Did anyone else think the Bob Costas bit comparing Merion to the Yale Bowl and Butler Fieldhouse missed the mark?
I thought the question about Merion was whether the course could still be challenging to modern players, or more precisely players hitting modern golf balls with modern clubs. That the winner would be 27 under par or something like that. Obviously it is still plenty challenging, or at least can be made to be.
Costas thought playing at Merion was like playing the NCAA Final Four at Butler Fieldhouse or the Super Bowl game at the Yale Bowl.
But there's nothing about those venues that would affect the actual playing of the sport, is there? The knock against those would be they wouldn't hold the expected number of specators or accomodate the modern media presence. I see no reason why the games themselves would be unplayable at those places, or why there would be any question why they would be. Nothing wrong with the playing surfaces. (In fact, Butler still plays at Butler Fieldhouse, so college basketball is obviously still playable there.)
At Merion, the USGA chose to accept a reduced number of spectators. I don't think the media was inconvenienced. The TV coverage seemed unaffected.
I think Costas was comparing apples to oranges.