May 12, 2019 Opening Reception: Friday, February 1, 2019 | 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop A Sense of Place 47° - 80°...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 130-265-66466
Website »

More information

The Wilmington branch of the American Association of University Women is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its sale of used books to fund college scholarships for women and is also preparing for...

Cost: Free

Where:
Concord Mall
3737 Concord Pike
Wilmington, DE  19803
View map »


Sponsor: American Association of University Women Wilmington Branch
Telephone: 302-428-0939
Contact Name: AAUW

More information

Two-time Delaware Division of the Arts Fellowship recipient Ellen Durkan of Iron Maiden Forge, who is both a graduate of and an instructor at Delaware College of Art and Design, will present a solo...

Cost: Free

Where:
Delaware College of Art and Design
600 N Market. St
Wilmington , DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: Delaware College of Art and Design
Telephone: 302-983-5710
Contact Name: Susan Coulby

More information

IN BETWEEN THEREShelley Thorstensen November 24, 2018 - March 17, 2019 Opening Reception: Friday, December 7 | 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop For her first solo exhibition in Delaware,...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 130-265-66466

More information

GARLAND OF SUCHNESS Karoline Wileczek February 1 - 24, 2019 Opening Reception: Friday, February 1, 2019 | 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop Karoline Wileczek's grid pattern work functions...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 130-265-66466
Website »

More information

NEW HEIGHTS Erica Loustau  January 11 - December 11, 2019 Opening Reception: Friday, January 11, 2019  7 - 9 PM Seeking to engage the unused space of our atrium lobby, artist...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 130-265-66466
Website »

More information

HALF : HALF A Draper Experiment by Willie Yao January 4 -  February 24, 2019 Opening Reception: Friday, February 1 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop The Delaware Contemporary...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 130-265-66466

More information

Schedule a private group tour followed by lunch or dinner with a historic, revolutionary war era presentation.* Ideal for conferences, corporate meetings, special interest groups. $25 per...

Cost: $25–$45

Where:
The University and Whist Club
805 N Broom St
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Sponsor: The University and Whist Club
Telephone: 302-658-5125
Contact Name: Stacey Inglis
Website »

More information

ORIGINS Rick Rothrock & Stan Smokler January 8 - April 22, 2019 Special Reception: Friday, January 11, 2019  5:30 - 7:30 PM Artist Talk | 6:30 PM The Delaware Contemporary...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 130-265-66466

More information

Engage in a variety of hands-on experiments related to science, technology, engineering, and math, at the DCM's annual S.T.E.M. Expo, led by the Science Ambassadors from the Charter School of...

Cost: Free for Members

Where:
Delaware Children's Museum
550 Justison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »

More information

February 23 – Saturday – 1 to 4 p.m. Science Saturday – Pump It Up! For this Saturday’s activity, visitors will have fun with fluid dynamics and hydraulics - Pascal...

Cost: Activities are included in regular admission and free for members.

Where:
Hagley Museum & Library
201 Hagley Creek Road
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Hagley Museum & Library
Telephone: 302-658-2400238
Contact Name: Laura Jury
Website »

More information

Sat. Feb. 23: Cub Scout Bears: Critter Care, 1pm-3:30pm, Bears Elective Adventure: Critter Care Caring for an animal is a big responsibility! Join us at the Brandywine zoo to learn about different...

Cost: $12-$5

Where:
Brandywine Zoo
1001 North Park Drive
Wilmington, DE  19802
View map »


Website »

More information

  UHS Used Book Sale 750 Unionville Road Kennett Square, PA  19348    Unionville High School's gymnasium is hosting the annual Unionville High...

Cost: Free

Where:
Unionville High School Gymnasium
750 Unionville Road
Kennett Square, PA  19348
View map »


Sponsor: UHS PTO
Contact Name: UHS PTO
Website »

More information

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:   CONTACT INFORMATION Phone: (302) 369-3466 E-Mail: busmgr@newarksymphony.org Website: http://www.newarksymphony.org   NEWARK SYMPHONY FEBRUARY...

Cost: 0 - $20

Where:
Newark United Methodist Church
69 E. Main Street
Newark, DE  19711
View map »


Sponsor: Newark Symphony Orchestra
Telephone: 302-369-3466
Contact Name: Business Manager
Website »

More information

The NSO February Chamber concert, conducted by Principal Guest Conductor Rebekah O’Brien, opens with a performance of Jacques Ibert, Concerto for Cello and Wind Orchestra, featuring Douglas...

Cost: $0 - $20

Where:
Newark United Methodist Church
69 E. Main Street
Newark, DE  19711
View map »


Sponsor: Newark Symphony Orchestra
Telephone: 302-369-3466
Contact Name: Business Manager
Website »

More information

For the month of February, get a full set of Lashes at Premier Spa and Laser Center for just $199.

Cost: $199

Where:
Premier Spa & Laser Center
537 Stanton Christiana Rd #210
Newark, DE  19713
View map »

More information

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