SIASCONSET, MASSACHUSETTS | When Herman Melville wrote Moby-Dick in 1851, the novelist had never been to the island of Nantucket where much of his famous story takes place. When he finally did visit the former center of the whaling universe a year after publication, he started at the Sankaty Head Lighthouse and stood on the property where the 40th U.S. Mid-Amateur was contested this week.
“In a strange and beautiful contrast, we have the innocence of the land eyeing the malignity of the sea,” Melville wrote in a letter of appreciation.
Those words would be poignant for the 256 competitors who came to unanimously admire Sankaty Head Golf Club in pursuit of their white whale – a Masters and U.S. Open invite to the last remaining survivor of these common men who squeeze competitive golf into their mostly normal lives.
By USGA championship standards, Sankaty Head is every bit as innocent as Melville described some 71 years before Emerson Armstrong designed the layout. It tips out at about 6,640 yards, which is considerably shorte...
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