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Brandel Chamblee is the talking encyclopedia of the US Open

I'm by no means an expert on Brandel Chamblee's daily schedule, but I can tell you something about where he is from mid-May to the end of Memorial Day, and I'm sharing them here because they speak volumes. .

Chamblee, the NBC Sports golf analyst who will cover this week's US Open from Pinehurst's 18th green, was in Louisville for the PGA Championship. He went home to Scottsdale for a few days and then went on a short but irresistible golf-boys-to-be multi-state tour. She went home again for a few days, got up early on Memorial Day and flew from Phoenix to Philadelphia, en route to the Marriott in downtown Lancaster, Pa., and the US Women's Open at Lancaster Country Club. But before leaving Theremy colleague Darren Riehl (producer of this series) and I took Brandel on an afternoon tour of some US Open garden spots, Philly style.

There's a lot to take in from that two-week summary but let me suggest this: The man is on the front door at 62, has been immersed in the game for nearly 50 years – and my mind says that golf has never said more to him. than now.

Our first stop was Ivy Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia. We went there to see Willie Anderson's grave. You may know that Willie Anderson was a Scot who won four US Opens. I told Brandel that boxing legend Joe Frazier was also buried at Ivy Hill. He knew. Brandel told me that tennis legend Bill Tilden was buried at Ivy Hill. I didn't. Things this guy knows.

Chamblee, left, and Bamberger at Ivy Hill Cemetery.

darren riehl/GOLF Originals

Brandel talked about Anderson with such intensity that you'd think Willie A. was the golfer Chamblee saw as a school golfer in Texas. Anderson won his Opens in 1901, '03, '04 and '05. Chamblee is upset that so little is known about Anderson's swing, let alone his GIR stats.

Chamblee is a golf original, and GOLF Original, is the fourth in our monthly series so far, bringing you David Feherty in March, Tom Doak in April, Mike Whan in May and now Chamblee. No one has compiled such an encyclopedic knowledge of golf history with the ability to analyze swings and data like Chamblee does. If you want to know more about modern golf and how it is played, you really should read Brandel, listen to Brandel and watch Brandel.

“Golf is in the blood,” he says here, in this 25-minute GOLF Originals mini-doc video that shows sides of Brandel Chamblee you don't see in his regular appearances on the Golf Channel. “You can't run away from it,” Chamblee said here about the game. You can't get away from it, and Chamblee doesn't want to, anyway. His trip in May, and everything he shares in this video, will tell you that.

We went from Anderson's grave to Merion's 13th to the fairway at the Philadelphia Country Club where Byron Nelson holed a 1-iron en route to winning the 1939 US Open. Chamblee knew Byron Nelson. He didn't know the Philadelphia Country Club, with its hilltops and valley greens. (The stroke-play portion of the 2026 US Amateur will be played there in Merion.) You can feel Brandel's excitement, going the distance where Nelson won the Open by himself and Sam Snead turned in his best Open. with a fourth-round bogey. .

Separate photo of Gary Koch, Brandel Chamblee and Roger Maltbie.

NBC's US Open program features Brandel Chamblee, amazing wrinkles


Jack Hirsh

I love the fact that Chamblee did it ours rounds of Philadelphia in a tailored blazer, nodding to the habits of some of his forebears, especially the pro Chamblee he reminds so much of, the urbane Dave Marr, a fellow Texan with Manhattan sympathies.

Brandel knows how many US Opens Snead would have won or played for if he had shot a final round of 69s. You know because you watched it and shared it with us as we took over the Country Club. A child played by us. His swing speed was amazing. His grip was too strong. Chamblee looked at him with something as if he was surprised.

Brandel Chamblee has strong and knowledgeable opinions about LIV Golf, the proposed rollback of the golf ball, the sanctity of the golf rulebook, and we, as regular golf TV viewers, are lucky to have them. But what we see here is the roots of it all, his deep, deep immersion in the game.

“Every day to wake up, and have a purpose, that keeps you going?” Chamblee said. “It's a gift.”

Chamblee has spoken a million words in various broadcasts over the past 20 or so years. He might say a million more. Those two sentences, shared with us on the right path at the Philadelphia Country Club, deserve to live forever.

It was 8:30 p.m. when Chamblee left the Philadelphia Country Club, and, after a roadside dinner as he drove west to Lancaster, it was midnight on Memorial Day when he arrived at his hotel. A few days later, I saw her at the US Women's Open. I apologize that we have been keeping him for a long time. He said: “I enjoyed it. I don't think he was being polite. He played in six US Opens. Be part of the broadcast team of 20 or more others. He had never been to Willie Anderson's grave. He had never been to Nelson's plate. He was learning things. He is always learning things. This week, you will put that knowledge to good use.

Michael Bamberger welcomes your comments at [email protected]

Michael Bamberger

Michael Bamberger Contributor

Michael Bamberger writes for GOLF Magazine and Prior to that, he spent nearly 23 years as a senior writer for Sports Illustrated. After college, he worked as a newspaper reporter, first at (Martha's) Vineyard Gazette, later for The Philadelphia Inquirer. He has written a variety of books on golf and other subjects, the most recent of which is The Second Life of Tiger Woods. His magazine work has been featured in numerous Best American Sports Writing programs. He holds the US patent on the E-Club, a utility golf club. In 2016, he was awarded the Donald Ross Award by the American Society of Golf Course Architects, the organization's highest honor.

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