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Does a course has to be suitable for championship play in order to be considered a great course?

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Does a course has to be suitable for championship play in order to be considered a great course? Empty Does a course has to be suitable for championship play in order to be considered a great course?

Post by McLaren Tue 21 Jul 2015, 12:04 pm

I asked this question of Super on another thread and have now moved it hear to avoid off topic debate.


I would like to explore what people consider the attributes of a great course to be an obviously given the title whether or not a course has to be suitable as a major venue in order to be considered great.

For sake of clarity lets allow "great" to mean the very best courses in the world.  We could argue whether or not there are objective standards to which the courses must meet but lets just go with a more postmodern airy fairy warm glow type determination of great.


To start with the question was;

Do you think a course has to be suitable for championship play in order to be considered a great course?

and the follow up was (As a sort of thought exercise)

If Augusta remained in it's 1930's form and the pro's averaged 64 around it these days would it still be a great course?


Some initial responses

super_realist wrote:Mac, I think a course has to be able to present a challenge whether or not the weather plays a part.

I don't think that a course has to be hard to be considered great.

My stipulation for a "great" course would be one that can create drama and trip up a player as well as rewarding great shots.

I feel that without bad weather, TOC has no defence, whilst the final 4 holes are a bit of a procession UNLESS it's windy or wet.

Saying that though, this was one of the better St.Andrews efforts, though all down to the weather.

Scottrf wrote:Isn't there a difference between a good course and a good choice for a Major venue?

Roller_Coaster wrote:if the best players in the game love it (which they seem by and large to do as the "pitch" that they play on) it has to have some (strong) merit, although I think some grew to love it over time so it must have shown faults beyond merely having the usual vagaries of links golf (unexpected bounces for example).
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Post by McLaren Tue 21 Jul 2015, 12:08 pm

Super

When you say "present a challenge whether or not the weather plays a part" and "can create drama and trip up a player as well as rewarding great shots" what group of players are you talking about? If you include the pro's then are you not accepting the premise that a course must present the worlds best players (i.e a major) as well as the hackers with a challenge?


Scottrf

Yes, I think there is a difference. The courses most suitable for a major are not the same as those that I would rank as the worlds great courses for normal players.
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Post by McLaren Tue 21 Jul 2015, 12:10 pm

We think shank is a bad word in golf but this topic may raise the other dirty word in golf, "bifurcation".
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Post by super_realist Tue 21 Jul 2015, 12:36 pm

Mac, some of my favourite courses simply couldn't hold a big competition, let alone a major, so no, it does not have to be suitable for Championship play to be considered a great course, but I do think Championship courses do require criteria which is something other than history.

Elie for example, no par 5's, love the course, some of the best par 4's you could think of. Not something that would ever make the Top 100 in the world though, and probably not even in the UK.

I would reword your question, "In order to hold a major championship, a course must have something other than weather to make it interesting"

So whilst TOC, this year provided a good tournament, without the weather interruptions and wind, it most likely would have been a turgid procession like 2000 and 2005 and most of 2010.
Whereas, if the weather is tough at Carnoustie, or no wind at all, there is still a chance of the final few holes providing drama or someone shooting the lights out.

How's that for clarity.

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Post by LadyPutt Tue 21 Jul 2015, 12:42 pm

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Post by Bob_the_Job Tue 21 Jul 2015, 4:50 pm

My two pence. Really just a set of observations (and naturally, just as liking a particular course or layout, they are subjective)...

1. I think almost any course can easily be tricked up to make it hard for even the best pros to go low, but that doesn't necessarily make it a good or fun event to spectate at or play in.

2. To say any of any course in the UK that "it's only defence is the weather" is pointless. It's the UK. It's very likely at some stage over 4 days that there will be weather. To me that's as valid a test of a pro golfer as 4 days perfect or consistent weather on a technically "harder/more challenging" course.

3. The criteria to hold regular tour events is as much about the infrastructure as the course, and for majors even more so. That's not to say courses with poor infrastructure don't get picked, it just means they need that extra something - history, reputation, vested interest funding etc.

4. Great does not equal hard. Par is an arbitrary measure. Viewing on TV is a false and forced perspective but is how 95% of golf fans watch golf. I think you need to play and think like a pro to really know what makes a great course for a pro to play on.

5. Your question on Augusta presumes we all think it's great now. Regardless, all courses evolve and change over time, even without man's intervention - trees grow, mature or die, rough thickens or becomes patchy etc. I think they course that are now considered great either have evolved naturally to remain relevant, or have been well managed (Augusta being the latter).

