PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

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PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 08 Feb 2018, 6:49 pm

First topic message reminder :

1).Interesting rather than rivetting climax to last week's Waste Management action. Hasn't the 18th hole at TPC Scottsdale become rather an anticlimax after the crescendo of all the hullabaloo from #15, 16, 17? Instead of a hole worthy of crowning the build up from the back nine, we have a ho-hum medium length Par-4 which favours a relatively low risk tee-shot such that the Gary Woodlands of the Tour can launch their drive over most of the trouble and have some kind of lofted wedge to the green. Regardless of how one feels about the extra length that modern equipment affords, surely the trouble off the tee should penalise equally drivers of all distances, but increasingly that's no longer the case.

2).Not that Woodland will be too fussed, as he moves to 7th place in the early season Ryder Cup standings. Top 12 now:
Top 8 automatic qualifying places: DJ, Koepka, Thomas, Spieth, Kuchar, Harman, Woodland, Fowler.
Next 4: Reed, Kizzire, Reavie, Steele.
Early days though.

3).Back to California this week and the AT&T National Pro-Am. By the end of play on Sunday most of the Tour's members will be into their season, even the late starters and those who haven't teed it up yet will likely be at Riviera next week.
The Waialae, Torrey Pines, TPC Scottsdale, Pebble Beach and Riviera tournaments are all usually kind to course specialists. This week we have multiple winners Phil, DJ and Snedeker; typically this lot, and a few others, play well also at Riviera and Torrey Pines. Grasses are fairly similar and coastal California seems to suit some players' seasonal rhythm of form. California boys Pat Perez and, in their primes, Hunter Mahan & Nick Watney are others who fit the bill, Kevin Sutherland & Oberholser in years gone by. And O'Meara their standard bearer from a generation ago. Perhaps Cantlay or one of the other locals can carry on this trend?

4).There's a strong International contingent here, including Casey & Donald, McDowell (extraordinary that he hasn't played here more often) & Rory, Shane & Seamus, Paul Dunners & Padraig. Rafa C-B is playing and even Adam Scott. But internationals haven't historically fared well, Vijay the only winner since Brett Ogle 25 years ago.

5).I'm taking Phil as my one-and-done this week, probably for sentimental reasons as much as anything - a fabulous record around Pebble Beach and his duel with Tiger a few years ago was one of the most compelling final rounds of recent years.
Riviera next week and we'll try to follow up the Cal horses-for-courses theme that was planned for this week until winter intervened.

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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 8:03 am

NedB-H wrote:
super_realist wrote:

If you want to make The Open a great tournament, you need to get rid of about 50% of the courses on the rota and draw up a new one.
OK I'll ask. Assuming we stick with the links requirement, and meeting the spectator criteria with access, accommodation nearby, room for stands etc. Which courses are you keeping, and where are you adding?

Why would you keep it a links course? It's a tired format. The Open has become so stale and so boring  for the majority of tournaments recently, with the exception of Stenson's win (where all but one other player were already out of it) that I reckon switching between links and heathland would be a massive improvement in terms of producing drama.

If you had to stick with links, you could add any of the following: Royal Aberdeen, Trump Aberdeen, Royal County Down, Kingsbarns, Castle Stuart, and Dornoch just for a start whilst fulfilling the criteria you lay out, they might have some small logistical differences, but perfectly do-able. Perhaps Hillside too. You might not get the same crowds as TOC or Hoylake, but who cares? Do you want a good tournament or a snooze fest like 2015? I'd trade a better tournament for fewer spectators dressed as if they're waiting for a call up anyway in their stupid baseball hats and golf shoes.

I'd keep Muirfield, Carnoustie, Troon, Birkdale, Sandwich and make sure Turnberry is back on the rota officially. I'd keep TOC for perhaps once every 9/10 years because that's all it deserves. You don't get the US Open or PGA going back to the same venue every 5 years for sentimental reasons, so why does The Open do it?
Obviously The Masters is the same course, but at least it's a course of high standard and regularly produces truly great finishes, 2016 and 2017 for a start.

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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by navyblueshorts on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 9:15 am

beninho wrote:The St Andrews debate again? Pro players rave about it, some declare it as their favourite course. But nameless faceless from scotchland says its crap. Oh, it was a fishing expedition, and it caught a whopper!

