PGA Tour: The Travelers + Rocket Mortgage in Detroit + 3M Open in Minnesota: Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 24 Jun 2019, 8:40 pm

1).What goes around, comes around:
I've been going to The Travelers Championship in the Hartford, CT, area for 12 years now, sometimes just for one Round, usually for two, always for Rounds 1 and/or 2. And always with my son, Father's Day and all that.
We usually try to follow one "Featured" group, one threesome of lesser knowns, or young up-and-comers.
The first year we went, 2008, we followed the young Jason Day in Round 1, having seen his second Tour event two years before at Turning Stone.
Day exhibited the swagger and range of shots that you might expect from a 20-year-old hotshot and, without much of a short game, carded a 67. But he was outplayed by a young Canadian, Jon Mills, who shot 64. And that was as good as it got in a prime-time event on the PGA Tour; now he's the newly appointed golf coach at Kent State University.
The third member of the group was a short, stocky feller who looked as if he might be a local qualifier but not much more. He missed the cut and there was no reason to think we'd hear much about him again.
But a month or so later, he won the Canadian Open, bloke called Chez Reavie. You never know!

2).The forecast for last Thursday & Friday was terrible, cool, rainy with occasionally heavy downpours and strong gusts. Turned out it was much worse. So we scrapped a plan to hang around and follow Justin Thomas and Molinari, partly because we wanted to get moving, partly because Cantlay was the third member. Plan B was to go out with some relative journeymen, but in every round you see something new:

3).In this case, there was a no-show on the first tee, Hudson Swafford, and the strange appearance two minutes after the others had hit their drives, of a golfer with a stand-bag coming off the subs bench and taking his place: Dominic Bozelli with whom we have some tenuous interest. Never seen that before.
On the fifth hole Adam Long holed a 140-ish yard wedge for eagle. And later drained a 55-foot snake. For all the highlights you see on TV, the number you see as a spectator is pretty low!
Patton Kizzire was the 3rd pro and he is slow, walks slow, does everything slow. Miserable to watch too.

4).We were going to lead off Round 2 with Tommy Fleetwood, Russell Knox and Cam Smith but, partly in anticipation of disruption of play and resultant confusion, chose to follow them Thursday afternoon instead. Really enjoyed watching the three of them, but they only attracted a couple of dozen followers which seemed strange.
Fleetwood shot an easy 66 including a couple of balls in the drink, but never seemed especially in love with what he was doing or where he was. Don't know how many water balls he hit on his way to an eventual T13 and $200K, but it must have been at least half a dozen.
Russell Knox is good to follow, always acknowledges the gallery, always, and grinds out every single shot.
And Cam Smith came in in rotten form and played like it as he grew increasingly frustrated. Don't bet on him until he shows some form.

5).Friday we kicked off with Mackenzie Hughes as he was a first round leader, playing with Homa and Berger. Not especially noteworthy except Homa getting poked in the eye by his caddie's umbrella which seemed pretty funny at the time. Unsurprisingly a needless bogey ensued. Was impressed with Homa but he's a tetchy boy and just missed the cut.
Berger blew hot and cold, not sure what to make of him, though would say that, in person, his wide swing takeaway seems much less exaggerated. Missed cut for him too, and his season looks in disarray.

6).Took an hour to go to the range and watch Kiradech whirling away in yellow shirt whilst all about him were bundled up in about four layers. Brilliant stuff! Love the way he goes at it!!
Went to see him tee off, but the highlight of that group was Richy Wrenski's caddie, "Pepsi", arranging his bottles of Pepsi alongside the first tee, very much like Rafa Nadal's obsession with neatness and organization. When finally satisfied with the formation he decanted one into a screw-top flask for on-the-go consumption. He used to leave bottles of Pepsi at strategic hiding places around the course to satisfy his fix, hole-by-hole. Don't know if he still does that - you'll remember him as Keegan Bradley's caddie for many years, and possibly his confrontation with the Mechanic at a WGC Match-Play.

7).The celebrity on the range was His Highness Steve Williams, greeted and hugged by anyone who thought they knew him. He lapped it up of course. Anyway, looks as if he's been brought in to infuse some discipline into Jason Day's game.