6. Word on the street is that pros are saying they're never coming back to RCD - they didn't like being made to look foolish or mortal. Wusses.
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Post by kwinigolfer Tue 21 Jul 2015, 5:24 pm

Ref: 4). above.
"Par is an arbitrary measure." Quite.

St.Andrews is probably a Par 70 with 4 x Par 3 1/2's depending upon wind direction.

If we looked at the St.Andrews scores and saw that the play-off was at -7 instead of -15, no doubt many of the naysayers would say, "What a wonderful test".

The USGA tried to get clever by saying #1 and #18 at Chambers Bay could alternate between Par-4 and Par-5 and created a hole (18 as a Par-4) that even Spieth considered ridiculous. And they tricked up Merion to an absurd extent just to protect their version of par - as if the course wasn't great enough to look after itself, thank you very much!


As for Point 6)., I hope that's not what they're saying! Having said which, there are August and September dates that would be favoured by the likelihood of better weather than RCD in May.

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Post by twoeightnine Tue 21 Jul 2015, 5:54 pm

B_T_J makes some good points there. Personally I guess you have to start with what makes a good course. For me the view is a huge part of it. Augusta is stunning, most links courses with the sea in the background and so on.

If TOC or Carnoustie had an oil refinery and business park in the background I doubt that they would be considered even though the local roads and infrastructure would be great which is undoubtedly needed for a major venue.

I do think that a course has to be reasonably tough for a major but I agree that par is just a number. What I don't like seeing is target golf that may as well be played on a simulator. I like a course that rewards thinking and variety of shots. If that means -15, no problem.

As for needing weather, that's fine too. I wonder how many days there is no wind on TOC? Its on the Scottish coast. If you also tricked it up it would be impossible on some days and that's no fun either. And with regard to TOC, you cannot ignore the history. It creates a thrill for those of us who don't live there and you can bet that it adds a notch of pressure for all the pros. The changes to the leaderboard over the last 4 holes suggests that it provides a good finish. Its just that it wasn't just about birdies but about par.

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Post by GPB Tue 21 Jul 2015, 6:06 pm

My biggest complaint about St Andrews is that players were intentionally going down parallel fairways.

Not so much on the front side, but on the back nine, players were going way left on #13, #14, and #17.

IMO, there is something wrong (and dangerous) when the optimal play is playing down the wrong fairway.

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Post by super_realist Tue 21 Jul 2015, 6:11 pm

twoeightnine wrote:B_T_J makes some good points there.  Personally I guess you have to start with what makes a good course.  For me the view is a huge part of it.  Augusta is stunning, most links courses with the sea in the background and so on.

If TOC or Carnoustie had an oil refinery and business park in the background I doubt that they would be considered even though the local roads and infrastructure would be great which is undoubtedly needed for a major venue.

I do think that a course has to be reasonably tough for a major but I agree that par is just a number.  What I don't like seeing is target golf that may as well be played on a simulator.  I like a course that rewards thinking and variety of shots.  If that means -15, no problem.

As for needing weather, that's fine too.  I wonder how many days there is no wind on TOC? Its on the Scottish coast.  If you also tricked it up it would be impossible on some days and that's no fun either.   And with regard to TOC,  you cannot ignore the history.  It creates a thrill for those of us who don't live there and you can bet that it adds a notch of pressure for all the pros.  The changes to the leaderboard over the last 4 holes suggests that it provides a good finish. Its just that it wasn't just about birdies but about par.

Again, it's not that TOC get's difficult as soon as it gets above 0mph, it plays pretty easy all the way up to 15mph, and most of the time, the wind is much less than this. You saw the scoring from the likes of Matsuyama, Lingmerth, Mickelson, Harrington etc when conditions abated a bit.

It' a good barometer to see how terrible Woods has become. In easy conditions, and on a course which is the easiest of all the majors, he still misses the cut by a mile.

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Post by George1507 Wed 22 Jul 2015, 9:25 am

The lowest ever four round score at the Open Championship was 267, set at Sandwich by Greg Norman. Therefore that must be the easiest course on the rota.

I think Turnberry has the next lowest score.

Since the Open is always on links courses, the wind is always a factor. It tends to be windier at the coast. You could build a course at the seaside which would be very difficult in calm conditions, but on a breezy day it would be far too difficult.