Anyway, anyone seem the billy hurley tweet, good to see a sense of humour.
Laugh Pros would never be seen dead saying it was pants. It's more than their life's worth to poo-poo all that history, but pants it is. I suspect S_R has played it a lot more than all but a few pros.
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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by pedro on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 9:53 am

I agree with super that The Open has been pretty dull over the past decade. Turnberry in 2009 was memorable and that was in part due to the course, with some exciting holes on the back 9.
With that being said I can’t recall too many PGAs tbh, and it’s not like the US Open is thrilling every year. Yes TOC every 5 years is ott, but maybe we still scrutinise The Open more than it deserves.

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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by McLaren on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 10:32 am

I think most people only watch the Masters and the Open for any significant length of time and forget how boring watching pro golf is most of the time. The Open has been a bit dull for a decade (and more) probably because watching golf has been a bit dull. Why blame the courses?
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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Snap Hook on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 12:36 pm

I think the Open does OK in terms of 'excitement'. Stenson vs Phil was pretty good, and the use of a 4 hole play off seems fair. The Masters probably wins for excitement, as even the average golf fan knows the course and opportunities for scoring which keeps people interested.

Re TOC, I am hoping going to 2021 will stretch the usage back to at least 6 years, rather than 5 since 1990. I get the history but there are better tests for the Pros now, and every 6/7 years feels reasonable for the TOC, but as with all these things money talks.

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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 12:44 pm

McLaren wrote:I think most people only watch the Masters and the Open for any significant length of time and forget how boring watching pro golf is most of the time.  The Open has been a bit dull for a decade (and more) probably because watching golf has been a bit dull.  Why blame the courses?


Speak for yourself.
Would say The Open does well in the context of Majors - as Snap rightly says, tough to beat the theatre of Troon 2016, and last year's was pretty good by all accounts.

Some Masters are pretty dull, but familiarity with the course and the traditional rite of spring at AN helps compensate.

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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by navyblueshorts on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 1:38 pm

McLaren wrote:I think most people only watch the Masters and the Open for any significant length of time and forget how boring watching pro golf is most of the time.  The Open has been a bit dull for a decade (and more) probably because watching golf has been a bit dull.  Why blame the courses?
The above is the biggest problem, IMO. It's just not 'exciting' to watch most of the time. The 'experts' are, in the majority, dull as dishwater and too often spout sycophantic nonsense.

I love playing the game, but it's a pretty boring watch.
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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by raycastleunited on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 2:31 pm

NedB-H wrote:The Open's much more fun when it's blowing a hoolie, particularly at St Andrews but at all the courses to some extent. Maybe they should move it to February.

That would be interesting, playing in horizontal sleet, with the players carrying little astro turf squares from which to play their shots. The prize money would have to be given to the spectators though, you would have to pay people to turn up and get frost bite.

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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by beninho on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 2:41 pm

navyblueshorts wrote:
beninho wrote:The St Andrews debate again? Pro players rave about it, some declare it as their favourite course. But nameless faceless from scotchland says its crap. Oh, it was a fishing expedition, and it caught a whopper!

Anyway, anyone seem the billy hurley tweet, good to see a sense of humour.
Laugh Pros would never be seen dead saying it was pants. It's more than their life's worth to poo-poo all that history, but pants it is. I suspect S_R has played it a lot more than all but a few pros.

I am more inclined to listen to players who are either known or willing to name themselves. Rather then someone anonymous who may never have played it in his/her life.

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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by beninho on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 2:49 pm

Sport isn't always exciting. Golf is the same as many other in that regard, but the open has been no worse then any recent majors. I have no issues with it being at standrews, and wouldn't really want to see it going to non links/ traditional style courses. I saw soneone mention that numbers may be down but that shouldn't matter, but it clearly would matter, they wont hold it at sonewhere that cant handle a large amount of spectators. All about the finances.

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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by raycastleunited on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 2:55 pm

Instead of removing TOC from the rota, they could make it more interesting and more challenging. Wentworth and Augusta host a tournament every year and need to be tweaked regularly to keep them relevant.

On another thread, super and mac started a hole by hole dissection of TOC. Let's start with 1 and 18: this fairway is far too large, I would propose digging a big lake in the middle of the fairway to separate the 2 holes. 1st tee shot would be more demanding with a 200 yard carry over water, and the approach on 18 would be good with a lake in front of the green. I think the iconic view of the R&A clubhouse would be enhanced by a lake in front with nice fountains and maybe even a series of waterfalls running down the fairway.

