The Open Championship

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Post by sirbenson on Sun 10 Jul 2016, 1:44 pm

First topic message reminder :

Congratulations to Henrik Stenson!


Last edited by sirbenson on Sun 17 Jul 2016, 6:54 pm; edited 9 times in total

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 18 Jul 2016, 12:47 pm

Agree w/super; great course separated the wheat from the chaff.
Next up: Birkdake, Carnoustie, Portrush and then probably St.George's and TOC.
What next, with Muirfield out of consideration until they get with the 20th Century (21st may take a bit longer)?
Probably Turnberry, Lytham and I hope Troon.

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Post by Davie on Mon 18 Jul 2016, 1:02 pm

Great coverage from Sky too

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Post by raycastleunited on Mon 18 Jul 2016, 1:31 pm

Well played Stenson - destroyed the bottler tag.

Possibly the finest golf I have ever seen: the weather smiled on them, but it looked like Hedwig and Phil were playing a different course to the rest of the field.

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Post by lorus59 on Mon 18 Jul 2016, 1:33 pm

Andrew "beef" Johnston sounds exactly like Lewis Hamilton when interviewed, 'man'.

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Post by raycastleunited on Mon 18 Jul 2016, 1:37 pm

Davie wrote:Great coverage from Sky too

Yes Sky definitely took the coverage up several gears.

I watched the BBC highlights programme every evening. Thursday was terrible, but following days improved vastly. They seemed to learn that showing someone tapping in a 2 footer for birdie was irrelevent unless you showed the great approach shot which set it up. Alliss as well was much better describing highlights instead of letting him loose to waffle on and put his foot in it on live coverage.

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Post by raycastleunited on Mon 18 Jul 2016, 1:38 pm

lorus59 wrote:Andrew "beef" Johnston sounds exactly like Lewis Hamilton when interviewed, 'man'.

It was actually Ali G being interviewed.

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Post by raycastleunited on Mon 18 Jul 2016, 1:46 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Agree w/super; great course separated the wheat from the chaff.
Next up: Birkdake, Carnoustie, Portrush and then probably St.George's and TOC.
What next, with Muirfield out of consideration until they get with the 20th Century (21st may take a bit longer)?
Probably Turnberry, Lytham and I hope Troon.

Normally 2020 would be TOC to maintain the sequence of the last 20 years, but I guess you're right they will want TOC for the 150th Open in 2021. So 2020 will definitely be in England - probably will be the turn of RSG. By 2022 Muirfield will be back on the rota so I guess it will be there or Turnberry.

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Post by raycastleunited on Mon 18 Jul 2016, 1:58 pm

GPB wrote:The 11th hole is close to what I think is the epitome of a horribly designed golf hole.

Forced Carry & Blind Tee shot where fore-caddies are needed to locate golf balls that don't hit the fairway.

I agree that the tee shot on 11 was only playable and practical with crowd / stewards / ball spotters.

I've not played Troon, but from TV it looked to me that it is only the championship tee which is blind and required the long forced carry. When they showed the hole it looked like the main "normal" tees were to the left of the 10th green, so there was no carry over the gorse at all, and actually that would make the hole pretty straight or even a right to left dogleg.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 18 Jul 2016, 2:09 pm

Interesting that, in a recent Golf Digest instructional piece, Nicklaus described the 11th as a classic Par-41/2 - play for a certain bogey and you'll "birdie" it a couple of days, eighteen strokes for the week!

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Post by GPB on Mon 18 Jul 2016, 2:34 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Interesting that, in a recent Golf Digest instructional piece, Nicklaus described the 11th as a classic Par-41/2 - play for a certain bogey and you'll "birdie" it a couple of days, eighteen strokes for the week!

I don't care if they call it a par 4 or a par 5. IMO its a bad hole, and it doesn't matter what label they put on it.

Someone surmised that the 300 par 3 at Oakmont would have been a great hole if they said it was a par 4. PfffffffT. No it wouldn't, its the same hole as a Par 3 or a par 4.

