Merion Golf Club is the site of the 2013 U.S. Open and the course just launched on World Golf Tour as part of the 2013 Virtual U.S. Open.
One of Merion's most memorable features is their flagstick baskets, which are wicker baskets that are used instead of traditional flags.
But what are the baskets for? And why were they first used? It's a golf mystery with a variety of possible explanations...
Snack Packs – Stories say that the baskets were introduced so that caddies could store fruits and other snacks while walking the golf course, and keep them out of greedy little critters' paws.
Wind-less Challenge – Some say the purpose of the baskets is to avoid giving players clues about the direction of the wind. And others say the baskets make it easier to see where the hole is, in case the wind was blowing and making the flags hard to see.
Something Borrowed – Did Hugh Wilson, Merion's course designer, get this idea from his visit to the Sunningdale Golf Club in England on a trip in 1910? Or maybe the Stoke Poges Club or Prestwick in Scotland?
Whatever the real reason, there are a few things we definitely know about the baskets on Merion East...
- Credit for the baskets is given to Hugh Wilson, course designer for both Merion's golf courses
- The baskets and flagsticks are re-painted regularly to maintain their distinctive appearance
- The baskets are collected every night to keep them safe and avoid theft
We love Merion's wicker basket flagsticks, and it makes you wonder what other unique flagstick designs are out there.
Play the new Front 9 Challenge at Merion on World Golf Tour