I also think the burn in front of the 1st green could be widened and rerouted around the back to create an island green. I would also look at planting palm trees in order to separate the fairways and create some definition.

The course is also very flat. I would propose using landfill to create some more elevation. In particular a big hill would work at the far end of the course so you could have some uphill and downhill holes parallel to each other instead of boring samey flat holes.

Finally, to make the course more accessible, cart paths should be built across the course.

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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by navyblueshorts on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 3:16 pm

beninho wrote:
navyblueshorts wrote:
beninho wrote:The St Andrews debate again? Pro players rave about it, some declare it as their favourite course. But nameless faceless from scotchland says its crap. Oh, it was a fishing expedition, and it caught a whopper!

Anyway, anyone seem the billy hurley tweet, good to see a sense of humour.
Laugh Pros would never be seen dead saying it was pants. It's more than their life's worth to poo-poo all that history, but pants it is. I suspect S_R has played it a lot more than all but a few pros.

I am more inclined to listen to players who are either known or willing to name themselves. Rather then someone anonymous who may never have played it in his/her life.
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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 3:20 pm

Silly of them to put a hotel where the windmill should be, ray; preferably with always whirring, oversize blades to catch errant drives and have them ricochet the ball in random directions.

I'd keep it as it is, updating where necessary but not to trick it up. And stage The Open there less frequently in line with the rest of the rota, but at least every ten years.

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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by pedro on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 5:25 pm

Ray, good call. And they should colour the grass to create different tartans on the fairways. That should boost the familiarity of the course, eg. ‘the McLaren hole’.

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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 5:32 pm

McLaren wrote:I think most people only watch the Masters and the Open for any significant length of time and forget how boring watching pro golf is most of the time.  The Open has been a bit dull for a decade (and more) probably because watching golf has been a bit dull.  Why blame the courses?

Probably because there's a pattern in which of the Open's are boring Mac. Carnoustie is never boring, Troon hasn't been boring in the last ten years, Muirfield isn't dull, TOC is played more than all of them, and it is boring, hence why we have a go at the course.


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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Shotrock on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 5:35 pm

There's so many great courses in the UK, I would like to see others included ... including many more inland.

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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 5:50 pm

You're so right SR. So many Heathland courses and places like Loch Lomond that would be great venues. Trouble is the R&A are the sort of people who would keep slavery and throwing your wife on the funeral pyre just because they're traditionalists. Nothing ever changes with them and nothing ever will. C words.

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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 6:49 pm

super_realist wrote:You're so right SR. So many Heathland courses and places like Loch Lomond that would be great venues. Trouble is the R&A are the sort of people who would keep slavery and throwing your wife on the funeral pyre just because they're traditionalists. Nothing ever changes with them and nothing ever will. C words.


OK, Given that they're a bunch of geriatric, reactionary buffers who won't change anything before links courses are overwhelmed by sea-level rise, and that links are a pre-requisite, where else would they go?

Kingsbarns? Dornoch? (who cares if it's remote - plus if Troon delivered 110M pounds to the economy, surely Dornoch would benefit N.Scotland exponentially?), Porthcawl and Princes (too short?), RCD?

Whaddya think supes? (Drumpf courses do not qualify, local rule.)

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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 7:03 pm

I'd also question the reaction from the media that St.Andrews is about to go under water. It's the fastest agrading area for sand dunes in the whole of Europe. There is absolutely no danger of that area ending up underwater any time soon. Typical hysterical nonsense from whoever wrote it.

I've given my list above Kwini, I stated RCD, Castle Stuart,Royal Aberdeen,  Kingsbarns, Dornoch, Hillside, Trump Aberdeen, Turnberry (currently unsure if it's on the rota officially or not at present)
Other mentions, North Berwick, Gullane, Nairn. I'm sure other readers could pick plenty others like Royal Cinque Port.

Why not throw in a few from ROI? You could still call it geographically The British Isles Open.

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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 7:33 pm

Oops, yup, I saw that.
But are they all realistic candidates; apart from "infrastructure", purely from a pro-golfing standpoint? Sufficiently long for a proper challenge for instance. Just asking as I just have no idea.
Am sure one or two southerners would add a Devon course or two.
And I too would love to see an Irish course or two presented as candidates.

PS: Keep on mentioning Nairn and you'll get galegowler back on here. Which would be a good thing.

