Imagine if the PGA Tour players, frustrated with the depth of the pot bunkers at Royal Birkdale, complained.
Imagine the next day you see the R&A bring in truckloads of dirt to fill them in.
The moment I saw the USGA start cutting the rough at the U.S. Open – caving into the player’s complaints of the difficulty of the golf course – I cringed. Then I witnessed one of the most boring tournaments I have ever watched on Television.
I love major Championships. I love the challenge for the players. I love the drama. There wasn’t much drama this weekend. Why? Some factors.
- 60 yard wide fairways.
- Fairways like runways that allow everyone to hit it over 300 yards.
- Players are hitting irons into 663 yards par 5’s.
- Finishing hole – a par 5.
The most exciting hole on the course was the 9th, a short 165-yard par 3. They should have made that the finishing hole. There was more drama on that hole than any other hole on the course.
I can’t figure out the USGA. They waged war against the long putter – but they won’t grow the rough and narrow fairways? Go figure.
It’s no wonder the game is declining. They are creating an elitist sport where only the longest can survive. It’s becoming a long drive contest.
So I’ll repeat it. I love the Open Championship where the game began – because the pot bunkers and playable lies keep the players in check. Every shot becomes risk/reward.
Risk and Rewards are what create drama. Just imagine a course where Driver of the tee gives you a huge advantage where you can slide a wedge into a flag. Yes, you can hit driver on every hole – if you dare. Go ahead, take the risk but if you miss the fairway, it guarantees double bogey.
Or, maybe you chose a more conservative strategy and played an iron from the tee leaving a more delicate approach to an unforgiving green. Your strategy is to pay your way around the course – saving the risk for the weekend.
Welcome to the Open Championship. That’s why I love it.
Yes, I was disappointed it the USGA and the U.S. Open. That doesn’t take away the incredible play of Brooks Kopeka. He played great. What a great athlete – he was long overdue.
Oh by the way, don’t worry, the R&A aren’t going to fill in the pot bunkers.