8).We hung around to follow Viktor Hovland and his mates, Curtis Luck & Dylan Frittelli. Fun threesome to follow and hundreds of others thought so too.
Luck is great with the galleries but didn't get much out of his round and missed the cut by one. Would definitely watch him again though, bags of talent.
Hovland was making his pro debut and got off to a fast start. Interesting to follow and see how he reacted to success and adversity. Made a careless 3-putt on #7 which seemed to rattle him - he followed it up with a 7 on the par-4 10th from the middle of the fairway - rushed his shots and those strokes add up quickly. He did well to compose himself and squeeze under the cut-line.

9).Awards of the week:
Fastest golfer: Curtis Luck, always ready to hit - why isn't that a core competency?
Slowest: Frittelli, followed closely by Kizzire. Frittelli is terrible though, makes Ben Crane look quick and you'd imagine he'll be climbing the slow-play-fine rankings - if he keeps his card.
Most fan-friendly (probably because we didn't see Peter Malnati): Knox & Luck.
Most miserable: Kizzire

10).And thoughts about The Travelers:
Voted PGA Tour players "Tournament of the Year" two years' running, but doubt the fans would say the same. Lots of commercial "creep", especially the past three years, which infringes upon accessibility for the spectators.
And it's nice that they have 3,500 volunteers helping to ensure a great week for the pros, but way too many jobsworths who haven't a clue what they're doing.
And way too many golf-carts buzzing around with each driver thinking they're Max Verstappen.
But every ET Tournament Director should go and check it out - they'd learn a lot if my meagre ET experiences are anything to go by.

Two new tournaments these next two weeks: Rocket Mortgage in Detroit, moved from the DC area, and the 3M tournament in the Minneapolis area.
Will add any notes as and when.


Last edited by kwinigolfer on Tue 02 Jul 2019, 1:03 pm; edited 3 times in total

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Post by McLaren on Tue 25 Jun 2019, 1:43 pm

Did you see Hovland do his stop start thing at the top of the driver swing?
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Post by Roller_Coaster on Tue 25 Jun 2019, 2:10 pm

Good notes, very interesting. Thanks Kwin

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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 25 Jun 2019, 2:37 pm

McLaren wrote:Did you see Hovland do his stop start thing at the top of the driver swing?


YES!!! Couldn't believe it - but I only saw him do it once, on #7 I think. Very weird. There are a few great opportunities to get behind the tee at Hartford, but the rest of the time I tend to dawdle down to follow incoming in the landing area.
Is that something Hovland does a lot, Mac - strange to see?


Cheers Roller, Just a fun event to go to; wish it was a bit closer though!

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Post by McLaren on Tue 25 Jun 2019, 3:33 pm

Kwini

What is even weirder is that he doesn't seem to do it on every drive, how doesn't it totally bugger his timing.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 26 Jun 2019, 12:14 pm

Confirmation from the PGA Tour that BMW are not renewing their contract for Round 2 of the FedEx Play-Offs.
I think robo has been predicting that.

golfchannel.com reckons the Tour will have little difficulty in replacing the Beemer. But I'll be interested to learn the extent to which the new sponsor will restore the tournament to its Chicago roots (as the historic Western Open), or continue its nomadic course. Regardless, Chicago area venues this year (Medinah) and next (Olympia Fields).

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 26 Jun 2019, 2:53 pm

The PGA Tour deserted the Detroit area when the Buick Classic faded away, about ten years ago.

But it's back as the "Rocket Mortgage Classic" thunders into Michigan as it transfers from the Washington DC area.
The boys are competing at Detroit Country Club, a Donald Ross course that reportedly will play at about 7,300 yards - so medium length for touring pros.
It looks to be playing a conventional Par 72, 4 x Par-3's, 10 x Par-4's, 4 x Par-5's.

All the European Tour players seem to have repatriated themselves, but this will still represent an important event for Luke Donald, Laird, Power, Blixt, Straka, Hovland etc, all with plenty to play for.
And Freddie Jac - I should have noted in my Travelers drivel how good it was to see him fit and competing again. Fun to follow and one of the few pros who can be relied upon to wipe the smile off Matt Kuchar's face at the table-tennis table.

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Post by wiretapper on Wed 26 Jun 2019, 3:20 pm

Is Hovland spoken about European Tour membership at all?