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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by GPB on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 7:39 pm

When the Irish Open was played at RCD a couple of years ago, I was really looking forward to seeing the course. Heard so many rave reviews

And how was I disappointed. The rough was ridiculously high, and there seemed like there was a blind tee shot or blind approach shot on every hole.

I don't like blind shots and I don't like high rough. And putting those two together is a disaster. Long rounds, dangerous rounds. Any golf course that NEEDS forecaddies is a golf course I have no interest in playing.

Yes, I know the cliche... "A blind shot is only blind shot one time". Sure. You must believe that "trees are 90% air", too. By the way, a screen door is 90% air too, good luck putting your golf ball through a screen door without hitting anything.

As far as other golf courses that can host the TOC, there are a lot more factors to consider than just the golf course. You got to have the infrastructure. The room to build grandstands, concessions, restrooms. Are there enough hotel rooms, restaurants, etc. You have to peel a few layers off the onion (other than the golf course itself) to see if a course can host TOC.

And believe or not, some courses may not even want to host it.

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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 8:16 pm

Woods playing with Thomas & McIlroy on Thursday & Friday; not sure why Woods would want to be in such a high-profile threesome, must just add to the pressure, surely?

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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Shotrock on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 8:22 pm

Walton Heath, St George's Hill, Sunningdale .... right there three courses that are (1) close to London and all the accommodations/infrastructure support you need (2) could be properly set up as a tremendous test of championship golf.

Also, would love to see Dornoch ... there's already a trailer park nearby so the media trucks would fit right in!

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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by NedB-H on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 8:31 pm

I’ve got family in Dornoch who are involved in local tourism up there. Even if the R&A have a change of heart, there is absolutely zero chance of of the Open going there. Firstly the club would be ambivalent at best, they do very nicely for themselves as it is and have no need or desire to give their course over to the pros for six months of prep.

Secondly, the infrastructure is nowhere near. Forget the fans for a minute - even without them you have to put up all the players, players’ families, caddies, tv presenters, commentators, cameramen, technicians, organising officials, volunteer staff, and so on. There’s barely enough accommodation around for that lot alone within an easy driving distance. The nearest airport is Inverness which isn’t well equipped and can easily take over an hour to get to, and any other airports are half a day away. That makes it much harder for players to come and go and to get the tv stuff organised, and TV and players are the first people to keep happy if you want your tournament to stay prestigious.

And then you have the fan situation. Easy to say you can do without the fans but they bring in a huge amount of income, which allows the prize pot to keep pace. Like it or not the prize money is a big part of what gets the players playing. And the Open as it stands actually attracts massive on the day attendances. If you limit tickets you risk alienating a big group of people who are exactly the ones the R&A are targeting to broaden participation in golf.

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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by McLaren on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 8:54 pm

If the R and A want to mess with courses to make them suitable for pro's they should stay clear of any course with architectural merit. Meaning even modern courses such as castle stuart, dundonald, Kingsbarnes, Renaissance etc should avoid hosting the Open.

I say send the open to the Belfry and let the R&A do what they want to it.
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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 9:00 pm

Mac, I wish for 5 minutes you'd shut up about "architecture" for once as if it's the only thing that matters. Most of the visitors to TOC don't give a toss about "architecture".
Archerfield is another course that would be perfect.

As for Dornoch, it doesn't matter if it doesn't have the infrastructure, Portrush didn't for some time, now it does. THese things can be changed. Accomodation could easily be done in Inverness, not like Kingsbarns has any accommodation, yet it held the Women's Open and the nearest airport is even further away than Inverness is to Dornoch. Inverness also has a lot more hotel rooms than St.Andrews does.
Problems can be overcome even in a country as poorly run as Britain.

Speaking of St. Andrews, I was on a ski lift in Austria last week and overheard some students and their mum talking. "Oh I've forgotten to post Elektra's parcel". Who the F**k is called Elektra? Makes American golfers names look normal. Bloody St. Andrews students. Another world.

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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by NedB-H on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 9:09 pm

Portrush and Kingsbarns are nowhere near as remote as Dornoch though. The former is touching distance from Derry and Belfast, the latter the same from Edinburgh, Dundee and Perth. Dornoch isn’t the easiest from Inverness and is absolutely nowhere near anywhere else. You can’t magic a couple of 50,000 cities into the middle of nowhere.

