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British Open Courses: Anyone Else Think They're Ugly, Boring, Ill-kept and Gimmicky? - Page 3

post #37 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by montanasam View Post

what is your opinion on links golf when they play wet and slow? Because lots of those reasons stated wouldn't exist.

 

Most would have to be inundated with rain to play slow and wet. They drain phenomenally well.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wisguy View Post

These "You can't judge it until you play it" comments to me are like saying "You can't judge Rosanne Barr until you've been with her."  Yes, there may be some positives, but the negatives substantially outweigh them for me.

 

It's not like saying that, no. Golf courses are meant to be played. Roseanne Barr is not. :D

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wisguy View Post

Dead or dormant, brown grass on a golf course, particularly on the more manicured portions of the couse (fairways and greens) means poorly maintained to me.

 

Then you're either ignorant or stupid about this particular topic. Take your pick - I don't care which. Because the conditions are not "poorly maintained."

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wisguy View Post

Part of why I think some Americans may like the British Open courses so much is that most of them are in Scotland and a lot of Americans have this fantasized view of Scotland as being this incredible, spectacular place. 

 

Having been there, I can say this: it is. :D

 

So you're not a fan. Okay. Like I said before, you're as close to being wrong as an opinion can be. :D

post #38 of 120
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shambles View Post

The OP reminds me of the tourists who travel to the other side of the world and look for a McDonald's. 

 

 

Shambles

 

That's a good one - for over a decade I ate a lot more frequently at restaurants featuring food from countries most Americans couldn't find on a world map than fast food restaurants.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by metrybill View Post

You have got to be kidding or just trying to stir up some s... for the sake of it.  Ok; I am going to assume that at best you are very new to the game, uninformed and at worst ignorant -  not stupid.   

 

Golf at its best is all about imagination, battling the elements, e.g., wind, hard ground, bunkers, and bad lies. Adapt and overcome.  Everyone is playing the same course. Those courses require a greater repertoire of shots than most American courses. 

 

In my mind golf is chess played in the air and on the board, i.e., the ground.  It's both 2 dimensional and 3 dimensional.  The course itself challenges you and then also your own demons and weaknesses.      

 

Just asking but do you know how and are able to hit both low ones and high ones?  Until I learned to hit the low running ones I did not really know how to play.  

 

On your side:  Bobby Jones walked off the course when he saw his first B.O. course and then he learned and won.  When Sam Snead first saw St..Andrews he thought someone was joking iwth him; he first thought what he saw was a cow pasture (something like that) and he couldn't adapt. 

 

Scottish and British golf courses and holes are the DNA of golf, the prototypes for ALL golf holes, everywhere in the world.  Check out C.B. Macdonald, Seth Raynor, and Banks.  Some who are really into golf course design would argue there are really only 25 original golf holes.  

 

LEARN ABOUT COURSE MANAGEMENT.  Learn about the great par 3's: Redan, Short Hole, Eden, and the Biarritz.  Learn about the Road Hole (formerly a par 5, now a par  but still with the best 2nd shot and 3rd shot approach from the right if you dare), Principle's Nose (sp?) fairway bunkers, Spectacles (fairway bunkers), Cape bunkers, plateau greens, double plateau greens, punch bowl greens, bunker mustaches, Hog's back fairways, the narrows, cross bunkers (carry) on long par 3's, short par 4's, and short par 5's,  In America, check out National Golf Links (America's first, great golf course), Shinnecock, Piping Rock, Cypress Point, Pine Valley, Pebble Beach (duh), all of the Bandon Dunes golf courses, Augusta National ... ALL of the best courses play best DRY and running.

 

So play your resort golf courses, well conditioned, fairways cut up, rough cut down, and you are going to get your butt beat every day  and every time by a "real" golfer. 

 

Learn, get better, and by all means, ENJOY.

I see, if someone has a different viewpoint than you do, one that he expressly admits is on a highly subjective topic, then in your world you find it acceptable to put down the person or  label him as "ignorant."  We generally try to be a bit more civil here, even when we disagree significantly with someone else. You will note that I said I find links courses boring, rather than belittle those who do like them. 

