SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – The U.S. Open is in full swing, and this year the historic golf tournament is in our own backyard.
But as CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reports, getting to Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton can prove challenging among the crowds of 30,000 people.
“Even though the volume’s been increasing every day, the travel times are decreasing, and that’s a good sign,” Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman told McLogan.
The weather is as volatile and challenging as the historic course. At one point, it rained so hard and got so cold Friday there was a mad-dash for umbrellas and hats.
“No one is prepared. They’re making a lot of money in the merchandise tent,” said Sandy Linz, of Dallas, Texas.
Everywhere you look you’ll see a star like Jordan Spieth, Sergio García and Phil Mickelson — close enough to reach out with words of encouragement.
“The golf is still challenging and I’m sure the players are oblivious to the rain,” volunteer Aaro Bell-Reid said.
It’s quite a production with thousands working behind the scenes. There are 31 different agencies working to keep people safe.
“Quite a big undertaking to provide public safety in a venue like this – it’s an open-air venue,” said Southampton Police Chief Steven Skrynecki.
Many families were making a day of it at the oldest formal golf club in the country.
“I wanted them to see a U.S. Open, especially one in our area,” parent Mark Ferrentino said.
“The hills are rolling and beautiful, I think the greens have a really nice texture to them,” said Megan Goleski.
The U.S. Golf Association predicts a $120 million economic windfall for the region this week.