Originally Posted by trackster
The only thing that bothers me is the craze with making par 3s ridiculously long! Played a course the other day where the shortest par 3 was 177 yards. One of my favorite courses is in the boat it is in with me because it has short par 3s. One plays at 135 yards with a huge bunker guarding the front of the green and if you go long you will be lost in the woods. That's what makes the par 3s fun, not taking a vicious whack and trying to roll one up the green. I can handle 550+ par 5s because I still have a chance to reach the green in regulation. But when you have 200+ yard par 3s I lose interest in the course.
I like being able to hit every club in my bag, including on par 3s. Since few par 4s require me to hit anything over a short iron approach, I'd rather they have a long iron off the tee for a par 3 than forcing me to hit one into a monster par 4. Play from the shorter tees if it makes you feel so much better to hit a couple clubs less.
If the trouble's so bad you need to make a miracle up and down to save par that's another matter, like at Merion, but those greens were pretty big too. It seemed like it was pretty possible to make a bogey from missing the green, but it would require one's full attention.
I can understand that most of us can't elevate those clubs enough to hit over bunkers, but I like the challenge and feel it makes the course harder only for poor ballstrikers. That and too many people feel a sense of entitlement in hitting their long clubs that they should only need to do so into par 5s for an eagle chance or to find the fairway on a tight par 4. Hitting 7-9 irons gets boring, especially on the same course every time.
The other thing you should realize is that while a 200 yard tee shot might require a wood for many, it's a controlled mid iron for the long hitters. Being able to carry the ball to the hole is a skill to be rewarded, especially on these types of holes where most players are getting a stroke from their handicap anyway. It's not like most players will hit any decent amount of greens in regulation anyway, so why fret not getting the hardest one on the course? Could we call it a par 4 and suddenly it'd be considered an easy hole without changing the scoring average?
And in response to the pot bunkers being unfair: Who said you deserve to have a shot at the green from the bunker? Don't hit it in the bunker! Take your sand wedge, not your 6 iron, and hit OUT, not necessarily in the direction of the green. IIRC Adam Scott hit the face of a fairway bunker last year in the Open with his first sand shot before wisely hacking out sideways. Cost him the title, along with his putting. If you can't hit some insane shot to clear the lip you don't deserve to escape unscathed.
I like those types of hazards better in match play though. When I'm sticking to my gameplan in stroke play I don't like to hit land mines on the fairways, but it's entertaining in a match because it can shake things up.