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Rory "Sick of Courses Being Too Easy"

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9 hours ago, Buckeyebowman said:

Does anyone besides me remember the old "Bob Hope Desert Classic", or the ""Bob Hope Chrysler Classic", which was held in Palm Desert, CA. at a bunch of resort courses for vacationing easterners? Yes, they'd push the tees all the way back, but the pros would get their blades out and just butcher those courses! You had to be close to 30 under at the end to be in contention. The most boring tournament to watch ever! I'm with Rory! 

They still play it. Adam Long won the Desert Classic this year at -26. And that was in 4 rounds (it was 5 until 2012). 

Wikipedia also says it's not nationally televised (I think they mean it's on cable - Golf Channel - vs. a broadcast network).

But yeah. One of my least favorite events of the year. In part because of the celebrity aspect, but also because the scoring is ridu... oh look Adam Long made another birdie. 

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7 hours ago, benharris said:

Serious question here, what is with this obsession over seeing the pros struggle to break par?

Because it’s much more entertaining when the course itself is a challenge and not just the other players. Golf is hard and unpredictable. I don’t enjoy a match where winning is more relied on the ‘rub  of the green’ than gutsy, awesome ball striking. I prefer when there’s a stretch of holes where you know the leader can lose strokes if he’s not precise. 
 

Kind of like watching two really good basketball teams play but have the rims made with a 5’ diameter. The winner wouldn’t necessarily be who played better but who got luckier more often.

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11 hours ago, benharris said:

I figure if Player A is better than Player B, then Player A will win a majority of the time barring some strange unforeseeable circumstance. The best SHOULD rise to the top on both easy courses and hard courses. I don't see how a worse player would beat one of the top pros given an easier course.

The separation value between the guys on the PGA Tour is likely quite a bit smaller than you seem to feel.

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I find "easy" courses boring to watch because there is a much smaller chance of leader board changes. When a big number is a possibility it creates excitement down the stretch. It puts pressure on the players to make shots. 

However, I do believe Rory should not have taken his anger out on the Old Course which had no wind all week and was set up to accommodate the amateurs paired with the pros. I do agree with his overall sentiment though. 

Also important is to not only focus on the winning score in relation to par, but the overall scoring average. Spieth won The Masters a few years back at -18, but no one was saying Augusta was "too easy" because, as became evident the next year, bad things can happen in a hurry. 

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The PGA Tour has had way more events over the past year with winners in the -20s than the European Tour.  

I get that the PGA Tour fields are slightly stronger than European fields, but it isn't by a huge margin.

After a pro-am tournament where the wind didn't really blow seems to be a somewhat poor time to try and make this point.

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The course was green, soft, and no rough. Under those conditions the Old Course is a pushover. The problem is anybody in the tournament can bomb and gouge. Only the best are great shot makers. The pro golf tours have to figure out a way to put shot making back into the game and make every club in the bag relevant.

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3 hours ago, tinker said:

The course was green, soft, and no rough. Under those conditions the Old Course is a pushover. The problem is anybody in the tournament can bomb and gouge. Only the best are great shot makers. The pro golf tours have to figure out a way to put shot making back into the game and make every club in the bag relevant.

Not ‘anybody’ can bomb, that’s a highly difficult skill too. And gouging from the rough isn’t always an easy route. I agree that there’s no reason for the tour guys to play an easy set up unless it’s a pure exhibition tournament. Make them have to really earn it.

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Oh man, I'm old... I remember what was a very interesting poll taken back in the 60s. Back then, there was a pretty even division between golfers who loved to see the pros make lots of birdies and the other side who wanted to see them struggle.

The former wanted to put pros on a pedestal, seeing them be so much better than amateur players. The latter wanted to see pros play under conditions the amateur couldn't relate to, but under which the pros would perform with scoring results just slightly better than good amateurs.

The former group felt it made conditions fair to all pros instead of favoring only some with certain abilities, whether long drivers or great putters. The latter group wanted the absolute cream to rise to the top.

Personally, I don't mind either way, but with the U.S. Open being set up to create something close to par having a chance to win, I will say this. I don't mind hard courses. What I dislike is a good course set up with such ridiculous conditions that way too much luck comes into play. More times than not, that's how I feel about the U.S. Open.

So where does that put me with Rory's argument?

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Golf is about misses. The players with better misses are the best in the sport but if the course is easy and the bad misses are not properly penalyzed the field get flattened and everybody can win.

If i´m ranked in the top 10 of the world I will love to play really difficult courses all year long but if i´m ranked around 150-200 i will prefer to play on easy courses where anything can happen. Rory is only defending his position and it´s ok to me. 

As a viewer i prefer tough courses where the player battles for pars and the strategy is really important. Birdie fest are borring to me.. too much of something it isn´t always good.

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21 hours ago, SG11118 said:

I get that the PGA Tour fields are slightly stronger than European fields, but it isn't by a huge margin.

Do you have any data to support this?

I personally haven't looked into it too deeply, but I'd think the margin between PGA tour and European tour strength of field is larger than you are giving it credit.

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19 hours ago, klineka said:

Do you have any data to support this?

I personally haven't looked into it too deeply, but I'd think the margin between PGA tour and European tour strength of field is larger than you are giving it credit.

