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Valhalla Not Worthy of a Major Championship - Page 4

post #55 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSchott View Post
 


It doesn't matter. The Royal and Ancient doesn't always care about the scoring. They want the best golfer that week to win. And you just can't bomb the ball on a links course. If you do, there's a good chance you will end up in a pot bunker and be screwed. You have to think your way around these courses.

What, you mean the way McIlroy thought his way around? What thinking did he make, seriously? 'Do I take driver or 3 wood?' was about it.

 

If the R&A did not care, they would'nt change the course. They can't do it too much, because there would be outrage, regardless of the fact that St Andrews has adapted to change throughout it's history. They would not be changing the green complexes and stretching out the tee boxes as they are doing. Don't get me started on 17, probably the dumbest hole in championship golf next to 17 @ Sawgrass, but like Sawgrass elevated to a level that defies belief.

 

St Andrews has a winning score of -20 all over it. And when that happens, you know that the champion golfer of the year is just the champion putter of the year.

post #56 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monte the Bear View Post
 

What, you mean the way McIlroy thought his way around? What thinking did he make, seriously? 'Do I take driver or 3 wood?' was about it.

 

If the R&A did not care, they would'nt change the course. They can't do it too much, because there would be outrage, regardless of the fact that St Andrews has adapted to change throughout it's history. They would not be changing the green complexes and stretching out the tee boxes as they are doing. Don't get me started on 17, probably the dumbest hole in championship golf next to 17 @ Sawgrass, but like Sawgrass elevated to a level that defies belief.

 

St Andrews has a winning score of -20 all over it. And when that happens, you know that the champion golfer of the year is just the champion putter of the year.


The recent changes at St Andrew were minimal. Adding a few pinnable positions on a few greens and rebuilding the greenside bunker at 17. There's no question that links courses have had to adapt to the modern game in terms of length. Then again if you think 17 at St. Andrews is a dumb hole, you and I have little to discuss regarding golf course architecture. The fact that most architects see it as one of the world's greatest holes tells me about your bias.

post #57 of 59

You know, most architects would tell you that a blind tee-shot over greenskeeper's sheds and over a hotels ornamental pond is, at best, a bit odd. It is a one-dimensional hole, that requires one type of shot for a tee-shot (a fade for a lefty, a draw for a righty), then a shot that is hit pretty much straight. The fun of the hole is around the green - everything else is stupid and would not be built in the modern era. If Robert Trent-Jones or Pete Dye built a tee shot like that, they would get castigated.

post #58 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSchott View Post
 

Some good points. Thanks.

 

I agree that Valhalla has some interesting holes. The problem is there are many great courses in the US yet the PGA chooses a course that was basically manufactured.

 

Regarding Pinehurst 2, the restoration has returned the course to how it was originally intended. Ross did not build a parkland course in the sandy soil of Pinehurst. He built a strategic course that fit the existing land. You can't tell me that that part of the country is meant to have lush green fairways. The current course is not a links course in any way. There are no sod walled bunkers and few if any cross bunkers. The greens are nothing like those on links courses. If there was one issue at the US Open it's that the greens were too fast and required pinpoint accuracy to hold depending on the pin position.

 

Last, the USGA does not have a rotation other than Pebble Beach. They had not played Merion for decades. There are certain courses they favor (Oakmont, Winged Foot West, Shinnecock, PB) but these are among the best courses in the world and have the infrastructure to hold a major. In the near future they are going to Erin Hills and Chambers Bay, two relatively new public courses and of course Torrey Pines South and Bethpage Black are new to the rotation. Since 2000, only Bethpage, Pinehurst 2, and PB have hosted more than once.

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.

post #59 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek02 View Post
 

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:

 

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,58740.0.html

 

http://oldtownclub.clubsoftlinks.com/upload/8Kccpmx-co.pdf

 

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.

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