I appreciate not this season but there is a Ryder Cup next year

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Post by GPB on Wed 26 Jun 2019, 3:39 pm

In Case You Missed It.

Kevin Kisner is no longer leading the Race to Dubai. Keith Pelley must be pleased.

Matt Wallace is leading.

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Post by GPB on Wed 26 Jun 2019, 3:54 pm

wiretapper wrote:Is Hovland spoken about European Tour membership at all?

I appreciate not this season but there is a Ryder Cup next year

Yes he has commented on Hovland and the Ryder Cup.

https://www.golfchannel.com/news/hell-probably-be-team-viktor-hovland-already-padraig-harringtons-ryder-cup-radar

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Post by wiretapper on Wed 26 Jun 2019, 4:26 pm

Thanks GPB OK

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Post by super_realist on Thu 27 Jun 2019, 7:58 am

GPB wrote:
wiretapper wrote:Is Hovland spoken about European Tour membership at all?

I appreciate not this season but there is a Ryder Cup next year

Yes he has commented on Hovland and the Ryder Cup.

https://www.golfchannel.com/news/hell-probably-be-team-viktor-hovland-already-padraig-harringtons-ryder-cup-radar

He does look like a player who has pretty much everything he needs to be a top player. Considering how quickly Jon Rahm got to the top from the same position as #1 Amateur I'd expect Hovland to be top 50 by year end on current form.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 27 Jun 2019, 2:38 pm

Scoring quite low from the early threesomes in Detroit's morning wave.


Agree with super about Hovland, though feel Top 50 by year's end may be a tad ambitious - don't feel he has the game to overwhelm a golf course that Rahm, but now is certainly the time to secure a "false" position in the rankings before he has points to lose.
Niemann came to the Tour with similar fanfare but only now seems to be adding to the positive impact he made last summer. Playing well early today also.

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Post by GPB on Thu 27 Jun 2019, 4:48 pm

For Hovland (or any entry level player) to get into the Top 50, they are basically going to have earn a 100 OWGR points in 6 months. That's very unlikely

For some perspective, we are about 6 months into 2019 and only 20 players have done that so far this year.

DJ, RM, BK, Kuch, Woodland, Schauffle, Casey, Woods, Rose, Reavie, Chico, Adam, Rickie, JT, Shane, Wallace, Kiz, Rahm, DeChambeau.

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Post by wiretapper on Fri 28 Jun 2019, 11:00 am

I caught a bit of the action last night and the course looks very much like your standard American parkland fare with nothing standing out or grabbing my attention.

And the pros have certainly made short work of it with T75 at -2

With that, plus its place on the calendar I cannot see it attracting the big boys on a regular basis

I also caught a bit of the US Senior Open after and got to witness your favourite Fox commentators Kwini Laugh although Ken Brown is still decent, if criminally underused.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 28 Jun 2019, 12:05 pm

wire,
It's almost as if the FOX team won't accept Ken Brown as part of their cliquey little team.

All the usual suspects up there at the Senior US Open, Toms, Stricker, Vijay, Goose, M-A J, Langer.


Agree about Detroit CC, tho' pre-tournament comments from guys like Bubba & DJ suggest they'll be assessing the course set-up after this first year and narrow the fairways for year 2!

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Post by GPB on Fri 28 Jun 2019, 3:49 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:
Agree about Detroit CC, tho' pre-tournament comments from guys like Bubba & DJ suggest they'll be assessing the course set-up after this first year and narrow the fairways for year 2!

I am sure the membership is thrilled!

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Fri 28 Jun 2019, 4:08 pm

Cameron Champ currently leading on -14 through 30 holes Shocked
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Post by super_realist on Fri 28 Jun 2019, 4:09 pm

GPB wrote:
kwinigolfer wrote:
Agree about Detroit CC, tho' pre-tournament comments from guys like Bubba & DJ suggest they'll be assessing the course set-up after this first year and narrow the fairways for year 2!

I am sure the membership is thrilled!

Hardly a big deal to narrow the fairways for 6 weeks prior to the competition. At least two of which they probably aren't allowed to play the course anyway. I would imagine that they're probably more pissed off it holds a competition at all.

