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British Open Courses: Anyone Else Think They're Ugly, Boring, Ill-kept and Gimmicky? - Page 6

post #91 of 120

Bubba Watson, he's showing us all the cliches of a links course.

post #92 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?

"THE TRADITION"........... "The Challenge"........your comments could just as easily apply to Agusta, Pebble Beach etc where they are freakishly manicured to the point where the players know which blade of grass to land the ball on..........

post #93 of 120

Wis,

 

I think you are - at least in the case of Muirfield - not comparing apples to apples here.  For example, look at these pictures, presumably from times when its not set up for the Open.  I don't think it is distinguishable from a "perfectly well manicured" American course.

 

Handmade Software, Inc. Image Alchemy v1.14

That's an awful lot of green, wouldn't you agree?

 

Now, by contrast, check out what Pebble Beach looks like during the US Open ...

 

Look at those greens.  They are completely covered in splotchy brown spots.  Is it because they are "ill-kept?"  Of course not, it's because of how ridiculously hard they are set up for US Open week.  This is frequently true about the US Open, no matter where they play.  If I see a highlight and the green is brown and the flag is red, its pretty much a guarantee that it's a US Open. :)

 

And based on just about any photos I can find of Muirfield on google, the same seems to be true there.

 

EDIT:  Did a google images search on a few other British Open courses and sure enough, there are some gorgeous pictures of all of them.  A lot of green too!

post #94 of 120

Moniker.  4putt, huh? I mees, I mees, I mees, I make. Seve.  Hall of Famer.  I find it, I hit it again, and again, until I put(t) it in the hole. I LIKE IT, a lot!.

 

Wiseguy, are you "unable to adjust your game to changing conditions"?  

 

Until  you are, you are permanently doomed to be a hacker, as in forever

post #95 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wisguy View Post

Let me put this into perspective that I hope everyone can understand.  Let's say there's a new course in your state, one that billed itself as a world-class course and charged a premium over typical greens fees for the area and we discovered it featured the following conditions relative even to average area courses: underwatered, dried-out fairways that are more brown in color than green and that produce a tuft of dust after every shot, plus greens that are 20, 30, even 50% brown in color, with some bare patches**.

 

A) They're not underwatered.

B) Tell me again how Bandon Dunes is doing? Oh, every one of its courses is top 50 or top 25 in the U.S.?

 

Hmmmm…

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wisguy View Post

No one had any problems acknowledging that two months ago at the Wells Fargo, the greens at Quail Hollow were in poor shape, yet no one seems to think the same for the relatively similar appearing greens at Muirfield this week.

 

Dude, you are seriously off your ****ing rocker if you think the greens are similar. I'm now very seriously considering restricting you from your own thread.

 

Summary responses to the rest of your post:

  • There's no double standard. Muirfield Village, the courses at St. Andrews, etc. are "well maintained" just as Augusta National is "well maintained." It's simply a different kind of maintenance. That doesn't make it a "double standard."
  • You've demonstrated severe lack of knowledge several times about the agronomy, etc. You did it just again when you compared Muirfield's greens to those at the NC tournament. Furthermore, your lack of playing on these courses is directly related to the topic at hand. You'd also be careful about betting against the "well maintained" (using your definition) famous courses I've played…
  • You keep missing the point. You don't like looking at them. Great. Good for you. Couldn't care less. But they're not "poorly maintained," there aren't dirt patches on the greens, etc. You've called the grass "dead" when it's not, etc. THAT is what I keep talking about. I couldn't care less if you don't like to look at it. Good for you. Yippee. And I haven't used the word troll (except there) or implied anything of the sort.
  • It is a trend we'll see in the U.S. Things need to become more sustainable. Look at what happened at Pinehurst. Bandon. Streamsong. That course in Nova Scotia. Etc. Open your eyes. They're working on developing grasses that don't need as much water, because water is NOT an entirely renewable resource.
  • You're wrong about the "bare patches." Simply wrong.
  • In your response to Shorty, you said "tell me how I'm lacking in knowledge or understanding." We've done that several times now. It's clearly not working.