So until someone invents the ball that always goes straight, the reality is that these old links courses are hard enough and St Andrews will be on the rota until long after we are all gone.

And no, a course can be great without hosting a championship. In fact most great courses do not host championships.

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Post by McLaren Wed 22 Jul 2015, 12:39 pm

super_realist wrote:Mac, some of my favourite courses simply couldn't hold a big competition, let alone a major, so no, it does not have to be suitable for Championship play to be considered a great course

If this is the case why do you mention that TOC produces scores at the lower end of the Open scale and that it should not hold the Open as a way to criticise the course?

If TOC was removed from the open rota (which I wouldn't object to) it would still be one of the top 5 greatest courses in the world.



GPB wrote:My biggest complaint about St Andrews is that players were intentionally going down parallel fairways.

You should not think of the parallel fairways at TOC as belonging to different holes. You are free to hit wherever you want but going way left may leave an impossible shot into the green. Or a shot where you will face an extremely long putt if you do hit the green.
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Post by Seve76 Wed 22 Jul 2015, 12:48 pm

[quote="George1507"]The lowest ever four round score at the Open Championship was 267, set at Sandwich by Greg Norman. Therefore that must be the easiest course on the rota.

But surely the real test of how easy the course has played is how many of the players finish up under par.
In 1993, despite Norman's winning score, only 26 of the 78 finishers ended up level/under par.
At St Andrews this year, 76 of the 80 finishers were par or better.
That must be a record, rivalled only by 1990 (TOC!!) when 62 of the 72 finishers scored 288 or less.

If one had a lot of spare time to continue this, I think TOC would prove to be the easiest venue in relation to par.
Whether that actually matters or not is a different question.

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Post by super_realist Wed 22 Jul 2015, 12:50 pm

McLaren wrote:
super_realist wrote:Mac, some of my favourite courses simply couldn't hold a big competition, let alone a major, so no, it does not have to be suitable for Championship play to be considered a great course

If this is the case why do you mention that TOC produces scores at the lower end of the Open scale and that it should not hold the Open as a way to criticise the course?

If TOC was removed from the open rota (which I wouldn't object to) it would still be one of the top 5 greatest courses in the world.



GPB wrote:My biggest complaint about St Andrews is that players were intentionally going down parallel fairways.

You should not think of the parallel fairways at TOC as belonging to different holes.  You are free to hit wherever you want but going way left may leave an impossible shot into the green.  Or a shot where you will face an extremely long putt if you do hit the green.

Mac, the low scoring of TOC is not necessarily the issue. The issue with TOC is that 80% of the holes are featureless, drab, dreary and cannot create drama, and in order to produce drama require unseasonable weather conditions, hence why when there is no bad weather, low scores result. They are the product of the course being obsolete.

TOC (in my opinion) is nowhere NEAR the top 5 courses in the world. Not even close, it's not even the best course in St.Andrews.
Transfer TOC to Grimsby or Hull, and no one would ever mention it. I'm convinced that people (like you) fawn over it because you look dewey eyed at its history and because you believe you are EXPECTED to worship it and to say otherwise would be sacrilege, which is a stupid reason for considering it a great course.

TOC is not a bad course, but it's not a great course, and it certainly doesn't deserve to host a major every 5 years.


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Post by George1507 Wed 22 Jul 2015, 1:12 pm

Seve76 wrote:

But surely the real test of how easy the course has played is how many of the players finish up under par.
In 1993, despite Norman's winning score, only 26 of the 78 finishers ended up level/under par.


No. A hole that takes me five shots to finish must be harder than a hole that takes me four shots to finish. So a course that takes me 75 shots to finish is harder than one that takes 70 shots.

Therefore a course that takes me 267 shots to go round four times is easier than one that takes 273 shots.

Par is just an index to make it easier to work out who is doing well and who is not.

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Post by McLaren Wed 22 Jul 2015, 2:00 pm

Super

I am confused, you seemed to accept that TOC (or any other course) did not have to be suitable for a major championship to be a great course.

If you accept this premise then why are you still making posts which seem to make points based around TOC's ability as a major venue?

for example

80% of the holes are featureless, drab, dreary and cannot create drama, and in order to produce drama require unseasonable weather conditions

Are you talking about drama during an open or for normal everyday play?

and here

TOC is not a bad course, but it's not a great course, and it certainly doesn't deserve to host a major every 5 years.

This may be so, but if you have accepted greatness does not equal major venue then why mention this?