William Shakespeare wrote:A Rose by any other name would smell as sweet

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Post by Shotrock on Mon 18 Jul 2016, 2:55 pm

GPB - Fully agree. We count strokes ... call it a par 12.

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Post by raycastleunited on Mon 18 Jul 2016, 3:11 pm

GPB,

Have a look at the 11th on Google maps. You will see from the normal tees that it is not blind and only minimal forced carry.

The Open championship tee is different - I would suggest that normal design rules don't apply when setting up the course for the pro's.

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Post by beninho on Mon 18 Jul 2016, 3:17 pm

raycastleunited wrote:
GPB wrote:The 11th hole is close to what I think is the epitome of a horribly designed golf hole.

Forced Carry & Blind Tee shot where fore-caddies are needed to locate golf balls that don't hit the fairway.

I agree that the tee shot on 11 was only playable and practical with crowd / stewards / ball spotters.

I've not played Troon, but from TV it looked to me that it is only the championship tee which is blind and required the long forced carry. When they showed the hole it looked like the main "normal" tees were to the left of the 10th green, so there was no carry over the gorse at all, and actually that would make the hole pretty straight or even a right to left dogleg.

Played it best part of ten years ago, a mate who was pretty new to the game had a stinker, don't think he got double figures on points, got par on the 11th! So it must be a lot easier for the run of the mill golfer. Annoyingly my mate no beats me every time, all those bloody work corporate golf days!

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Post by GPB on Mon 18 Jul 2016, 3:33 pm

Its the middle of the summer in Europe and there is no tournament on the European Tour this week?

And they are playing a tournament in Thailand next week, the same week as the PGA Championship?

Summer time, and they are playing in Thailand?

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 18 Jul 2016, 3:37 pm

Shameful. Legacy of O'Grady?? Or just trying to give guys a break before the PGA & Olympics Run

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Post by Roller_Coaster on Mon 18 Jul 2016, 3:58 pm

raycastleunited wrote:
lorus59 wrote:Andrew "beef" Johnston sounds exactly like Lewis Hamilton when interviewed, 'man'.

It was actually Ali G being interviewed.

Looks like Taj(?) a Matt Lucas character from the Come Fly With Me series he and Walliams did.

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Post by raycastleunited on Mon 18 Jul 2016, 4:13 pm

No tournament this week is a bit strange. Why couldn't they have held the French Open this week instead of clashing with the Bridgestone?

At first glance it looks a bit odd going to Thailand but I'm guessing this is actually an asian tour event rather than an ET event.

While we're talking about scheduling, I wonder if the ET's flagship final series event in Turkey is in jeopardy. Can't imagine many people wanting to travel there at the moment.

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Post by navyblueshorts on Mon 18 Jul 2016, 4:14 pm

Roller_Coaster wrote:
raycastleunited wrote:
lorus59 wrote:Andrew "beef" Johnston sounds exactly like Lewis Hamilton when interviewed, 'man'.

It was actually Ali G being interviewed.

Looks like Taj(?) a Matt Lucas character from the Come Fly With Me series he and Walliams did.

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Laugh They do look alike don't they?
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Post by navyblueshorts on Mon 18 Jul 2016, 4:18 pm

Davie wrote:Great coverage from Sky too
You must be working in PR for Sky, Davie. Surely.

Actually, scabbed a watch yesterday and the golf was great. Sky's coverage was perfectly fine even though I had to put up with that airhead Monty and McGinley too. I swear, if I hear him say once more that "you have to hold it up into the wind" he'll have to die. Shame so many potential future players would have missed one of the great final day golfing tussles.
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Post by Davie on Mon 18 Jul 2016, 4:32 pm

No I don't work for Sky - I just know quality production when I see it

Commentators will always be marmite .. it would be either Monty and Major Crutchley we were complaining about, or Hazel and Alliss. But the overall coverage and airtime given to it was second to none

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Post by super_realist on Mon 18 Jul 2016, 4:36 pm

pedro wrote:Don't know what the course had to say. Of course it was in good condition and didn't spoil anything, but that's maybe the point you're trying to make? When the players hit almost all fairways, stay out of the thick rough, avoid the bunkers and put phenomenally then many a course would do the job?