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Post by GPB on Fri 28 Jun 2019, 5:52 pm

super_realist wrote:
GPB wrote:
kwinigolfer wrote:
Agree about Detroit CC, tho' pre-tournament comments from guys like Bubba & DJ suggest they'll be assessing the course set-up after this first year and narrow the fairways for year 2!

I am sure the membership is thrilled!

Hardly a big deal to narrow the fairways for 6 weeks prior to the competition. At least two of which they probably aren't allowed to play the course anyway. I would imagine that they're probably more pissed off it holds a competition at all.

And two to three weeks to restore to normal fairway width.

Do you how long the golf season is in Detroit? Maybe 24 weeks. That is about 1/3 of the golf year.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 28 Jun 2019, 6:19 pm

GPB wrote:
super_realist wrote:
GPB wrote:
kwinigolfer wrote:
Agree about Detroit CC, tho' pre-tournament comments from guys like Bubba & DJ suggest they'll be assessing the course set-up after this first year and narrow the fairways for year 2!

I am sure the membership is thrilled!

Hardly a big deal to narrow the fairways for 6 weeks prior to the competition. At least two of which they probably aren't allowed to play the course anyway. I would imagine that they're probably more pissed off it holds a competition at all.

And two to three weeks to restore to normal fairway width.

Do you how long the golf season is in Detroit?  Maybe 24 weeks.  That is about 1/3 of the golf year.  


There are two courses at their Club though, just one hole of their South course being used this week. Would think the issue will be much more restoring the playing area on the second course after and concessions and other gubbins have wrought their damage.

Gary Woodland and Dustin Johnson have the weekend off. More crucially for keeping his card, so does Martin Laird. Apart from anything else, it looks as if he missed three putts inside 3 feet over Rounds 1 & 2. Inability to close out tournaments and 36-hole cuts is a sure sign of a decent player reaching the end of his rope, and Laird's past two weeks' Sunday & Friday efforts do not augur well for his future. Hope I'm wrong.

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Post by GPB on Fri 28 Jun 2019, 11:32 pm

Robert Garrigus, fresh off a suspension for Marijuana use, is in contention on the Korn Ferry Tour.

Meanwhile, in the US Senior Open, Stricker shoots 62-64 to lead the championship. Yes, you read that correctly. 62-64 in a USGA event.

Gary Nicklaus is going to make the Cut. Tom Watson has shot his age in both the first and 2nd rounds.

Former US Open Champ, Michael Campbell is in the field, one off the cutline. I was wondering why he was at the US Open Champions Dinner. He turned 50 earlier this year.

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Post by super_realist on Sat 29 Jun 2019, 6:59 am

GPB wrote:
super_realist wrote:
GPB wrote:
kwinigolfer wrote:
Agree about Detroit CC, tho' pre-tournament comments from guys like Bubba & DJ suggest they'll be assessing the course set-up after this first year and narrow the fairways for year 2!

I am sure the membership is thrilled!

Hardly a big deal to narrow the fairways for 6 weeks prior to the competition. At least two of which they probably aren't allowed to play the course anyway. I would imagine that they're probably more pissed off it holds a competition at all.

And two to three weeks to restore to normal fairway width.

Do you how long the golf season is in Detroit?  Maybe 24 weeks.  That is about 1/3 of the golf year.  

3 weeks to restore the fairway? Not buying that. Didn't take anything like that at the infamous 99 Carnoustie, and that was horrendous rough.

We can't complain about boring American golf tournaments and then also complain when someone tries to make it more interesting and actually put some golf back into a tournament. Good for Detroit

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Post by McLaren on Sat 29 Jun 2019, 8:05 am

Good to to see such visionary architecture as narrowing the fairways in the zeitgeist.
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Post by GPB on Sat 29 Jun 2019, 3:24 pm

I said 2-3 weeks. you can't cut in one stage, it takes multiple stages, which means added labor.

If you are rent your house for a week, you don't paint the exterior for the tenant, and IMO you don't alter your course. That is not what the designer intended, and its obviously not what the membership wants, or else it would have already been like that.

Just reduced the par to a par 64, and make it the World Hardest Golf Course. Anything under 440 yds is a par 3 and everything else is a par 4. IMO, the most useful thing about par is keeping score for players who are at different places on the golf course.