I'm convinced that people (like you) fawn over it because you look dewey eyed at its history and because you believe you are EXPECTED to worship it

This is an odd position to take.  Here you have accepted a large burden of proof.  So what evidence has convinced you of this?

If you had just asked why I think TOC is great then you would not have to defend such a position.
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Post by raycastleunited Wed 22 Jul 2015, 2:06 pm

George1507 wrote:
Seve76 wrote:

But surely the real test of how easy the course has played is how many of the players finish up under par.
In 1993, despite Norman's winning score, only 26 of the 78 finishers ended up level/under par.


No. A hole that takes me five shots to finish must be harder than a hole that takes me four shots to finish. So a course that takes me 75 shots to finish is harder than one that takes 70 shots.

Therefore a course that takes me 267 shots to go round four times is easier than one that takes 273 shots.

Par is just an index to make it easier to work out who is doing well and who is not.

Not sure I agree with this George. I might generally make 3 or 4 on a difficult par 3, with the odd 2 thrown in. On an easy par 5 I might generally make 4 or 5 - so does that make it harder?

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Post by super_realist Wed 22 Jul 2015, 2:18 pm

Mac, to put things in a way which even you can understand.

TOC (in my opinion) is not a great course under any description. Primarily because so many of the holes are so straight forward and ordinary and are incapable of drama to players of a professional standard.

Therefore, a course clearly does not have to be great to hold a major, but by the same criteria, many great courses will never hold a major.

I've asked many times for you to explain why you think TOC is so great, yet all you ever do is talk about how OTHER people consider it a design great, you've simply repeated their claims.
I've been through every hole on TOC and explained why it is not worthy of tournament play (at least as often as it is)

So yes, a course doesn't have to be great to hold a Major, evidently as many non great courses hold them, but that doesn't mean that they shouldn't try to hold them at the best venue they can.
Only 1 of the last 4 TOC Opens has been in any way interesting, terrible for a place which holds it so frequently.

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Post by Seve76 Wed 22 Jul 2015, 2:27 pm

George1507 wrote:
Seve76 wrote:

But surely the real test of how easy the course has played is how many of the players finish up under par.
In 1993, despite Norman's winning score, only 26 of the 78 finishers ended up level/under par.

Par is just an index to make it easier to work out who is doing well and who is not.

But you can't dismiss par as "just an index".
Which course is easier & which will see more sub-70 scores:
A par 72 that is full of driveable par-4s and reachable par-5s?
Or a par 70 that is full of long, tight par-4s, and a couple of 600 yard+ par-5s?
Obviously it's the former.

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Post by McLaren Wed 22 Jul 2015, 2:35 pm

Super

There is something very incoherent about your posting on this thread.

TOC (in my opinion) is not a great course under any description. Primarily because so many of the holes are so straight forward and ordinary and are incapable of drama to players of a professional standard.

You seem to agree that a great course could be a poor major venue.  For example TOC has no drama for the pro's but could still be a great course.  Once this has been accepted your reasons for a course being/not being great should not include how it plays as a major venue.

Yet as I show above one of your reasons for TOC not being great is that it is "incapable of drama to players of a professional standard".  If you agree that greatness and major suitability are not linked then why is one of your reasons for lack of greatness directly linked to how the pro's play it in a major?
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Post by super_realist Wed 22 Jul 2015, 2:41 pm

No, I mean a great course could be considered too small, short, inappropriate for infrastructure, viewing, transport, accomodation, etc to hold a major.
There are some small local courses which could be considered great courses, but not suitable as Major venues, got it?

I do not expect a course to be the hardest possible to hold a major but I do expect it to be interesting and have closing holes in which the lead can change back and forth, and whilst TOC is an easy course and produces many a low score, it is it's drudgery and boredom which in my opinion makes it a poor open venue, not the fact that people shoot low on it. People shoot low on Hoylake too, but it looks a more interesting course.

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Post by George1507 Wed 22 Jul 2015, 9:57 pm

Seve76 wrote:

But you can't dismiss par as "just an index".
Which course is easier & which will see more sub-70 scores:
A par 72 that is full of driveable par-4s and reachable par-5s?
Or a par 70 that is full of long, tight par-4s, and a couple of 600 yard+ par-5s?
Obviously it's the former.

Yes, that's exactly the point. The par 70 course would be harder to score on than the par 72 course.

A scratch player may go round the par 70 course in 72, and round the par 72 in 70.