I've been harsh on The Open for producing terrible events of late, but this was as good as 1999 Carnoustie for producing drama.
I don't believe that "many" a course could provide this because there are a lot of courses where not hitting it perfectly means you will still get a shot. Hit is badly at Troon, and on a lot of holes, you'll be looking at treble or worse.

To have TOC every 5 years and not have this place for yet another 12 years would be a travesty.

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Post by raycastleunited on Mon 18 Jul 2016, 4:40 pm

I thought Sky used the pro tracer a lot more than I've ever seen before. This was a welcome sight for sore eyes - literally - even with HD it's almost impossible to pick up the ball flight against the grey links background, all that squinting becomes a bit tiring.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 18 Jul 2016, 4:42 pm

super,
It would free things up if the assumed 6-year gap for TOC to 2021 set a precedent - doesn't sound like it but would make quite a difference; accommodating another course into the rota would be fantastic.

Thinking long-term, have never been to an Open and it's close to the top of my bucket-list. Would Carnoustie be a good long-term target? How is to follow groups for 18 holes, for instance?

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Post by super_realist on Mon 18 Jul 2016, 4:52 pm

I think it would be stupid to move St.Andrews in 2021, just so it can be in the 150th year. Why imbue the number 150 with some sort of special significance?

If they wanted to do something to mark the 150th, why not go back to Prestwick, where it began.

Kwini, Carnoustie is an outstanding course, probably the best on the rota, but I've never been during an Open, so not sure how it would be.

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Post by GPB on Mon 18 Jul 2016, 4:58 pm

Probably deserves it own thread:

EuroTour announces a Strategic Alliance with the Asian Tour

https://twitter.com/EuropeanTour/status/754934345257869312

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Post by I'm never wrong on Mon 18 Jul 2016, 5:30 pm

raycastleunited wrote:I thought Sky used the pro tracer a lot more than I've ever seen before.
Agree Ray. As I said earlier, when combined with the overhead view of the hole, it made it interesting.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 18 Jul 2016, 5:36 pm

I wonder if there was a collaborative venture with NBC TV? We also saw plenty of pro-tracer, plus use of the zip-line-camera on the Postage Stamp.
Decent job also by NBC, except they avoided any interviews except w/Henrik & Phil when the day was won and done. I for one am much more interested in the pros' perspective than the constant drivel from Jacobsen.

(Interested to see one of the holes named Turnberry; how long before that's re-named Drupf Turnberry?)

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Post by GPB on Mon 18 Jul 2016, 5:58 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:(Interested to see one of the holes named Turnberry; how long before that's re-named Drupf Turnberry?)

Some jokes never get old, no matter how many times they are told.

Rolling Eyes



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Post by SmithersJones on Mon 18 Jul 2016, 6:09 pm

I'm never wrong wrote:
raycastleunited wrote:I thought Sky used the pro tracer a lot more than I've ever seen before.
Agree Ray. As I said earlier, when combined with the overhead view of the hole, it made it interesting.

I wish they'd used it even more. There were dozens of them at the US Open, even on the fairways.
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Post by George1507 on Mon 18 Jul 2016, 9:35 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:super,

Thinking long-term, have never been to an Open and it's close to the top of my bucket-list. Would Carnoustie be a good long-term target? How is to follow groups for 18 holes, for instance?

Carnoustie isn't one of the better courses for spectating. It's pretty flat, so you don't get many places where the players are either above you - like the 15th at Troon - or below you like when you look down from the sandhills at many links courses. The last two holes at Carnoustie are pretty much impossible unless you have a grandstand seat.