Seriously, if the par was 70 at Detroit instead of par 72, the 36 hole leaders would be at -10 and the cutline would be -1. Bingo Bango Bongo, you got your typical scoring for a PGATournament. #7 is playing to stroke avg of 4.6 and #17 is playing to 4.4. They would just be really difficult par 4's. Just make them Par 4's. And you got target score relative to par.

For all the rhetoric saying that golfers are "playing against the course", they aren't. They are playing each other. The course never wins. Despite a winning score of +6 at Carnoustie in 1999, Paul Lawrie won the Claret Jug. Carnoustie did not. Hale Irwin won the US Open in 1974, not Winged Foot, despite the "Massacre".

Wimbledon is not going to change the court dimensions when the Championship starts next week. The net is going to be the same height as it was this week, the same height as it was during the French Open. Ditto Soccer, and Basketball.

Detroit CC is pretty easy Par 72. Pencil-whip the par 5s into par 4's, its a tough par 68.
ITS THE SAME GOLF COURSE and you haven't done a thing to it other than a cosmetic change.

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Post by GPB on Sat 29 Jun 2019, 11:30 pm

Nate Lashley didn't get into the field until Wednesday morning. Now he has a 6 shot lead going into the final round.

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Post by Shotrock on Sun 30 Jun 2019, 1:26 pm

GPB +1

"Playing against the course" is a cliche I, too, tire of hearing.

Not unlike:

"Let the club do the work" ... I once laid my driver next to my tee ball and walked away. Nothing happened.  Or, "No player is bigger than the game itself" ... hey, no one plays the game, then there is no game.

I think this pre-occupation with par has been greatly influenced by the USGA and the National Open. Fortunately, this year they got it right.

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Post by McLaren on Sun 30 Jun 2019, 4:00 pm

I agree that play the course is over used but isn't it also misused or misconstrued as well?

I always took it to mean analyse the course, conditions, land, weather etc and play accordingly. Maybe I have it wrong.
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Post by Shotrock on Sun 30 Jun 2019, 5:19 pm

Mac - Probably.

It's sort of a never ending discussion. I think good shots should be "generally" rewarded, poor shots "generally" punished. But should golf even be fair? I see all sides of that argument.

What I don't see is the preoccupation with the number that is "par". None of the regular posters (except Super of course) play at the professional level. Why worry about protecting that number when (as GPB illustrates) fewest shots during the tournament ALWAYS wins the event? If you finish day 2 at -3 and every other golfer in the field is better than that, you are DFL and going home.

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Post by I'm never wrong on Sun 30 Jun 2019, 6:24 pm

I think there is a subtle difference. You are not exactly playing against other players (match play excepted) you are finding out who is playing the course the best. Until the final few holes, what another player does doesn’t affect what you do.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Sun 30 Jun 2019, 11:12 pm

Pretty cool win and story for Nate Lashley, to overcome what he has on and off the course over his life - top stuff
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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 30 Jun 2019, 11:20 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:Pretty cool win and story for Nate Lashley, to overcome what he has on and off the course over his life - top stuff


thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup


Not a bad field in store for next week in the Twin Cities, but a shocker in prospect for the John Deere. And precious few Europeans around to subsidise it.

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Post by Shotrock on Mon 01 Jul 2019, 1:30 am

Another no-name Yank. The depth of this tour is a "shocker".

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Post by GPB on Mon 01 Jul 2019, 2:23 am

RE John Deere shocker

Why so cryptic?

PD is reporting that Zach Johnson is out of the OWGR top 100 for the first time in 15 years.

Just wondering what he is thinking about his switch to PXG golf clubs and his caddie change?

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Post by super_realist on Mon 01 Jul 2019, 8:05 am

GPB wrote:I said 2-3 weeks.  you can't cut in one stage, it takes multiple stages, which means added labor.

If you are rent your house for a week, you don't paint the exterior for the tenant, and IMO you don't alter your course.  That is not what the designer intended, and its obviously not what the membership wants, or else it would have already been like that.

Just reduced the par to a par 64, and make it the World Hardest Golf Course.  Anything under 440 yds is a par 3 and everything else is a par 4.  IMO, the most useful thing about par is keeping score for players who are at different places on the golf course.