 

So you are a fan of the Scottiish courses.  Good for you.  At the risk of being a hypocrite for sounding like Shambles, you remind me of a soccer fan who just watched a triple overtime soccer match that resulted in a "nil-nil" tie who describes that hours-long non-event fest as "Brilliant!!!" and who immediately labels anyone who disagrees as "ignorant of the game," which in my experience is what most soccer fans do when defending their sport.  Claiming that knowledge of the Scottish courses is necessary to know and appreciate the game is not true - it may enhance your particular love of the sport, but that doesn't mean that it is necessary for everyone.

 

As for your assumption that I cannot shape my shots, that would be at least partially incorrect.  I have a decent idea of how to go about hitting high and low shots and even curviing them, but between my lack of innate skills and my lack of time to practice much, I am definitely not proficient at those shots.  Which brings up the catch-22 situation that I'm damned if I do according to some internet opinionators if I do not try difficult shots, and I'm damned if I don't by others for not playing the safe, "smart shot" that I can more easily accomplish.  Not to mention that I never contended I was anything other than a high handicap golfer nor is it necessary to be a low handicapper to have an opinion on whether or not one likes a particular kind of golf course.

 

We're getting a lot of interesting opinions on this sport here lately.  According to several people, the very slightest deviation from any of the rules of golf, no matter how significant or trivial, means the golfer is not even playing the game of golf.  And if one fails to worship the old Scottish courses and do everything just as Metrybill does, they're not even "real golfers."   What's next, if I say that Steve Stricker is one of my favorite golfers, is someone going to tell me I'm wrong?

post #39 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wisguy View Post

 

Anyone else feel the same way or am I basically doing the equivalent to trying to claim that Arnie was an unpopular golfer who was unimportant to the sport?

No, but you are exhibiting gross ignorance and a complete and utter lack of a  grasp of the game.

Grass is not supposed to be emerald green.

You are missing out on all of the subtlety.

These courses have existed for ages.

If you want over fertilized, watered and manicured parks and gardens, go and watch target golf on some crap U.S. courses.

And, BTW, bunkers are actually hazards. They aren't supposed to guarantee an up and down. In Open courses you avoid them and suffer if you're in them. On some PGAtour courses, you hope you're in them.

 

And....the term is unkempt, not ill-kept. 

post #40 of 120

I agree on the look for sure.  But have to say like others have mentioned here I enjoy the uniqueness of the courses and the variety of shots and clubs used that you don't often see.

post #41 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wisguy View Post

I just watched a few hours of the British Open and my opinion on British Open courses has been the same for the two decades I've been watching golf on TV:  they are butt-ugly, boring, in bad shape, and have a very common gimmick to make them more challenging - the impossibly-deep-and-steep-sided pot bunkers.

 

OK, I know this is sacrilegious to many people, but I think most/all of the British Open courses I've seen look like goat tracks.  As Sam Snead once said upon viewing the Old Course at St. Andrews, "It looks like there once used to be a golf course there."  I genuinely think there is an Emperor's New Robe aspect to how many golf fans view the British Open courses.  I know I'll hear the following explanations/excuses:

 

- "THE TRADITION!!!"   - big deal.  Famous players have played many courses and hit many famous shots.

- "The Challenge!" - again, so what?  Plenty of great, beautiful courses are challenging without being boring and nearly featureless

- "They require golfers to make different types of shots and think outside of the box!"  In two hours today, I saw this only one hole, the par-5 17th, where everyone played for a lot of roll onto the green.  Most of the time, this isn't too appreciable to television audiences. 

 

Every fairway today was at best 50-60% green, the rest dull, dead brown.  Ditto with the greens - on some holes it was next to impossible to see where the green started and the fairway or rough ended until a close-up shot. There are no trees on the courses, no features other than a fairway that sometimes curves a bit or a few mounds or bunkers, both the same dead tan color.  One of the things I like about golf is the aesthetics of a pretty golf course.  A British Open course to me is the equivalent of going to an art museum where all the paintings feature nothing more than brown or grey paint thrown from a dozen feet away onto a beige canvas.

 

Every shot from the fairway today featured a puff or cloud of dust flying up from the usually brown, dead grass.  Hell, if you went to a course in your state that was in the top 20% price-wise and had fairways and greens so dried out and dead-looking, you'd complain.