The best three in my experience - and I've been to all on the current rota except Hoylake - are Troon, Birkdale and Muirfield. Easier to find local accommodation too.

St Andrews, Sandwich and Lytham are pretty poor because you are shoe-horned into small areas round the course where you can't get to the other side of the fairway.

Re - the 11th at Troon - the Championship tee is indeed much further right than the regular tee. From the regular tee you hit downhill along a generous avenue through the whin bushes, then bear left. It's easy to see where your drive ends up. Still a daunting hole though. From the Championship tee it's a prodigious carry over the bushes to the fairway, with OB on the right and no real bail out to the left. Then the fairway undulates and rolls, generally to the left. The further left you are, the more the only bunker comes into play for the second shot. That leaves about a 30 yard bunker shot towards the OB wall, the bushes behind the green and so on. It's a really tough hole, and I believe the stats reveal it's the hardest hole on the Open rota. At least the green is fairly flat!

Ball spotters are necessary - but they have them in the Open. They don't play many monthly medals from the Championship tee on the 11th. Similarly, the drive on the 10th is daunting. A 220+ yard carry uphill over a big sandhill, anything less than a great strike for amateurs is likely to be curtains.


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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 18 Jul 2016, 10:00 pm

Cheers George, That's very helpful - perhaps I should fast-forward my plans to Birkdale. Look out drawing board. Thanks.

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Post by George1507 on Mon 18 Jul 2016, 10:29 pm

Thursday at the Open is a good day. Lots of players, fewer fans than at the weekend, and the chance to walk right round. Friday is ok too, but the weekend is busier, with fewer players to watch. It's pretty much impossible to follow one group right round 18 holes even on the better courses. You can watch one group on the first, then the next group on the second, and the next on the third and so on. Or go on the practice days, but then you may not see much serious golf. People taking six shots in the bunker and the like.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 18 Jul 2016, 11:25 pm

Yup, Thanks. Thursday & Friday is usually our MO, catch a very early group and follow them all the way round just to scope the course out. Most courses have a hole or two which are inaccessible except for grandstands; hate hanging around in one place, almost always a chance to see shots from the groups in front and behind.
Some Championship courses here are surprisingly accessible, but you have to be resourceful - and tall! And always try to stay ahead of the play.

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Post by MontysMerkin on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 9:45 am

Practice day well worth it too
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Post by raycastleunited on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 10:16 am

Thanks George for explaining the 11th at Troon. The drive on the 10th did look very daunting over that sandy matterhorn.

I went to the Open at RSG and thought there were some really good vantage points amongst the dunes, particularly the front nine. Some of the greens were set in natural amphitheatres, especially one of the par 3's. Although the roads around Sandwich don't really support the staging of a major event, it is the only Open venue which is accessible from London.

I also went to the Open at TOC and it was much harder to get close to the action because of the double fairways and double greens. Spectators can only stand on one side of each hole so you have twice as many people trying to secure each vantage spot. St Andrews has a great atmosphere because the whole town revolves around golf, but it is in the middle of nowhere, it doesn't even have a railway station.

When I played Birkdale I noticed that there were a lot of mounds around the fairways and greens which would make it good for spectators. Hoylake on the other hand is pretty flat (and uninspiring in my view) and I imagine is trickier for spectators - but they pack them in and it usually has the second highest attendances (after RSG).

Whenever I've been to the Open I've always been to a practice day first. Great opportunity to get really close to the action, especially later in the day, and you can sometimes have a chat with the players on the tee and get an insight into their strategy. You can walk right round the course and get a feel for it, scope out the best vantage points for later in the week.

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Post by super_realist on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 10:32 am

St Andrews, for all its faults, is not in the middle of nowhere. Travel to the Open last year could not have been easier.
Buses were going from nearby Leuchars Station and Park and Ride was impressively easy.

Having said that, it's a terrible place to view and of course a course which promotes boring golf.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 10:51 am

Sounds like quite the turn out for Sergio's charity gig in Switzerland - not surprising there's no European Tour event this week and the "Canada" field is so weak.

