Tenters beware: McCallum returning to U.S. Open campsite armed with 5-iron

Editors' Note: Jack McCallum will be spending the week in an RV, experiencing The People's Open with the people, and periodically sharing his adventures with us in Press Tent. See photos from McCallum's week in the RV.FARMINGDALE, N.Y. -- The challenge for golfers here this week is solar-system-length par-4's, the usual gnarly U.S. Open rough and raucous New York crowds. My first challenge? Tenters.Mccalum-RV2_400x267  Tenters are exactly what they sound like. When I arrived to inspect the site at Battle Row Park Campgrounds, where I will be living for the next five days in a rented motor home similar to the one at right, my spot was occupied by tenters. Tenters are not paying for electric. I am. (Or rather, the company is.) So the tenters must be routed to their non-electrical spot, so I can get plugged in.The issue was unresolved as this was written, though I plan to return with a full set of clubs in case a little, say, 5-iron persuasion is needed to settle this turf war.Whatever happens, though, even if I must write by only the power of generator -- Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg Address while squinting by candlelight  -- I pledge to fulfill my role as the People's Golf Writer At The People's Open.Granted, living in a 32' by 8' RV with refrigerator, stove, microwave, hot water, air conditioning and toilet, while parked about a mile from the Open course, does not exactly qualify me as Thoreau. But it ain't the Four Seasons either, pal. Outside, after all, is only an open door away. And the television, I just discovered, is not digital and thus gets only snow. This is how it should be for the People's Golf Writer. No CNN, no "Seinfeld" reruns, no Rachel Ray throwing together a meal in 30 minutes.The reason I will be covering the events of the next several days from a motor home is that a couple of editors thought it would be a good idea, this being the People's Open. Editor A thought I was the right choice because he believed -- apparently since I live in Pennsylvania -- that I am mechanically inclined and familiar with campgrounds. Editor B thought I was the right choice because he believed I was a hotel-staying, mechanically-crippled loser with a chance of pushing the wrong button in the RV and hilariously spilling waste water throughout the campground. Editor B is correct. I had never been in a motor home until today and often call in reinforcements when a light bulb needs changing.Still, I passed my first test. After some instruction from Lew Morales, who works for El Monte RV, one of the world's largest RV rental agencies, I could successfully operate the "sliders," which push back sections in the front and back to afford more room. What you do to accomplish that, see, is push a button. "I'm not sure how you can mess that up," said Lew. I'm not sure either, but it's early. Lew also warned me that if I were to drive the RV, the sliders have to be in. I assured him that unless there is a nuclear attack, I will not be moving from my spot, wherever that might be.The only other instruction I got was from Greg Jones, the second-in-command at Battle Row and a year-round occupant. It was a warning about the public bathrooms. "Make sure you have shower shoes," he said. "Nobody should ever take a shower in a public facility without shower shoes." I immediately ran and tested the shower in my RV: It worked fine.Anyway, I return tomorrow for my full stay. I'll have shower shoes. And a 5-iron. Tenters should give me a wide berth.(Photo: Simon Bruty/SI)

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by Kevin Cunningham