 

So you're on a short leash, dude. Get the points everyone is trying to tell you. We couldn't care less if you don't like to watch it (so turn it off and stop telling us how much you hate it). But you're wrong and ignorant about the course being "poorly maintained" and so on.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RickK View Post

He commented about seeing puffs of dust every time someone hit a shot.  I too noticed that watching yesterday. 

If you took fairways with that brownish look, greens that have a splotchy look and insert them in the US with trees all around the edges...most everyone here would complain to high heaven if they showed up to play and had to pay a resort green fee to play on those conditions.

 

Quick, tell all those idiots that are paying several thousand dollars to visit some remote tiny piece of Oregon that they should instead be complaining!!!

 

Their courses are only ranked 19th, 38th, 49th, and 70th in the Top 100 courses in the U.S. All courses - public, private, resort, whatever. In the public courses they're 3rd, 6th, 12th, and 16th.

post #96 of 120
This thread makes me sad.
post #97 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by wils5150 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by RickK View Post
  Well, it is what the American golfing public have decided is the standard for golf courses everywhere.  We expect golf courses to be green and lush. 

Yup and thats why golf Is getting more and more costly. shoot I remember when I could spray greens once a month and fairways 3 times a year. not any more.And those sprays aint cheap. I am not trying to step on any toes but golfers expectations have gotten out of control the last 20 years.

 

Players see a high dollar TPC course on TV and have the unrealistic expectation that they can get the same thing from their local muni.  Eventually that comes to be the way a "proper" golf course is supposed to look, regardless how misguided that is.

post #98 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by trackster View Post

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.

 

I would also like to play a links course, although hopefully one set up a little more benignly than Muirfield is this week.  But that is because I'm just not good enough to play a course that tough.

 

But I like watching this kind of golf.  I can see shots sticking on greens almost every week.  Variety is good.  After having steak day after day a plate of spaghetti looks might appealing.

post #99 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wisguy View Post

British Open Courses: Anyone Else Think They're Ugly, Boring, Ill-kept and Gimmicky?
I don't think they are ugly at all just because they don't have the lush green grass you see on most PGA Tour courses.

And boring? How is it boring to watch players facing a completely different type of course once a year? The layout and course design is one you rarely find on the tour and it challenges players in ways most courses can't.

I don't see how they are ill-kept either. The greens may not be jungle green, but the ball looks to be rolling really smooth. The fact that they are browner is just how they are.
post #100 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

 

Players see a high dollar TPC course on TV and have the unrealistic expectation that they can get the same thing from their local muni.  Eventually that comes to be the way a "proper" golf course is supposed to look, regardless how misguided that is.

True that! I remember at one of our  Superintendent meeting we were all dreading the up coming Masters Tourny because for the next month after it you get wacky requests from the members and the famous " why doesn't our course look like that " lol

post #101 of 120
Most TV broadcasts turn up the contrast so that it is greener than it looks. So you're chasing an impossible standard short of spray painting the entire course.

OP posted an I don't like this and that thread. No one here from my memory posted I don't like the Masters or US Open courses because of reasons aesthetic threads. I would think most here like the look of US courses, their complaint may be that they're "too pretty" so accusations of hypocrisy make no sense.
post #102 of 120

There's not much "natural" about a golf green and especially the greens during a professional event. Grass wasn't meant to be cut that short with greens that firm and they are usually on the edge of losing the greens almost any Sunday afternoon, and they would lose them if they didn't water the heck out of them after the tournament.

 

It amuses me when people wonder why courses can't keep the greens and fairways in tournament condition all of the time. Within a few more days they wouldn't have greens to putt on at all. Bent grass in the South wouldn't stand a chance in the summer (and is a major headache anyway) and winter kill is always a big possibility with Bermuda if it's too short.

post #103 of 120

One thing I think has been lost in all this discussion on how a course 'appears' is how a course plays. 

