While the controversial holding penalty at the end of Super Bowl LVII was a major talking point in the final minutes and in the aftermath, the playing field at State Farm Stadium was an unavoidable issue throughout the game. And a group that acknowledged its role in helping get the field ready before the game is now likely seriously regretting doing so.
Before the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles got going, the United States Golf Association tweeted an ESPN.com article with the Twitter caption, “The grass making its debut today at #SBLVII was developed by USGA-funded research, and is the same turf on which you’d play 18!”
️⛳️ 🤝 🏈
The grass making its debut today at #SBLVII was developed by USGA-funded research, and is the same turf on which you'd play 18!@ESPN's @joshweinfuss has more 👇👇
— USGA (@USGA) February 12, 2023
Golf Digest, meanwhile also bragged about the USGA’s role, tweeting “As you watch the Eagles play the Chiefs at State Farm Stadium, thank the USGA, which helped develop the turf being used at the big game” along with its own article.
As you watch the Eagles play the Chiefs at State Farm Stadium, thank the USGA, which helped develop the turf being used at the big game.
— Golf Digest (@GolfDigest) February 12, 2023
And as one might expect, those tweets were not treated kindly throughout the Super Bowl. That list included professional golfers, like Luke Donald and Steve Flesch.
The irony…hahaha https://t.co/zOGjlgQNp5
— Luke Donald (@LukeDonald) February 13, 2023
Years in the making and these guys are slipping all over on it. Maybe good for golf but terrible for football.
— InTheFlesch (@Steve_Flesch) February 13, 2023
But they were not the only ones slamming the USGA.
Turf designed to easily divot may not be ideal for football…🤔 https://t.co/cOQhfVOsRB
— IT Guy (@ITGuy1959) February 13, 2023
Are you sure you want to claim this fact? https://t.co/WypRrIVNQy
— Jay Stancil (@jaystancil) February 13, 2023
This didn’t age well. That turf was a problem all night https://t.co/nENvOv7WwT
— trey wingo (@wingoz) February 13, 2023
I wouldn’t be telling too many people about the origins of this nonsense. #grass #SuperBowl #slippery https://t.co/QYr1K240AG
— Gary O Hanlon (@gazzachef) February 13, 2023
And then someone decided to make it slicker than dry Sunday greens at Augusta? https://t.co/BoEspKqztp
— Radi Nabulsi (@RadiNabulsi) February 13, 2023
USGA trying to get GD to delete this tweet ASAP https://t.co/NBHQPef01m
— Peter Bukowski (@Peter_Bukowski) February 13, 2023
Thanks USGA. Great work as always. https://t.co/70Gl8GWtMA
— Joshua Perry (@joshuaperry22) February 13, 2023
Indeed, criticism of the USGA’s setup of the course may not happen every U.S. Open, but it’s not exactly like spotting a unicorn, either. Even if one U.S. Open is played on a good course without any controversy, chances are that you won’t have to wait too long or look back too far to find one that wasn’t.
Wow. USGA hasn’t had this bad a showing since they dictated how the course at Chambers Bay was maintained. And then didn’t take responsibility. https://t.co/vIUEvUs7rE
— Ian Furness (@IanFurnessSea) February 13, 2023
And in a way, it’s strangely fitting. The USGA is no stranger to messing up the U.S. Open — its No. 1 event. Why wouldn’t that same group be good at messing up another organizations?
[USGA on Twitter, Golf Digest on Twitter]
Related: PGA Tour golfer’s insane Super Bowl prediction goes viral