Seriously, if the par was 70 at Detroit instead of par 72, the 36 hole leaders would be at -10 and the cutline would be -1.  Bingo Bango Bongo, you got your typical scoring for a PGATournament.  #7 is playing to stroke avg of 4.6 and #17 is playing to 4.4.  They would just be really difficult par 4's.  Just make them Par 4's.  And you got target  score relative to par.

For all the rhetoric saying that golfers are "playing against the course", they aren't.  They are playing each other.  The course never wins.  Despite a winning score of +6 at Carnoustie in 1999, Paul Lawrie won the Claret Jug.  Carnoustie did not.  Hale Irwin won the US Open in 1974, not Winged Foot, despite the "Massacre".

Wimbledon is not going to change the court dimensions when the Championship starts next week.  The net is going to be the same height as it was this week, the same height as it was during the French Open.  Ditto Soccer, and Basketball.

Detroit CC is pretty easy Par 72.  Pencil-whip the par 5s into par 4's, its a tough par 68.  
ITS THE SAME GOLF COURSE and you haven't done a thing to it other than a cosmetic change.

I didn't infer you could do it in one pass. Who cares if it's more "labour". Detroit GC are being paid a fortune to host the event. Don't use a bit of extra work over the course of a week to be a reason not to grow the rough.

US Golf is constantly moaning about how boring it is, glad to see a course do something about it, and to use your house analogy, who gives a toss what the designer thinks. Once I get the keys to my house it's none of the designers business what I do with it.
As for turning a par 5 into a par 4. That hardly makes anything better does it? It's not the score to par that is boring, it's the way it's played, 350 yard drives and flicks into greens just isn't interesting. If you actually inject a risk to a hole then you create more drama and the need for imagination, shot making and course management not this American GI gung ho golf which is massively boring, and if a few members have to suffer a tighter course for a "few weeks" then so bloody what.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 01 Jul 2019, 1:32 pm

Shotrock wrote:Another no-name Yank. The depth of this tour is a "shocker".


Something lost in translation there, Sr, Churchill (was it him?) right about being divided by a common language! And nothing to do w/Lashley . . . . . .

Actually, Lashley had some decent form coming into Detroit, not enough to make him a likely winner, but plenty to make it something less than a real surprise.

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Post by GPB on Mon 01 Jul 2019, 1:53 pm

"..US Golf is constantly moaning about how boring it is.."

It is?

"...glad to see a course do something about it, and to use your house analogy, who gives a toss what the designer thinks. Once I get the keys to my house it's none of the designers business what I do with it. ...."

Whooooosh, totally missed the point. If the stakeholders wanted the course changed, they would have already done it. They are changing the course for a tenant that is only going to be there for a week.

"...As for turning a par 5 into a par 4. That hardly makes anything better does it? It's not the score to par that is boring, it's the way it's played, 350 yard drives and flicks into greens just isn't interesting...."

Imo, that is not Detroit CC's fault or any courses fault. That's USGA and R&A fault for letting the horse out of the barn.

Also, IMO, long rough and narrow fairways still favor the longer hitter even more. The fairways were narrow and rough was long at Bethpage, and Koepka won. Long rough is going to be more penalizing to a shorter hitter when they hit the rough.

This week's Top 10 and their Driving Distance ranks this week.

Lashley T43
Redman T47
Sabbo T43
Roach 30th
Sneds 57th
Niemann 13th
Potter 65th
Stuard 62nd
Triangle 27th
Reed 35th

Hmm, this week was a long course (7340 yds) with short rough and the leaderboard was not dominated by the longer hitters.



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Post by GPB on Mon 01 Jul 2019, 2:08 pm

Furthermore, the longest drivers finished the tournament

T55 Seth Reeves (333 yds)
T13 Byeong-Hun An (326.3 yds)
T29 Jason Kokrak (325.3 yds)
T46 Cameron Champ (324.5 yds)
T17 Wyndham Clark (324.4 yds)
T46 Nick Watney (323.1 yds)
T42 Adam Schenk (321 yds)
T59 Dominic Bozzelli (319.1 yds)
T21 J.B. Holmes (316.3 yds)
70 Stewart Cink (315.1 yds)

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Post by super_realist on Tue 02 Jul 2019, 7:54 am

GPB wrote:"..US Golf is constantly moaning about how boring it is.."

