There is still a split among San Diegans. It was the establishment that pushed to have the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. With politicians in their pockets, they mowed down opponents. Preparing the course for the tournament is depriving many people, locals and tourists alike, from playing the beautiful layout. “Torrey Pines North has been closed to 18-hole play since early February,” says Paul Spiegelman, who has battled on behalf of local golfers. “There has been some 9-hole play. But it closed to 9-hole play on May 18 [and will stay closed until] July 1 and will not return to 18-hole play until probably September 1 because of all the damage done by the U.S. Open using the North Course for corporate and merchandising tents and an operations staging area.” Revenue will fall. The City of San Diego will actually lose money on the tournament, says Spiegelman.
Of course, if the Open is exciting and generates such a huge audience that the golf industry shows signs of bottoming out, San Diego could feel an upswing. But a continued mild downswing is more likely.