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Breezy Point

Local Golf
September 24, 2017

What's Your U.S. Open Viewing Preference?
Miller Brewery Caves
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Miller Brewery Caves
Erin Hills #15
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Erin Hills #15
By Joseph North

Every golf fan has their own viewing preferences. Some dare not leave the confines of the man cave to spectate golf. Others pay thousands to catch a practice round at Augusta. Personally, I enjoy both viewing experiences during the week - boots on the ground to take in play from behind the tee box, and staying home to use Joe Buck as broadcast Ambien. Napping with my three year old daughter on a Sunday afternoon in front of the TV is always a good option. However, if you didn't manage to score ticket to Wisconsin's first U.S. Open, here are a few ways you can pass the time or take in play, ticket or no.

1. Play a course next door to Erin Hills. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: If you're looking for a public course to play near Erin Hills, Washington County is hard to beat. Located 15 minutes from Erin Hills, this linksy, fescue-lined Arthur Hills gem is a value at $76 for 18 with a cart for non-Washington County residents during Championship week. It happens to be the only other course listed on ErinHills.com - directing folks to play the course if they can't get near Erin Hills. An added benefit: You can actually see Holy Hill 8 miles away from No. 10 tee. Speaking of Holy Hill...

2. Climb Holy Hill, check out the monastery. It's a trek up the highest hill in southeastern Wisconsin, but the views are angelic. If you can't walk the kettle moraines that have been carved out to create the American Original that is Erin Hills, try taking in the awe-inspiring vistas provided at Holy Hill. Chances are you can eye the course from 1,300 feet up. Which is roughly as high as a Bubba Watson tee-ball at its pinnacle.

3. Enter a bunch of ticket giveaway contests. I'm talkin' all of them. Set up a "special, new email address" that you'll actually check more than one time and use that. It's not a fake email address if you end up winning!

4. Spend $20 on fantasy golf, hit refresh constantly. The "Millionaire Maker" on FanDuel or Draft Kings is just that. It will allow you to buy tickets to next year's U.S. Open, and every other one for the rest of your life. Or a round trip ticket to the 2018 Ryder Cup in Paris. A few buddies of mine play these "Millionaire Maker" events, in which $20 entry allows you to pick six players for your chance to win $1,000,000. Not a bad strategy to fund your dream golf excursions. And your chances of winning are probably better than making a hole in one! My picks (for the record): Jon Rahm, Louis Oosthuizen, Wesley Bryan, Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas and Bubba Watson. Oh, I will pay each reader $10 if I win. You're welcome.

5. Play Erin Hills online. USGA.org is actually allowing you to play Erin Hills. Virtually. Go to http://www.usopen.com/vuso.html and login to play the Kelly Green Monster. If you've ever played Links Golf (am I dating myself?), or Tiger Woods, you get the gist. With detailed layouts, and lighting fast conditions, you'll get a sense of the massive, rolling property that 158 of the world's greatest will face in competition June 15-18.

6. Watch it. On a massive screen. In your backyard. With surround sound. And mosquito repellant system. And you can forget about the 60". For $250 you can get an indoor/outdoor 144" screen. Granted, you'll need to fork over another $500 for a decent (new) projector, but who's to say you can't create your own tickets! And sell them! Probably not! For those that aren't members at a club, and want to take in play somewhere other than B-Dubs, it could be very fun for the intrepid golf geek to get a group of friends over and set up a backyard, inflatable screen to project the U.S. Open.

7. Actually relax on Father's Day! So you don't have tickets - so what? Maybe the answer to enjoying the U.S. Open is to stay home. Too hot outside for the big screen? The TV is fine. Perhaps you could request (along with your box of Pro V1s) that you get to enjoy Father's Day by viewing the U.S. Open undisturbed (good luck younger dads, good luck). Maybe grab one or two of the kiddos to join you. It's OK to bribe them with iPad or snacks. Maybe, just maybe, they'll remember watching Jon, Wesley or Rickie pick up that first major and pose for the flashbulbs. We probably all know that Phil has a record six U.S. Open runner-up finishes, but this year he's not even giving himself the opportunity. Mickelson's oldest daughter, Amanda, is a featured speaker Valedictorian at her June 15 graduation, and Phil wouldn't miss it for the world, or the U.S. Open Championship Trophy either.

8. Mow the lawn. You know that whole relaxing thing? Sorry. I don't mean to rain on your U.S. Open parade. Housework calls, sometimes. So your wife sold the old couch and needs you to load it up? Of all the days, honey! As we know, the lawn waits for no man. Especially a lawn that has seen rain approximately 87 of the 90 days of the Wisconsin spring. Which means you just might be mowing on Sunday (since you're playing on Saturday afternoon, right?). This also means you can listen to the broadcast on the PGA TOUR or U.S. Open apps. Those who say golf is a good walk spoiled have never experienced the game while pushing a power.

9. Shop online, or at Erin Hills. It's all about hat and polo selection, people. This is no time to go cheap. Have a look around what others are wearing, and get something a little different. The USGA sent out a fairly sweet white Erin Hills cap to members this year. If you're not a USGA member, stop by USGAShop.com and skip the lines. However, if you don't have a ticket, and you'll be in southeast Wisconsin before the tournament, the USGA has just sent out flyers alerting those in the surrounding area that the gift shop will be open nearly two weeks before the tournament. I encourage you to raid the Erin Hills pro shop(s) early and often.

10. Hit the brewery. The next best thing to walking along PGA TOUR members at Erin Hills? A walking brewery tour. Milwaukee is flush with fine brewery options. Take your pick and enjoy a few samples. Lakefront. Great Lakes. Pabst. And of course, the grandaddy of them all - the Miller Brewing Tour is a great place to start. It is free. Hours: Monday - Friday: 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Saturday: 10:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. Sunday: 10:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Download the Uber app and give them a ring at 414-931-3552 before you go!

Even if you can't score a ticket, you'll be sure to win during U.S. Open week by selecting a few of these time-honored Wisconsin traditions. Happy Early Father's Day - and we'll see you next month when we'll cover the Fore Report's recent excursion to Muirfield Village and The Memorial Tournament.

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