 

I watched a player have to hit out of a bunker not backwards (he couldn't even do that with a near-vertical wall blocking his ball) but sideways into deep rough two feet deep as his only shot.  I watched shot after shot roll down the fairway and funnel into the bunkers.  I even watched Tiger hit what appeared to be a nice lag put only to see it end up over a dozen feet off the green.  Yes, they're challenging holes, but made so by gimmicks.  Shots hitting a fairway (i.e. otherwise known as "good shots") shouldn't be penalized by funneling them into bunkers.  I've got no problem with fairway bunkers in general, but don't force what should be good shots into them.

 

Anyone else feel the same way or am I basically doing the equivalent to trying to claim that Arnie was an unpopular golfer who was unimportant to the sport?

 

IMO, it is as if you were to say that Italian food looks ugly and tastes weird because all you are used to eating is Chinese food.

post #42 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleback View Post

 

IMO, it is as if you were to say that Italian food looks ugly and tastes weird because all you are used to eating is Chinese food.

HAHA Agreed!

post #43 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

 

This is the crux of the issue.  Not only do the courses look different, but they require adjusting one's game to play them well.  As is so often apparent from comments on Golf forums, to many players are unable to adjust their games for changing conditions, including the firm running courses which characterize links golf.  I've never played in Scotland, but I played golf throughout the winter in Colorado for many years, and there is nothing firmer than turf with a substrate which is frozen solid.  I learned to play the running approaches which are such an essential and valuable skill under those conditions.  I learned to use some imagination when playing, something which Wiseguy seems incapable of doing.  He wants to play his target golf, with high drives to mushy fairways and high irons to mushy greens, and never have to learn a different shot.  

 

To each his own, but starting a rant and trying to tell real golfers that Scottish links courses don't make the grade is a sure ticket to being scoffed at.

I know what you mean. I was playing a course one time with VERY firm small elevated greens and a guy in our group (obviously a decent golfer) never made an adjustment the entire round. He continued to "hit" the greens only to have them bound off of the back side.

 

By the end of the round he was cursing the course and saying he would never play there again.

 

I like playing courses that require a different style of play. Adjusting to each course is part of the fun of it.

post #44 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wisguy View Post
 

I see, if someone has a different viewpoint than you do, one that he expressly admits is on a highly subjective topic, then in your world you find it acceptable to put down the person or  label him as "ignorant."  We generally try to be a bit more civil here, even when we disagree significantly with someone else. You will note that I said I find links courses boring, rather than belittle those who do like them. 

 

You are ignorant.

 

Ignorance isn't as "bad" a thing as people want it to be. You're going out of your way, you're choosing to be offended, by someone calling you ignorant. Have you played a lot of golf in Scotland? Any at all?

 

No, or you'd have said so. So you're ignorant as to how it plays. That is a statement of fact.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wisguy View Post
 

So you are a fan of the Scottiish courses.  Good for you.  At the risk of being a hypocrite for sounding like Shambles, you remind me of a soccer fan who just watched a triple overtime soccer match that resulted in a "nil-nil" tie who describes that hours-long non-event fest as "Brilliant!!!" and who immediately labels anyone who disagrees as "ignorant of the game," which in my experience is what most soccer fans do when defending their sport.  Claiming that knowledge of the Scottish courses is necessary to know and appreciate the game is not true - it may enhance your particular love of the sport, but that doesn't mean that it is necessary for everyone.

 

That strikes me as a goofy argument. Goals are not the only "events." Some of the most thrilling baseball games I've been to were 1-0 games. The best hockey games are often low-scoring affairs. It's necessary to pass accurate judgment on the courses. Otherwise, your ignorance is put on display.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wisguy View Post
 

We're getting a lot of interesting opinions on this sport here lately.  According to several people, the very slightest deviation from any of the rules of golf, no matter how significant or trivial, means the golfer is not even playing the game of golf.

 

That's been addressed, and you know what people mean when they say it.

post #45 of 120

I love the open championship. It's my favorite major. Those courses are what right to what is wrong with American golf. American courses are over green, over watered, over priced. courses here tend to take away the "ground game" In my opinion a dry course plays better. A old timer told me once that you don't play on the color green lol. I know what it costs to maintain a course I have been a Superintendent for 20 years. If people could except some brown, dry turf costs would decrease a lot. Oh well everybody was Augusta  but pay muni prices. Give me the so called "goat track" any day.

post #46 of 120

Anyone watch the water run down the 13th fairway yesterday?  Just ran down in a steady stream as if it were running on concrete or on the hood of a car.

post #47 of 120

There was something quite awesome seening Sergio and Westwood stripe their drivers on the 15th and hit a bunker in the middle of the fairway 400 yards down the track

post #48 of 120

I like the Open. It's different than all other Majors, and a player must show a lot of imagination and have some good luck, along with great play, to win.