So the par is meaningless. The degree of difficulty is just about how many shots it takes you to finish the course. Any course where you regularly take 80 is harder than one where you regularly take 75, even if one is 10 over par against the other being 3 over.

Disregard par, it's just a way of working out who is winning at any point in time. Without par, on Monday at 6.00pm the commentators would have been telling you Johnson had played 273 shots against Leishmann's 261 and Oosthuizen's 255.

Not very helpful.

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Post by raycastleunited Wed 22 Jul 2015, 11:38 pm

GPB wrote:My biggest complaint about St Andrews is that players were intentionally going down parallel fairways.

Not so much on the front side, but on the back nine, players were going way left on #13, #14, and #17.

IMO, there is something wrong (and dangerous) when the optimal play is playing down the wrong fairway.

I don't mind this if it is part of a risk/reward strategy. For example on 17 the further right you are off the tee the better the angle in. The challenge is how close do you dare to flirt with the oob of the hotel. Sure you can bail out left but then you have no approach.

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Post by super_realist Thu 23 Jul 2015, 7:06 am

It is actually amazing just how far right you can be on the road hole. People always say it's the "O" of Old Course or the "O" of Hotel that you have to go over, but you can actually go right of all the lettering and still stay in bounds quite easily.

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Post by pedro Thu 23 Jul 2015, 8:43 am

No one is more far right than Zach Johnson. God came to your home course super.... Will you quit?

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Post by MontysMerkin Thu 23 Jul 2015, 8:49 am

How often do you play from those back pegs on 17 super? Is it a massive difference between tees there - looked a bloody long way!
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Post by super_realist Thu 23 Jul 2015, 9:16 am

I play the medals every time I play Monty. Haven't played it off the Yellows for years, however, we don't often get to play the actual Open tees on the holes that have them (no markers) although no one would stop you if you did. Was going to do that on Monday, but there was some sort of tournament on instead.

There's a fair difference on a lot of the holes (14 being a big difference), but probably about par when you consider the difference in driving distance between club players and pro's.

In regards to 17, the difference is about 40 yards and the tee is actually within the confines of the driving range, so generally not in play, this makes it a tough hole of 501 yards for a par 4, so i'd be trying to hit it as far right as I could get away with to shorten the hole and give a good line in.

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Post by MontysMerkin Thu 23 Jul 2015, 9:20 am

Ok, that seems reasonable - most pros seemed to be playing as a par 5 ...
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Post by super_realist Thu 23 Jul 2015, 9:30 am

Yeah, I think they've taken one of the few good holes on that course and ruined it for the Pro's. Keeping it off the normal medal tees, might result in more par 4's, but I but you'd get a lot more people on the road and in the road hole bunker too (especially in years where it has been less wet). Seemed many people this year were just laying up and hoping for an up and down or going for a long putt up the hill.
You might get more 3's too, so more potential to create drama, which is what you want in a major and at that stage of the course courtesy of more risk/reward than what the pro's were doing, by just hanging in there and hoping for a par.

The Road Hole bunker has also been made less intimidating.

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Post by MontysMerkin Thu 23 Jul 2015, 10:34 am

Would love to have seen Rory play 17, probably the only one capable of firing towering 7 irons at the flag
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Post by McLaren Thu 23 Jul 2015, 11:33 am

I watched from the 17th grandstand for a bit on Monday and couldn't work out why the players were so conservative with their approach shots. For example in the play off Louis only had about a 7 iron in and still just aimed to land it in front of the green and not onto the higher portion where the flag sits.
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Post by raycastleunited Thu 23 Jul 2015, 12:48 pm

McLaren wrote:I watched from the 17th grandstand for a bit on Monday and couldn't work out why the players were so conservative with their approach shots.  For example in the play off Louis only had about a 7 iron in and still just aimed to land it in front of the green and not onto the higher portion where the flag sits.

On TV it looked like he hit a much longer iron, maybe 4 or 5. And it also looked like he was trying to carry it all the way on to the top level. His ball pitched on the up-slope which killed it and it rolled back down. Another yard and it would have been on the top tier, kicked 10-15 feet forward (at least) and he would have had a birdie putt and or at least a guaranteed 4. And then we may have had a different result!

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Post by McLaren Thu 23 Jul 2015, 1:21 pm

ray, I may have been shielded in the stand from the wind, so maybe he needed to club up but he looked to be just shy of the jigger inn at about 160 yards left.