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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 9:40 pm

You don't know your geography that well Ned. Kingsbarns is 55 miles from Edinburgh, and about 20 from Dundee and about 40 from Perth.

Dornoch isn't bad from Inverness, I've done it a few times, and it would be even easier with a properly managed traffic system in place for the event.

I'm not saying it should be in Dornoch ( It could be Castle Stuart, Trump or Royal Aberdeen for instance), but you could easily hold it there and still have a reasonable size crowd even if it didn't get to TOC or Hoylake numbers. Remember the R&A is a non profit making organisation. It's not there to sell the most tickets, it's there to showcase golf and sell it to the world as a product. How can you do that if you keep laying on the same old turgid event at the same dreary courses? Most of their money will come from TV rights anyway, and not from ticket sales, very much like Premier League football.

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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by pedro on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 10:51 pm

Personally I ‘d like to see the Open at non-links courses. But isn’t it a bit like Wimbledon being played on grass? It’s not carved in stone it has to be like that, but it’s kinda what’s expected and also what makes it a bit special?

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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by NedB-H on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 11:06 pm

I know the geography well enough super... funnily enough I believe it’s almost exactly 55 miles from the Kessock Bridge to Dornoch too. But Edinburgh is considerably bigger than Inverness and for most of the journey the roads are much better, or if they’re not you can try another route. You try getting several thousand people in to Edinburgh and then on to Kingsbarns, and then try to do the same with Inverness and Dornoch.
Having lived down the road from Sandwich for the last two St George’s Opens I’ve seen how the transit operation works, as I’m sure you have at St Andrews. It’s a two part procedure, part one being getting people in to the general area for Open week, and part two ferrying them to the course every day. Inverness to Dornoch is a doable journey, of course, it’s the only way anyone ever gets there. But the A9 has a tendency to be clogged up at the best of times as its a two lane road with very few alternative routes. That’s the big difference, the organisers love a contraflow almost as much the Highways Agency. In the case of Dornoch there’s barely an alternative to using the main/only route into the far north.
I’m sure they could manage part two of the infrastructure, in fact I would almost guarantee that the airfield would be used as the park and ride drop off / “Open Village” location, with buses doing a circuit from a car park somewhere out by Clashmore on the A9, and the town centre essentially cordoned off. My doubts are whether the roads can cope with the volume of traffic heading to that car park.

I’d love to see an Open up there too, apart from anything else it’d be easy for me to find a bed at least. But when even the local tourism people don’t think they could handle it, it’s a bad sign. A regular tour event there would be great fun.


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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by pedro on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 11:06 pm

This must be fake news: Woods open to being RC playing assistant.

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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Wed 14 Feb 2018, 8:26 am

NedB-H wrote:I know the geography well enough super... funnily enough I believe it’s almost exactly 55 miles from the Kessock Bridge to Dornoch too. But Edinburgh is considerably bigger than Inverness and for most of the journey the roads are much better, or if they’re not you can try another route. You try getting several thousand people in to Edinburgh and then on to Kingsbarns, and then try to do the same with Inverness and Dornoch.
Having lived down the road from Sandwich for the last two St George’s Opens I’ve seen how the transit operation works, as I’m sure you have at St Andrews. It’s a two part procedure, part one being getting people in to the general area for Open week, and part two ferrying them to the course every day. Inverness to Dornoch is a doable journey, of course, it’s the only way anyone ever gets there. But the A9 has a tendency to be clogged up at the best of times as its a two lane road with very few alternative routes. That’s the big difference, the organisers love a contraflow almost as much the Highways Agency. In the case of Dornoch there’s barely an alternative to using the main/only route into the far north.
I’m sure they could manage part two of the infrastructure, in fact I would almost guarantee that the airfield would be used as the park and ride drop off / “Open Village” location, with buses doing a circuit from a car park somewhere out by Clashmore on the A9, and the town centre essentially cordoned off. My doubts are whether the roads can cope with the volume of traffic heading to that car park.

I’d love to see an Open up there too, apart from anything else it’d be easy for me to find a bed at least. But when even the local tourism people don’t think they could handle it, it’s a bad sign. A regular tour event there would be great fun.