 

 

Having said that, most complaints center around the setup, not the course.

 

Zach Johnson's comments after his two days at the US Open seems tame, at least less comical, in comparison to Poulter's comments of yesterday: "The 8th hole is a joke, and all the 18th needs is a windmill and a clown face."

 

Here is Phil: “Let go of their ego and set it up reasonable,” Mickelson said. “The greens are dying, and the holes are on edges of slopes that the ball just simply won’t stay. You drop it, it won’t stay by the hole.”

 

Stewart Cink tweeted: “Muirfield greens really baking out in the sun. Keep an eye on #8, #9, and #16-18. Overall the greens are the fastest I've seen in the Open.” The 2009 British Open champ shot 72.

 

Mickelson closed his comments by saying, “joy would not be the word I’d use to describe it, no.”

 

It's all about the setup...

post #49 of 120

I've never played a course that comes close to being a links course.  To me they are different and that is all.  I would definitely like to play a links course some time.  I will say that I am not enjoying watching the open as much as other tournaments.  I like watching people hit shots into greens that stick, more than playing a 40 yard roll into greens.

post #50 of 120
This may be a tad OT... I know this course requires the golfer to think about using the ground a lot more. I wonder, however, how "creative" it truly is in this tournament. Based on how it looks on TV, it doesn't seem like these guys are hitting anything but mostly stock shots from good lies.

I just saw Ernie hit a wedge that appeared to fly awfully high. The shot landed short of the green and bounded onto it.

While I do know these guys purposefully flight the ball down sometimes, but aren't many of these "creative" shots nothing more than choosing a landing area short of the green and simply hitting a stock shot to that landing point?

As for the original question - I love watching The Open. It's a great change of pace and the golf course (at least this year) seems to be fair. I wish I could play one of those "goat tracks" sometime.
post #51 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Desmond View Post

I like the Open. It's different than all other Majors, and a player must show a lot of imagination and have some good luck, along with great play, to win.

 

 

Having said that, most complaints center around the setup, not the course.

 

Zach Johnson's comments after his two days at the US Open seems tame, at least less comical, in comparison to Poulter's comments of yesterday: "The 8th hole is a joke, and all the 18th needs is a windmill and a clown face."

 

Here is Phil: “Let go of their ego and set it up reasonable,” Mickelson said. “The greens are dying, and the holes are on edges of slopes that the ball just simply won’t stay. You drop it, it won’t stay by the hole.”

 

Stewart Cink tweeted: “Muirfield greens really baking out in the sun. Keep an eye on #8, #9, and #16-18. Overall the greens are the fastest I've seen in the Open.” The 2009 British Open champ shot 72.

 

Mickelson closed his comments by saying, “joy would not be the word I’d use to describe it, no.”

 

It's all about the setup...

And this is from players who are making public statements.  Wonder what they're saying at the hotel bar.  I imagine they are being careful with their public statements so as not to catch a headline "TOUR PRO X COMPLAINS MUIRFIELD IS TOO TOUGH BOO HOO!"

 

But behind closed doors they are probably fuming about tough almost unreasonable pin positions, putting into bunkers, not being able to get out of bunkers, etc.

 

That being said TURN UP THE VOLUME!! Until the winner of the tournament scores 71-71-71-71 for perfect par, the course is too easy.  e2_whistling.gif

post #52 of 120

I would like to play there. Good drives would go 380 yards, and I could just hit little 5 iron punch shots all day and watch them go 200 yards like it was nothing....the only reliable iron shot I have.

 

I'm sure I'd be at about 200 putts for a 4 day tournament too....

post #53 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by wils5150 View Post

I love the open championship. It's my favorite major. Those courses are what right to what is wrong with American golf. American courses are over green, over watered, over priced. courses here tend to take away the "ground game" In my opinion a dry course plays better. A old timer told me once that you don't play on the color green lol. I know what it costs to maintain a course I have been a Superintendent for 20 years. If people could except some brown, dry turf costs would decrease a lot. Oh well everybody was Augusta  but pay muni prices. Give me the so called "goat track" any day.