From what I observed over a couple of hours watching was that getting a 4 from the just short of the green or on the front portion before the rise was quite a difficult task. There were many three putts or failed up and downs from that spot. Eg Oostie and spieth.
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Post by super_realist Thu 23 Jul 2015, 1:50 pm

Some of the chipping I saw there was terrible Mac, it's amazing how bad some shots the Pro's have, I suppose it's one of the only sports where we don't see everything they do, so it's easy to forget we don't see their equivalent of scuffed shots, or errant passes.

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Post by McLaren Thu 23 Jul 2015, 1:56 pm

Super

Given the slightly damp conditions do you think the 17th would have been easy enough to hold for the pro's coming in with about 7 to 4 irons? (did they exaggerate the difficulty of the shot?)

Although given how many bailed out onto the 2nd fairway not many would have had the chance.
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Post by super_realist Thu 23 Jul 2015, 2:00 pm

It's not a deep green, especially coming from the 2nd fairway.
They never seem to realise how far right you can afford to be, not without risk obviously (ask Mickelson), but certainly no need to go up 2.

Even for club players, I've hit anything from 3 iron to 8 iron in, so it's very dependent on wind, but making a 501 yard hole into a 550 yard one by going down two doesn't seem sensible when it's a par 4. I saw better shots from those who'd been in the rough between 17 and 2 than I did from 2.


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Post by raycastleunited Thu 23 Jul 2015, 2:00 pm

No Louis had much more than 160. More like 200 I think. The other guys had 220, ZJ definitely hit a 4 iron but was clearly trying to play short and run it in but of course pulled it badly. Leishman hit a hybrid in.

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Post by super_realist Thu 23 Jul 2015, 2:10 pm

Yeah, No way he was hitting it 340 off the tee with that wind. 200 seems more likely.

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Post by McLaren Thu 23 Jul 2015, 3:32 pm

I guess it just looked closer from where I was sitting. It would explain why no one was going for the green.
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Post by MontysMerkin Thu 23 Jul 2015, 3:36 pm

I would think that chasing it from the rough would be more successful than from the fairway (spin etc?)?
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Post by George1507 Thu 23 Jul 2015, 5:18 pm

It was interesting to see the pros hitting it so far left on a lot of the holes. If the strategy on 17 was to take no more than five by going down the second fairway, then it seemed to work but hardly anyone seemed to manage a four.

I've played TOC quite a few times, and hitting way left on a lot of those holes isn't as easy as in the Open. First, there's a lot of blind drives (like 2 and 17) and you'd better have a pretty good idea of your line because if it snags in the rough you'll be 80 or 90 yards back from where you'd expect it to be on the fairway. No ball spotters for us amateurs. Second, in some years the rough is much tougher, and even if you find it, you can't advance it much further. Third - especially in the summer - there are people all over the place and it's always a bit disconcerting hitting towards a group of Japanese more concerned with taking pics of their Black Watch trews than watching out for incoming balls. And finally, the line to the green from the extreme left is pretty difficult to pick, and it's often blind. Again ok for the pros with ball spotters and caddies, but tough for amateurs slogging it over a hill into the vague blue yonder.

Over the years I've developed a TOC shot, which is a sort of low steery fadey driver shot which doesn't look good but rolls out to a good distance and is repeatable. Very useful for 2 to 7, and again from the 13th onwards. Great fun - if you get a favourable wind - to smack driver shots out over the old railway line on the 13th - 17th and see the wind draw it back. Tended not to do it in medals though!

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Post by JAS Thu 30 Jul 2015, 1:29 am

A great course to me is one that's aesthetically pleasing, has drama of sorts and presents a testing challenge to players of ALL abilities. There are courses that are considered "Championship" Courses but if push came to shove they couldn't hold a Major Championship (due to things like logistics, location etc) However they could and indeed do maybe hold lesser events (amateur Championships, Seniors Tour events, Walker Cups etc) So perhaps you might want to define more specifically "Championship" course.

Courses I've played that I consider great courses that would never/could never hold a major...
St Enodoc, North Berwick, Western Gailes, Saunton East, Burnham & Berrow, Silloth, Ganton, Woodall Spa, Berkshire Red to name but a few. Obviously I'd say Royal Dornoch as well ("Championship" Course not the Struie :-/)

Having played MaCKenzies debut (Alwoodley) and what he himself considered his finest work (Pasatiempo), both of which I could add to the above list, I've no doubt an unaltered since the 30's Augusta would still have a "great course" appeal to it for most of us.

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