 

Muirfield is considered one of the fairest courses in the world. It is brilliantly designed where the front nine runs on a clockwise loop & the back nine in a counter-clockwise loop. The result is, regardless of which direction the wind comes from, you will have downwind, against the wind & various cross winds. Then the next day the wind shifts from a different direction & the strategy is all reshuffled. 

 

As far as 'tricked up,' I would contend something like Amen Corner is more tricked up as the trees trick you into which way the wind is truly coming from. You gotta toss an eight-iron up into that breeze on #12 & hope some zephyr doesn't meander thru the trees & knock two yards off the shot...and into Rae's Creek. Crapshoot.

 

Instead, links courses feature, for the most part, lack of trees. The wind is unfettered, and it is up to the player to gauge what the effect will be on the shot. It taps into a creative part of the brain usually not needed on most American courses. As well, links courses introduces shots rarely seen in America - 150-yard three irons, 200-yard wedges, and so on. 

 

So, from the vantage point of sitting in your living room looking at the course on TV, it may appear featureless & boring. But the players will tell you it's anything but.

post #104 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by zipazoid View Post

So, from the vantage point of sitting in your living room looking at the course on TV, it may appear featureless & boring. But the players will tell you it's anything but.

Too much logic.

Also, the camera angles are often quite high so, the contours aren't always visible on TV.

I seriously don't even know why you bothered to even respond to the OP in such detail, aperson who thinks that centuries old landforms incorporated into a golf course are "gimmicky", or that natural looking grass is "underwatered" or that grass is supposed to be bright green.

You can only wonder what else confuses this poor soul - perhaps he thinks Manhattan island is what an untouched piece of property should look like.

post #105 of 120

 I somewhat agree but like others have said, this is pretty much a tradition and it isn't going to change.  That is just how the courses look out there.  I will admit that I was a lil bit turned off by watching an iron off the tee that touched down on the right side of the fairway, roll out 70 yards, and then find it's way into a bunker on the left side of the fairway, where the golfer is then stuck.  Or when the golfer has 250 yards to the stick, but can only effectively fly the ball only 180 to keep the ball from rolling through the green only to watch it get sent left or right of the green into a nearly impossible situation. 

 

Even though golf isn't played like this most everywhere else I can't say that it is gimmicky because that is the birthplace of golf.  I do feel that the links style of play does not translate at all any of the other PGA tour stops.  Flying the ball to a certain distance, ON THE GREEN, is how golf is played on all the Tours the majority of the time so that just has to be understood and accepted in my opinion.  Next week everything  will be back to "normal !"

 

I have to make a trip there though and play some of those courses though just for the experience !!  

post #106 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shorty View Post

Too much logic.

Also, the camera angles are often quite high so, the contours aren't always visible on TV.

I seriously don't even know why you bothered to even respond to the OP in such detail, aperson who thinks that centuries old landforms incorporated into a golf course are "gimmicky", or that natural looking grass is "underwatered" or that grass is supposed to be bright green.

You can only wonder what else confuses this poor soul - perhaps he thinks Manhattan island is what an untouched piece of property should look like.

 

Cuz that's how I roll. The OP has his "logic" for his take, there's mine for...mine.

 

I get & appreciate the sarcasm in your reply. And trust me, I can roll like that too...I eat sarcasm for breakfast. Was just in more of a lucid mood for some odd reason. a2_wink.gif

post #107 of 120

I love dryed out courses, it's rare, july or august but so much fun.

 

I beleive augusta + Sawgrass + us open and USPGA have dryed out greens for roll. I allways see majors with brown putting surfaces.

 

The Open offers tee to green major golf difficulty. FW are not wide like US target golfs and wedges are not finishing 99% of the time within 3 yards. only 3 players under par tonight + 2 at par. dont think this happens much on botanic artificial visually nice looking courses.

post #108 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shorty View Post

And the abandoned car on blocks is a sculpture, and they are philistines who don't appreciate art. a3_biggrin.gif

Throw a bathtub in the backyard and you could be from New Hampshire!

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