Wrong, Inverness to Dornoch is 43 miles, so Kessock Bridge is even closer than that.
I've never said IT HAS TO BE IN DORNOCH, it's just an option among others, which with good logistics is perfectly plausible providing you accept that fewer people will be able to go. I don't think that's a compromise that is unreasonable to have an event in a new place, which provides income for the local economy and doesn't pander to sentimental old farts for a change. Dornoch is consistently ranked in the top 10 of WORLD courses. That's incredible for a course in such an area, what a shame that more isn't made of it.
You might be right that Dornoch GC wouldn't want it, like Muirfield doesn't need it, but you'd think that the club would see the bigger picture should they ever be in the running for it.
The A9 is in the process of becoming dualled along it's length from Perth to Inverness, so it that respect it's the same as Edinburgh to St.Andrews.

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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by McLaren on Wed 14 Feb 2018, 10:59 am

Bill Haas involved in fatal car accident. Sounds like he will be out for a while.

https://sports.yahoo.com/bill-haas-actor-luke-wilson-081200186.html
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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by beninho on Wed 14 Feb 2018, 11:06 am

Theres 10 courses on the open rota I'm not sure we need anymore. Surely if these other courses want to be included they can try and get involved in a normal tour event and show they have the infrastructure etc.

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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by McLaren on Wed 14 Feb 2018, 11:32 am

super_realist wrote:Mac, I wish for 5 minutes you'd shut up about "architecture" for once as if it's the only thing that matters.

If architecture doesn't matter then doesn't going to somewhere like The Belfry make even more sense?
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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 14 Feb 2018, 11:52 am

McLaren wrote:Bill Haas involved in fatal car accident. Sounds like he will be out for a while.

https://sports.yahoo.com/bill-haas-actor-luke-wilson-081200186.html


That doesn't sound very good; seems Bill H is pretty banged up too. Seems a really nice bloke so hope he's going to be OK. Wonder who his Ferrari driver is/was?

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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by LadyPutt on Wed 14 Feb 2018, 12:29 pm

raycastleunited wrote:
NedB-H wrote:The Open's much more fun when it's blowing a hoolie, particularly at St Andrews but at all the courses to some extent. Maybe they should move it to February.

That would be interesting, playing in horizontal sleet, with the players carrying little astro turf squares from which to play their shots. The prize money would have to be given to the spectators though, you would have to pay people to turn up and get frost bite.
laughing As I sit here, 11 miles down the coast from St Andrews, watching from my window at the sleet driving horizontally from the sea, I can just imagine the fun! It's positively Baltic out there   One of the reasons we don't play in the winter is because we hate having to play from a bit of plastic turf (no luxury of astroturf here) so we use the range from December and wait until March when we can start using the real grass again.
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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 14 Feb 2018, 12:49 pm

Golf Channel now reporting that Bill Haas has been discharged from hospital - bruised and banged up but no broken bones. "Bill was very fortunate" says Jay. Golfing understatement of the year so far, by the sounds of it.

EDIT: Confirmation, if any was needed, that Haas has withdrawn from Riviera action. Suggestions that the Ferrari driver was speeding and lost control. Berk. (Dead berk now.)

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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by raycastleunited on Wed 14 Feb 2018, 2:56 pm

super_realist wrote:
Speaking of St. Andrews, I was on a ski lift in Austria last week and overheard some students and their mum talking. "Oh I've forgotten to post Elektra's parcel". Who the F**k is called Elektra? Makes American golfers names look normal. Bloody St. Andrews students. Another world.

What were you doing on a student ski trip? Slumming it in the YMCA?


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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by raycastleunited on Wed 14 Feb 2018, 2:59 pm

GPB wrote:When the Irish Open was played at RCD a couple of years ago, I was really looking forward to seeing the course.  Heard so many rave reviews

And how was I disappointed.  The rough was ridiculously high, and there seemed like there was a blind tee shot or blind approach shot on every hole.

I don't like blind shots and I don't like high rough.  And putting those two together is a disaster.  Long rounds, dangerous rounds.  Any golf course that NEEDS forecaddies is a golf course I have no interest in playing.

Yes, I know the cliche... "A blind shot is only blind shot one time".  Sure.  You must believe that "trees are 90% air", too.  By the way, a screen door is 90% air too, good luck putting your golf ball through a screen door without hitting anything.

As far as other golf courses that can host the TOC, there are a lot more factors to consider than just the golf course.  You got to have the infrastructure.  The room to build grandstands, concessions, restrooms.  Are there enough hotel rooms, restaurants, etc.  You have to peel a few layers off the onion (other than the golf course itself) to see if a course can host TOC.