 

Agree.  I want to play the course, not make a painting of it.  I don't care what a course looks like as long as it's playable.  If it makes me use some creativity in my shot selection, so much the better.  

 

As a note to Wiseguy - I don't have the ability to regularly curve my shots.  I play what I do have and adjust how far I hit by what the course gives me.  That's true of any course, any place.  It's not necessary to have such 100% control to enjoy a links course.  In fact just the opposite, that's a more valuable skill playing a course with lots of trees.  Links golf is avoiding bunkers, reading wind, and knowing how the ball acts when it's on the ground.  True links golf requires thinking about every shot.  The moment you let your focus slip, you're going to be in trouble.  There really aren't any holes where you can turn it off for a shot or two.  

 

If anything, links golf requires a sort of mental toughness that soft, slow US courses don't.  I'd rather confront and accept that challenge than play a course where water and OB have been built into every hole so that the recovery shot becomes a lost art.  No imagination or creativity is needed.  Just hit the target off the tee, then hit the green and any miss is a penalty.  That's what I call boring. d2_doh.gif

post #54 of 120
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

 

Then you're either ignorant or stupid about this particular topic. Take your pick - I don't care which. Because the conditions are not "poorly maintained."

 

Really??  I just tell a newbie that we treat other members of this site civily, and the site's founder calls me stupid or ignorant?  Seriously?  That sort of comment wouldn't be surprising for someone like Shorty who puts every last drop of effort into his attempts at being clever and does not understand the distinction between witty and snide.  You need to take a step back and understand that I'm talking about some golf courses, not your wife's looks or her faithfulness.  Having a difference of opinion on this subject shouldn't ruffle as many feathers as my comments seem to be doing with some of you British Open fans.

 

And you're plain wrong, in any event - a green that is partially brown is either not healthy and/or well-maintained, or is deliberately maintained in that fashion as some sort of anachronistic affectation.  Some varieties of tall grass that grow in the rough may get brownish at maturity, but the grass that is grown on greens should be green if healthy and watered properly.  Period.  The part of the course where the hole is located is not called a "brown," it's called a "green."  Most of the greens are predominantly green in color, so if some of it is green, it should all be green.  From what this layperson can see, it appears that they shaved some of these greens so tight that they damaged the grass; that would be consistent with the multiple player complaints about the extreme speed of the greens. 

 

This morning, there are large bare dirt patches - not brown grass, but bare DIRT patches - on the 2nd green.  Anyone trying to contend that is an adequately maintained green is so biased that he doesn't care about being honest.

 

They also showed a bit of Ernie Els' winning putt from the 2002 championship.  The green back then wasn't the mottley combination of green and earthtones that we're seeing this week, it was a solid green.  So unless some Muirfield or R&A official said "Let's get rid of this healthy looking turf and put in some type of grass that looks sickly," the grass on the greens is capable of looking like how a green should look, but those in charge of course conditions failed to bring the greens up to that condition this year.

 

The purists complain about the deliberately over-maintained American course - well aren't the Scottish links courses just as deliberately under-maintained?  If anything, the latter sorts of course maintenance is more of a phony affectation, in the 21st century, than the former.

 

Finally, as to your comments about the meaning of ignorance and my ignorance of the joys of playing a Scottish links course, I disagree.  The comments here talking about ignorance are not merely suggesting a lack of knowledge, familiarity or experience, but are intending, at least partially, as critical attacks against my judgment and sensibility.  Last time I checked personal familiarity with a sport is hardly a prerequisite for the sport to be considered worthy of merit - my 70 year-old mother-in-law, who knows the names of more Packers players than I do, would certainly disagree.  Since I've already stated that I do not enjoy playing links courses here in the U.S., why on earth would that change on the much uglier, browner and more difficult Scottish courses?  Do I have the skill, imagination, and confidence to play a Scottish links course "properly?"  I have no idea, quite possibly I don't.  But I rarely play well on courses that I find ugly or poorly maintained, so I think it would be extremely unlikely that playing any of those courses will change my view of them.

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