Teeing Off USGA [R] FROM THE DESK OF FRED S. RIDLEY, PRESIDENT

June 14, 2004

TO: Executive Committee
RE: U.S. Open Meeting

Guys ... and you, too, gals:

Good news! We secured a private villa at the Village Latch Inn in
Southampton at the last minute. Sure, the place was reserved two
years ago, but our pals at Justice say the Japanese prime minister
and his entourage will be detained at the airport long enough for
us to get in our meeting, brunch, drinks and an herbal wrap. Maybe
longer. (You'll love this: I had the boys who did the Open program
dummy up some gift certificates for the PM--dinner for eight at the
Russian Tea Room.) And don't worry about Hannigan crashing. He
still thinks we're getting together at John Malkovich's place on
Shelter Island. Here's a rough--or, as we say at Augusta National,
second cut--outline of topics for discussion.

Shinnecock Hills: Will they ever stop harping about the course
being too short? Got some bad news from David Fay. Mr. Letter of
the Law says moving back the ball washer six yards on the 1st tee
will not put us over 7,000. Nice try. (Speaking of David, I'm sure
everyone saw his remarks about Michelle Wie receiving an exemption
into the Women's Open. Talk about "performance driven." He almost
had me believing he was in favor of it. Bravo!)

Otherwise, the course is in great shape. I talked to Mark Michaud,
and he guarantees that if Corey Pavin hits into the rough on number
5, he won't be seen until Monday. Some subtle changes from 1995.
The players will probably not notice that we removed the large
privet hedge to the right of the 3rd green. Now, not only can you
see the 7th green on your approach, but you also cannot see my
next-door neighbor's pool in Tampa.

Mark, although not one of us, is a straight shooter. He said our
idea of keeping the drive from the front gate to the clubhouse to
less than 300 yards was "too subtle," even if we posted a sign.

My assistant, Kimberly, got word last night from the caterers that
they can do an ice sculpture of Jim Furyk, complete with the cast
on his wrist. Sure, it's a little costly, but after a few hours in
the sun, when it starts to melt, his swing actually looks better.

Johnny Miller: Researched JTB's idea of adding Zoloft to the water
in the NBC booth, but that takes four to six weeks to work and
NBC's broadcast slate has been too spotty. Hell, Miller hasn't been
with a non-AARP field since the BellSouth in April, and if I
remember, he spent most of that final round ripping God for the
prevailing wind.

Technology/Equipment: What happened to sending someone to the
global warming summit to outlaw hot balls? I swear I saw Hank
Kuehne plumb-bobbing a three-wood on the 8th tee at Doral.

Let's pick equipment battles we can win. Starting with the belly
putter. Can we pencil-whip something through committee, retroactive
to 1989, saying that you cannot become a human tripod on the green
without written permission from three doctors other than Gil
Morgan?

Whistling Straits: Our man in Wisconsin, JER, says he has everyone
there thinking the PGA Championship is a "dress rehearsal" for a
future Open. By the way, I know I'm repeating myself, but "future
Open" can mean anytime between 2007 and the 12th of Merion. Let's
discuss if we can keep the Whistling Straits people happy by
tossing a Walker Cup their way. Speaking of which, is there any
problem if my tailor, Enzo, stops by during the meeting to let out
my 1977 WC blazer? I know we allow no press, but this is only an
alteration.

Bethpage: We have several years left before we have to make good on
our "pledge" to hold future Opens at other--you'll pardon the
expression--municipal courses. By the way, how did we get talked
into giving them all that money for renovations? I'm still listing
Rees Jones as a dependent. (Kidding, but really, what are we, the
Chubb Group?) I know I've said this before about muni courses, but
I think it bears repeating: If I wanted to see pull carts and guys
wearing shorts, I'd have gone to work at the post office.

See you on the dance floor,
[FRED S. RIDLEY]

COLOR PHOTO

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)