And believe or not, some courses may not even want to host it.

Well said GBP

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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by raycastleunited on Wed 14 Feb 2018, 3:32 pm

super_realist wrote:
NedB-H wrote:I know the geography well enough super... funnily enough I believe it’s almost exactly 55 miles from the Kessock Bridge to Dornoch too. But Edinburgh is considerably bigger than Inverness and for most of the journey the roads are much better, or if they’re not you can try another route. You try getting several thousand people in to Edinburgh and then on to Kingsbarns, and then try to do the same with Inverness and Dornoch.
Having lived down the road from Sandwich for the last two St George’s Opens I’ve seen how the transit operation works, as I’m sure you have at St Andrews. It’s a two part procedure, part one being getting people in to the general area for Open week, and part two ferrying them to the course every day. Inverness to Dornoch is a doable journey, of course, it’s the only way anyone ever gets there. But the A9 has a tendency to be clogged up at the best of times as its a two lane road with very few alternative routes. That’s the big difference, the organisers love a contraflow almost as much the Highways Agency. In the case of Dornoch there’s barely an alternative to using the main/only route into the far north.
I’m sure they could manage part two of the infrastructure, in fact I would almost guarantee that the airfield would be used as the park and ride drop off / “Open Village” location, with buses doing a circuit from a car park somewhere out by Clashmore on the A9, and the town centre essentially cordoned off. My doubts are whether the roads can cope with the volume of traffic heading to that car park.

I’d love to see an Open up there too, apart from anything else it’d be easy for me to find a bed at least. But when even the local tourism people don’t think they could handle it, it’s a bad sign. A regular tour event there would be great fun.

Wrong, Inverness to Dornoch is 43 miles, so Kessock Bridge is even closer than that.
I've never said IT HAS TO BE IN DORNOCH, it's just an option among others, which with good logistics is perfectly plausible providing you accept that fewer people will be able to go. I don't think that's a compromise that is unreasonable to have an event in a new place, which provides income for the local economy and doesn't pander to sentimental old farts for a change. Dornoch is consistently ranked in the top 10 of WORLD courses. That's incredible for a course in such an area, what a shame that more isn't made of it.
You might be right that Dornoch GC wouldn't want it, like Muirfield doesn't need it, but you'd think that the club would see the bigger picture should they ever be in the running for it.
The A9 is in the process of becoming dualled along it's length from Perth to Inverness, so it that respect it's the same as Edinburgh to St.Andrews.

I've just looked up Dornoch on the map. You would have to be insane to hold the biggest tournament of the year there. You might as well hold it in the Faroe Islands. Same goes for Nairn.

Sadly there is no way North Berwick could host a major, cracking course but way too short for today's players, and not much room for grandstands, tented village etc. Same goes for Sunningdale, it has the space but not the length.

I think Dundonald could be an option, Saunton?, Princes maybe if they upgraded it. There's a few in Lancashire that could probably host it like Hillside and Formby. Inland what about Walton Heath, Woburn? Mac would probably vote for the Grove but nobody else would.

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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by robopz on Wed 14 Feb 2018, 4:51 pm

IMO the "wrap-around" season is an improvement, and will be even moreso next year. I prefer the Majors concluding nearer the end as opposed to the middle.

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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by robopz on Wed 14 Feb 2018, 4:57 pm

I love St Andrews. Nothing wrong with golf's history being celebrated there once every 5th year. I'm not one that believes you have to bust their nuts to have a championship. If they shoot 75-80 in a gale or scare 60 on a mild day, no matter to me. All good IMO.

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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Wed 14 Feb 2018, 6:44 pm

raycastleunited wrote:
super_realist wrote:
Speaking of St. Andrews, I was on a ski lift in Austria last week and overheard some students and their mum talking. "Oh I've forgotten to post Elektra's parcel". Who the F**k is called Elektra? Makes American golfers names look normal. Bloody St. Andrews students. Another world.

What were you doing on a student ski trip? Slumming it in the YMCA?


I wasn't on a student trip, there was just some Pippa's and Jemima's in the same gondola as me.

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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Wed 14 Feb 2018, 6:46 pm

robopz wrote:I love St Andrews. Nothing wrong with golf's history being celebrated there once every 5th year. I'm not one that believes you have to bust their nuts to have a championship. If they shoot 75-80 in a gale or scare 60 on a mild day, no matter to me. All good IMO.

