Now that the sun has set on another major championship, our massive congratulations go to the newly crowned 2022 U.S. Open champion, Matt Fitzpatrick.
After a ding-dong battle between some of the game's young guns, it was the 27-year-old Englishman who stayed strong down the stretch to gain his first major title.
While we were glued to the action, we were trying to find a few lessons each of us mere mortals can carry through into our own golf journeys. Check them out below.
Course knowledge is key
Matt Fitzpatrick is a golfer with a massive amount of self-belief, and even before a golf ball was hit in anger at the 122nd U.S. Open championship, he took great comfort in his belief that he had the edge over many of his rivals.
In the pre-tournament pressers, he waxed lyrical about The Country Club, stating that he loved the vibe and it felt like a home golf course. Winning the U.S. Amateur championship in 2013 and having played the course semi-regularly since led to a wealth of course information that would ultimately prove invaluable.
We're big advocates of the need to have a good handle on the course you're teeing it up at. Whether that be your local track, or a new venue, you can't have too much information to try and get the most from your round.
Time for a little shameless plug for the Hole19 app: if you're already a Hole19 user, you'll know the on-course benefit of our accurate GPS yardages to help you during your round.
Another powerful FREE feature is our Course Preview function which allows you to view any golf course without needing to start a round. You'll see distance arcs to key hazards and the green ahead, meaning you can now plan your strategy the night before you tee off.
Accuracy Over Distance
The course at The Country Club drew rave reviews from the golfers all week. The mix of the challenging setup and (at times) brutal conditions provided a typically stern U.S. Open test and made for utterly compelling viewing.
The USGA are notorious for wanting thick, penal rough for what they like to call the 'toughest test in golf'. This week was no different, and it underlined the need to play more thoughtfully around a golf course that was ready to punish any errant golf shots.
The fact that the world's best are happy to dial it back on certain holes highlights the fact that we could be a little more selective over the holes where we pull out the driver.
Find a more reliable club to use on more dangerous holes, show some restraint and lower scores will follow.
Grace in Defeat
Few of us can ever imagine how Will Zalatoris felt as he watched his putt agonisingly skirt the hole on the 72nd hole. Getting so close to forcing a playoff and a chance at his maiden major title, only to be once again left rueing what might have been, will be tough to take.
Taking all that into account, the level of grace he showed in defeat was the hallmark of a true winner. It would have been easy just to do his media commitments and get the heck out of there. Instead, he took the time to seek out Fitzpatrick's parents and had the following heartwarming message for them:
“If I had to lose to anyone, I’m happy it was your son.”
It shows every one of us that no matter whether we lose a casual round with our buddies or fall just short in the weekly medal, we can always take time to congratulate our opponents - regardless of how we might be feeling on the inside.
Never too old to dream
In last week's piece, we highlighted the arduous journey that is final qualifying for the U.S. Open, and the headline story was that of Fran Quin, a 57-year-old who became the oldest player in the history of the U.S. Open to qualify through final qualifying.
Though he failed to make the cut and shot rounds of 76 and 77, Fran Quinn's memories of the 122nd U.S. Open will stay with him forever.
Fran's story shows us that age is just a number when it comes to golf - as the saying goes, "the golf ball doesn't know how old you are". If you can put in the hard yards and keep working on the right things to improve your game, you can still achieve great things.
Dedicate yourself and get results
Our final lesson from the week in Boston again takes its inspiration from the eventual champion. Matt Fitzpatrick has been widely complimented for his work ethic, and his methodical and disciplined approach has helped lay the foundation for a great career in the game.
Since the age of 15, he has documented every golf shot he has ever hit on a spreadsheet, and will do almost anything to get an edge over his competitors.
Success in your golf game depends massively on how much time you can dedicate to practice and how organised and targeted your practice sessions are. On the flip side, if your lifestyle and family or work commitments mean that you can't devote much time to practice, managing your expectations will be essential to ensure you can still enjoy every round.