Yes, there is the high-profile part of the U.S. Open and the tour pros who play in it, and we heard a lot about the impact the event had on our region from an economic and promotional standpoint.
But beyond the spotlight there was also the behind-the-scenes impact the event had on the everyday golfers of the region.
On Tuesday of the week of the Open, former U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson and tour player Russell Henley were the headliners at the Bank of America Special Olympics Golf Experience, held at the municipal Meadow Park Golf Course just down the road from Chambers Bay.
The purpose of these events is to bring together professional golfers with Special Olympics golfers along the way of championships and tournaments to help Special Olympic athletes improve their skills and highlight the importance of inclusive play ahead of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles this July 25-August 2. After participating in a clinic with Webb Simpson and Russell Henley, the athletes, including Special Olympics Washington state champion Mallory Smith, challenged each other in a friendly competition of putting, chipping and driving skills.