Re: Practice rounds: Saw my first ever hole-in-one during a practice round. From some bloke called Nicklaus.

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Post by raycastleunited on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 1:21 pm

Come on Super, unless you live there, St Andrews is pretty remote. Planes, train and automobiles to get there.

Compare it to Muirfield just outside Edinburgh, or Birkdale and Hoylake close to Liverpool. Although Sandwich is a little place there's a direct train from London.

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Post by beninho on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 1:51 pm

The coverage was good, but it was European Tour that provided the pictures. Shame that for such a good open, the viewing figures were so down, over 3million on last years Monday finish.

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Post by McLaren on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 2:10 pm

The shuttle bus from leuchars worked well but getting the train to there in the first place is a bit of a faff. Even from Edinburgh you have to get on a train the winds its way through all the hicksvilles of fife.

I didn't go to Troon this year but went in 2004 and seem to remember that the train journey from Edinburgh was pretty quick. Despite being on the other coast I wouldn't be surprised if the journey time to Troon is less than that to St Andrews.

I don't think you would want to make that journey 4 days in a row so if you are there for the week you pretty much have to stay in or close to St Andrews.
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Post by McLaren on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 2:23 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Sounds like quite the turn out for Sergio's charity gig in Switzerland

Given those in attendance this event would probably have had the highest SOF of any regular season EuroT event.
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Post by Davie on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 2:27 pm

beninho wrote:The coverage was good, but it was European Tour that provided the pictures.  

How does that work? Sure the ET don't have their own broadcast facilities? I thought they always used a host broadcaster

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Post by beninho on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 2:40 pm

http://www.europeantour.com/europeantour/season=2016/tournamentid=2016054/news/newsid=302283.html

http://www.europeantour.com/tourgroup/tourproductions/

http://www.sportspromedia.com/news/european_tour_productions_wins_two_year_open_contract

They worked with SKY and NBC as partners, but provide the pictures for all Euro Tour events it seems.


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Post by raycastleunited on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 2:50 pm

Watching the Open it felt a little quieter than usual, and the grandstands often looked empty. Just had a look and attendance figures confirm this: only 173,000 for the week so way down on 237,000 last year. Ok that was a little skewed by the Monday finish, but for comparison 2014 attendance was 203,000.

I'm sure some people on here will want to blame Sky, but I don't think you can. Have the R&A done something wrong, or is Troon just too awkward?

When you add together the ticket, programmes, souvenirs, food and drink, on average each spectator must spend over £100 a day. Losing 64,000 spectators has got to hurt. No wonder Troon has to wait longer to host Opens, I imagine it will be a longer wait for the next one too.

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Post by beninho on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 3:00 pm

It may just be the trend in golf - Hoylake 2006 - 228,976 - Hoylake 2014 - 202,917.

Troon 2004 - 176,410 - Troon 2016 - 173,134.

Or maybe Troon just cannot hold the same amount as other courses.

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Post by MontysMerkin on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 3:13 pm

I know it doesn't really affect the high fliers on the board but austerity has some part to play surely. Let's face it golf is a luxury not a necessity.
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Post by GPB on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 3:26 pm

beninho wrote:Troon 2004 - 176,410 - Troon 2016 - 173,134.

They call that Saturday at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

https://wmphoenixopen.com/waste-management-phoenix-open-sets-single-day-attendance-record-189722/

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Post by MontysMerkin on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 3:36 pm

You also have Trump as a presidential hopeful, so it's all swings and roundabouts....
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Post by raycastleunited on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 4:04 pm

MontysMerkin wrote:You also have Trump as a presidential hopeful, so it's all swings and roundabouts....

We like to scoff at the ignorance / stupidity of Americans, but based on current sentiment, Trump would win an election in the UK.

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Post by Davie on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 4:10 pm

No really - not even our electorate is THAT stupid

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