History doesn't give you drama or a decent event though does it? Every 5th year is overkill. It's an admission you can't be bothered to produce a good tournament and are happy with mediocrity.
It's also one of the least scenic and least photogenic courses you'll ever see. In regards to holding a major, pretty much the only thing it has going for it is there is plenty space for the grandstands.

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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by beninho on Wed 14 Feb 2018, 7:23 pm

super_realist wrote:
robopz wrote:I love St Andrews. Nothing wrong with golf's history being celebrated there once every 5th year. I'm not one that believes you have to bust their nuts to have a championship. If they shoot 75-80 in a gale or scare 60 on a mild day, no matter to me. All good IMO.

History doesn't give you drama or a decent event  though does it? Every 5th year is overkill. It's an admission you can't be bothered to produce a good tournament and are happy with mediocrity.
It's also one of the least scenic and least photogenic courses you'll ever see. In regards to holding a major, pretty much the only thing it has going for it is there is plenty space for the grandstands.

Only a slight overreaction.....

Oh look, people have different opinions, shock!

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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by robopz on Wed 14 Feb 2018, 9:15 pm

super_realist wrote:History doesn't give you drama or a decent event  though does it? Every 5th year is overkill. It's an admission you can't be bothered to produce a good tournament and are happy with mediocrity.
It's also one of the least scenic and least photogenic courses you'll ever see. In regards to holding a major, pretty much the only thing it has going for it is there is plenty space for the grandstands.

Last Open at St Andrews.... 3 man playoff... 3-5 others in the mix coming down the stretch... Yeah... No drama... Nothing to see here.....  {{{Sigh}}}

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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Thu 15 Feb 2018, 7:59 am

beninho wrote:
super_realist wrote:
robopz wrote:I love St Andrews. Nothing wrong with golf's history being celebrated there once every 5th year. I'm not one that believes you have to bust their nuts to have a championship. If they shoot 75-80 in a gale or scare 60 on a mild day, no matter to me. All good IMO.

History doesn't give you drama or a decent event  though does it? Every 5th year is overkill. It's an admission you can't be bothered to produce a good tournament and are happy with mediocrity.
It's also one of the least scenic and least photogenic courses you'll ever see. In regards to holding a major, pretty much the only thing it has going for it is there is plenty space for the grandstands.

Only a slight overreaction.....

Oh look, people have different opinions, shock!

The Open has been held in St Andrews in 95, 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015 in recent years. How many of them were any good? How many times did the course produce any drama? Compare that to Carnoustie or Troon.

Having a play off in 2015 doesn't and didn't make it especially interesting. and only occurred in the first place because the weather caused problems during the event It would have been more interesting if there was the possibility of drama coming down 16, 17 and 18, but these holes are a cakewalk. You can' have play offs on the worlds most boring courses, doesn't mean it's a good tournament. We have play offs at "paint by numbers" courses in America all the time, hardly piques my interest. Do we remember the 2017 Masters because of the playoff or because of the extraordinary golf from Garcia especially on the back 9, especially when he lost the lead? Did the lack of a play off make Stenson/Mickelson less enthralling? Of course it doesn't, play offs don't equal drama or excitement. It's very much like Italian Football, bugger all action for 90 minutes, then someone scores an OHK from the half way line.

Even if you consider 2015 to be interesting, you have to go back to 1984 with Seve to find anything comparable. Over 30 years and 6 visits. Pathetic.

Of course it's opinion, but having it there every 5 years surely takes away from how "special" the place is doesn't it?

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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by beninho on Thu 15 Feb 2018, 8:44 am

Depends what you are looking for at a major. Recent opens have been won pretty comfortably, apart from the standrews play off and adam scotts collapse, when louis o won at standrews he walked it, but it was close for the rest. Supreme golf is just as good to watch.

Golf has exciting moments, but majors aren't constant drama.

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Re: PGA Tour: AT&T National Pro-Am: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by navyblueshorts on Thu 15 Feb 2018, 9:34 am

robopz wrote:I love St Andrews. Nothing wrong with golf's history being celebrated there once every 5th year. I'm not one that believes you have to bust their nuts to have a championship. If they shoot 75-80 in a gale or scare 60 on a mild day, no matter to me. All good IMO.
Good points. I guess conditions are the same for all.

Take away the history and do I think St. Andrews is really up there with the best courses the U.K. has to offer? Nope, not at all.
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