It is?

"...glad to see a course do something about it, and to use your house analogy, who gives a toss what the designer thinks. Once I get the keys to my house it's none of the designers business what I do with it. ...."

Whooooosh, totally missed the point.  If the stakeholders wanted the course changed, they would have already done it.  They are changing the course for a tenant that is only going to be there for a week.

"...As for turning a par 5 into a par 4. That hardly makes anything better does it? It's not the score to par that is boring, it's the way it's played, 350 yard drives and flicks into greens just isn't interesting...."

Imo, that is not Detroit CC's fault or any courses fault.  That's USGA and R&A fault for letting the horse out of the barn.

Also, IMO, long rough and narrow fairways still favor the longer hitter even more.  The fairways were narrow and rough was long at Bethpage, and Koepka won.  Long rough is going to be more penalizing to a shorter hitter when they hit the rough.

This week's Top 10 and their Driving Distance ranks this week.

Lashley T43
Redman T47
Sabbo T43
Roach 30th
Sneds 57th
Niemann 13th
Potter 65th
Stuard 62nd
Triangle 27th
Reed 35th

Hmm, this week was a long course  (7340 yds) with short rough and the leaderboard was not dominated by the longer hitters.



Detroit doesn't have to rent its course out to the PGA, but the PGA pays the money and has the right to set it up the way it likes.

Most of the distance gain in golf comes NOT from club technology or the ball but from improvements in technique, understanding the physics of the golf swing (Trackman, shaft optimisation etc) and swing speed and there is NOTHING the PGA can do about that. Players are far more "athletic" than they used to be. They aren't the fat lumps of 20 years ago (well a few are), they are much stronger, more supple, able to swing faster etc. Of course there is a bit of difference in clubs, but repeated research has shown the gains from a 20 year old driver to a modern one are only about 20 yards. 1 yard per year.

You claim that a tight course still favours the longer hitters and then show me a top ten which doesn't include many of the long hitters. Whistle

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Post by GPB on Tue 02 Jul 2019, 5:30 pm

I like the chances of a Brooks Koepka type players hitting a 9 iron from the rough than a Ryan Armour hitting a 5 iron from the rough

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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 02 Jul 2019, 5:35 pm

All signs point to another low scoring affair this week in the Minneapolis area, at the TPC Twin Cities, for 18 years a regular stop on the Senior Tour.
Good to see some top players turning out; one could be forgiven for thinking that top pros were press-ganged into playing either Detroit or this week's 3M Open: Woodland, Fowler, DJ, Kisner last week, Jason Day, Phil, Koepka, Dechambeau, Finau this week.

A sparse turn-out of Europeans, but no doubt Viktor Hovland will attract plenty of attention; will this be his week? All this lot have plenty to gain from a good result:
Blixt
Jacobson
Jaeger
Laird
Straka


GPB,
I think that's pretty much a direct quote from Koepka . . . . . . . .

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Post by GPB on Tue 02 Jul 2019, 10:06 pm

Golfodds dot com has Hovland at 30/1 this week, sixth best favorite. Draftkings priced him 9th highest this week. Not sure what the Brit Bookies think of his chances.




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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 02 Jul 2019, 10:09 pm

GPB wrote:Golfodds dot com has Hovland at 30/1 this week, sixth best favorite.  Draftkings priced him 9th highest this week.  Not sure what the Brit Bookies think of his chances.




This Brit chose him as my one-and-done . . . . . . .

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Post by GPB on Tue 02 Jul 2019, 10:49 pm

Any of you Brits know the Ashton Turner story?

Anyone know the Ashton Turner Story.

Here is the Readers Digest version

When he was one year old, he fell and broke his skull.

When he was three years old, he got diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and there was a chance he would never be able to walk properly.

Today, he qualified for his 2nd Open Championship

His home webpage is sparse but here it is

http://ashtonturner.com/

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Post by Shotrock on Wed 03 Jul 2019, 1:55 am

At my club the fairway grasses and rough grasses are different. I can't imagine a recovery from narrow to original would take less than 8-10 weeks (or even a season). But, I will ask our Superintendent.