Yes - I actually do.  I have a Draftkings golf habit and track all the events on both tours.  It isn't an easy thing to track a comparison as the Euro tour runs quite a few events that are co-sanctioned with lesser tours which have very weak fields (Kenya, Australian PGA, South African Open, Fiji, Vic Open, South African Dunhill, AfrAsia, India, Maybank, Golf 6s, etc).  All of these events have weaker fields than pretty much every PGA Tour event.  Also all of the majors and WGC events are co-sanctioned by both the PGA and Euro tours, so have identical fields. 

The average player who gets into 20 events a year on the Euro Tour is a slightly worse golfer than the average player who gets into 20 events a year on the PGA Tour.  I would say the difference is probably less than half a stroke per round though.

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29 minutes ago, SG11118 said:

Yes - I actually do.  I have a Draftkings golf habit and track all the events on both tours.  It isn't an easy thing to track a comparison as the Euro tour runs quite a few events that are co-sanctioned with lesser tours which have very weak fields (Kenya, Australian PGA, South African Open, Fiji, Vic Open, South African Dunhill, AfrAsia, India, Maybank, Golf 6s, etc).  All of these events have weaker fields than pretty much every PGA Tour event.  Also all of the majors and WGC events are co-sanctioned by both the PGA and Euro tours, so have identical fields. 

The average player who gets into 20 events a year on the Euro Tour is a slightly worse golfer than the average player who gets into 20 events a year on the PGA Tour.  I would say the difference is probably less than half a stroke per round though.

Interesting. 

When you say that the difference is probably less than half a stroke per round, does that mean you are just comparing scoring average across the tours?

I think that something like the average OWGR for each PGA tour event compared to the average OWGR for each European tour event would be more impactful to compare the strength of fields.

I would surely think that those extremely weak co-sanctioned events would bring the overall average OWGR on the European tour down well below the PGA Tour's average OWGR.

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11 minutes ago, klineka said:

Interesting. 

When you say that the difference is probably less than half a stroke per round, does that mean you are just comparing scoring average across the tours?

I think that something like the average OWGR for each PGA tour event compared to the average OWGR for each European tour event would be more impactful to compare the strength of fields.

I would surely think that those extremely weak co-sanctioned events would bring the overall average OWGR on the European tour down well below the PGA Tour's average OWGR.

I don't necessarily consider these co-sanctioned events to be true European Tour events.  They give their tour members a place to play and improve their craftThey definitely bring the average OWGR down.

The OWGR does a pretty good job of ranking guys, but they do still need to (somewhat arbitrarily) assign strength of events to distribute points.  

Pretty much all the top 25 OWGR guys and most of the top 50 guys have status on both tours.  Some of the typical PGA guys just play enough events to get them into the Turkish Airlines, Nedbank and Dubai events where they can win some decent coin.  Others in the top 50 like Fleetwood, Reed, Lowry, Oosthuizen, Wallace, Fitzpatrick, Willett, Garcia, Stenson, Wiesberger, Poulter, Cabrera Bello, Pepperell, Hatton, Noren, Li, Bjerregaard, Lewis, etc. either majorly play Euro events or do a decent job of mixing in a significant number of Euro events in their schedule.

The field strength of a typical PGA Tour event is better than that of a typical European tour event, but it is probably like an average OWGR of 150 vs 250.

 

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9 hours ago, SG11118 said:

Yes - I actually do.  I have a Draftkings golf habit and track all the events on both tours.  It isn't an easy thing to track a comparison as the Euro tour runs quite a few events that are co-sanctioned with lesser tours which have very weak fields (Kenya, Australian PGA, South African Open, Fiji, Vic Open, South African Dunhill, AfrAsia, India, Maybank, Golf 6s, etc).  All of these events have weaker fields than pretty much every PGA Tour event.  Also all of the majors and WGC events are co-sanctioned by both the PGA and Euro tours, so have identical fields. 

The average player who gets into 20 events a year on the Euro Tour is a slightly worse golfer than the average player who gets into 20 events a year on the PGA Tour.  I would say the difference is probably less than half a stroke per round though.

That's still not really comparing the average European Tour player to the average PGA Tour player. Your half-a-shot guess is just that: a guess. The European Tour is weaker, and I wouldn't call the margin "small."

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I wish courses were set up in such a way that shorter hitters could still win tournaments on tour.  The idea that making courses longer is the solution to curbing some of these low scores is crazy. all it really does is ensure that the best players on tour are also the longest and that a guy who hits it 280-290 off the tee or maybe a little less simply can't compete because of how difficult it is to hit some of these longer irons, hybrids, or woods into greens. I feel like they'd be much better served by thickening the rough, narrowing the fairways, or having courses with a well placed bunker at 310 yards down the middle of the fairway lol. 

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5 minutes ago, downbylaw11 said:

I wish courses were set up in such a way that shorter hitters could still win tournaments on tour.

How exactly would you do that? Because length is still going to be an advantage.

And… if you hit it 280-290, you're hitting like one or two clubs less into greens, not four or five or six.

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49 minutes ago, downbylaw11 said:

 

I wish courses were set up in such a way that shorter hitters could still win tournaments on tour. 

 

These are professionals playing in a professional league, and being paid to compete. Distance is a skill. If they can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen. 

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