Originally Posted by Derek02
Well, I suppose a course with Nicklaus' signature on it is expected to be manufactured. Some of his courses are very forgettable, but this one looks memorable (as defined by the ability to distinctly recall >=6 holes 6 months after playing).
While I do take your points about No. 2, I would counter with Pine Valley; as well as some other Ross designs in the same area (Mid Pines and Southern Pines for example). They are all built in a similar environment/terrain, yet still have a more "American" feel to them (IMO): green fairways and rough being the two main characteristics. I suppose I associate the dried out, fescue-ish lined fairways with British courses.
While I used the term "rotation" loosely it seems like the USGA (as well as PGA), while sprinkling a few new courses in here and there, keep using the same venues over and over (again used loosely). I understand the points about course quality and infrastructure, but I believe you can find MANY courses in the US that could accomodate a major. I would even guess that lots of different courses compete every year for the chance to host a US Open or PGA Championship just like countries try to get the Olympics to come to one of their cities. I get the impression that the governing bodies are very timid when it comes to allowing "new" venues to host the tounaments.
I respect your opinions, and these are just mine. Simply stated, I would prefer more variety.
Fair enough. I would say that the concept of bright green fairways and lush rough is all due to modern equipment, mainly irrigation systems. Find videos of PGA tournaments from the 1960's and 70's. The courses were a bit rough. And you can't discount the effect of seeing Augusta National in it's pristine condition. None of these courses started out being so lush nor did their architects envision them that way.
Regarding the current #2 vs what Ross originally built, here are a couple of links that may help:
Your point about new venues is fair. It seems the USGA is trying to move in that direction with the additions of Erin Hills and Chambers Bay. Both of these by the way have a links-like look.
As far as having the infrastructure, I'm not so sure. First, the membership must allow their course to host a major. Many don't want the hassle. It means having an architect come in and change the course to make it hard enough for the pros. Could mean all new greens if they don't meet the USGA specifications. They probably need to stretch to 7400 yards as well. Also, the course needs to be close enough to a major metropolitan area and have enough hotel rooms for the out of town visitors. Last you need plenty of room for merchandise tents and support. This includes 100's of volunteers. Hosting a major is a huge undertaking. I've been to Oakland Hills for a US Open, PGA and Ryder Cup. You park about 10 miles away and take a bus to get to the course. In 2004 at the Ryder Cup, they built a parking lot for the shuttle buses across the street from the South course. The land for this lot came from a fairway on their North course. It was later rebuilt to (I believe) it's original shape.
Some of the great newer courses like those at Bandon, Sand Hills, Dismal River and others could never host a major as they are too far from population centers.