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Post by super_realist on Wed 03 Jul 2019, 7:47 am

Shotrock wrote:At my club the fairway grasses and rough grasses are different. I can't imagine a recovery from narrow to original would take less than 8-10 weeks (or even a season). But, I will ask our Superintendent.

Superintendent? What have the police got to do with it?

Yes, the grasses are different, but no one is asking you to replace the grasses. First cut is usually the same grass as the fairway, so letting the first cut grow longer is the same as letting the fairway grow longer.
8-10 weeks? Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh

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Post by Shotrock on Wed 03 Jul 2019, 11:56 am

Our greens and grounds are headed by our Greens Superintendent. Fairly common term here in the states. I guess it's not common to you. Rolling Eyes

I was on the Green Committee for three years and during a major restoration. They did not reseed the fairways as they widened them, but resodded. During that time they were virtually unplayable until the seams grew in. (Aronimink.org if you want to see any pics of the place. We are very happy with the work.)

The idea of letting the fairway grass (we use) grow to rough height is not something I'm familiar with but will ask our -- yes -- Superintendent. He knows a lot more than me and (I'm taking a wild guess here) even you.

I've seen the documents pertaining to the usage or rental of a club for a US PGA event. They certainly control the pin positions but cannot alter the course to any significance unless it's agreed to by both parties. Our (recent) tournament was held just after our restoration so the PGA carefully reviewed our plans as they did their due diligence a few years in advance and still wanted to use the club.

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Post by wiretapper on Wed 03 Jul 2019, 1:55 pm

GPB wrote:Golfodds dot com has Hovland at 30/1 this week, sixth best favorite.  Draftkings priced him 9th highest this week.  Not sure what the Brit Bookies think of his chances.




Between 25 and 33-1 = average 9th favourite

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Post by super_realist on Thu 04 Jul 2019, 8:03 am

Shotrock wrote:Our greens and grounds are headed by our Greens Superintendent. Fairly common term here in the states. I guess it's not common to you. Rolling Eyes

I was on the Green Committee for three years and during a major restoration. They did not reseed the fairways as they widened them, but resodded. During that time they were virtually unplayable until the seams grew in. (Aronimink.org if you want to see any pics of the place. We are very happy with the work.)

The idea of letting the fairway grass (we use) grow to rough height is not something I'm familiar with but will ask our -- yes -- Superintendent. He knows a lot more than me and (I'm taking a wild guess here) even you.

I've seen the documents pertaining to the usage or rental of a club for a US PGA event. They certainly control the pin positions but cannot alter the course to any significance unless it's agreed to by both parties. Our (recent) tournament was held just after our restoration so the PGA carefully reviewed our plans as they did their due diligence a few years in advance and still wanted to use the club.

They aren't "resodding" rough for a one week tournament though, that's the point. They aren't doing anything drastic at all. They're simply letting rough grow longer and they taper fairways in narrower.

As for whoever claimed it would take 8-10 weeks to return an area of rough to fairway, that's complete balls. Every year I see areas of semi rough turned into pretty serviceable winter greens (i.e. better than fairway) in just a couple of weeks. So to whoever said that returning an area of rough to playable fairway/semi takes 8-10 weeks has played golf with their eyes shut their entire life.

It's a storm over nothing. Yes, there is some disruption, but they still have a course to play in the end.
I've seen St.Andrews revet an entire hole's bunkers in ONE day.

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Post by GPB on Thu 04 Jul 2019, 5:05 pm

Heard on a podcast that Detroit GC only had 8 months notice that they were going to host a PGATour tournament, whereas new venues usually get two years notice.

Same podcast (Shotgun Start) says that Tour Official usually error on the conservative side on initial course setups. They don't want to make USGA-esque mistakes with respect to hole locations that really should not be hole locations (too much slope).

ICYMI, Ben Everill of PGATour had nice article about Detroit GC, including something about a 1939 & 1941 exhibition in lieu of the canceled Ryder Cup. Apparently there was a riff between Walter Hagen and Gene Sarazen. Hagen was the Captain of the 1939 RC team, and he left Sarazen off the team. After the 1939 & 1941 RC was canceled, a RC type exhibition was held at Oakland Hills and DGC in 1939 and 1941

https://www.pgatour.com/tour-insider/2019/06/26/nine-things-to-know-detroit-golf-club-2019-rocket-mortgage-classic.html


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