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Valhalla Not Worthy of a Major Championship

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http://brightcove04.brightcove.com/24/2157889318001/201408/1233/2157889318001_3720002826001_AlanShipnuck-PGAEssay-sml.mp4

I guess that's the best way to watch it. I'd embed it if I could.

I'm inclined to agree…

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The greater Louisville classic.... :-D
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I like the risk/reward aspect of the course but it's a lightweight in terms of hosting a major. But the PGA of America is known for these sort of choices. They own the course by the way.

IMO these sort of decisions are why the PGA Championship is the 4th of the 4 majors by a considerable market. ANGC, Pinehurst 2, Hoylake and Valhalla. Which does not fit?

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I tend to agree.  I've known people who played there and they've said that while nice, it isn't anything special.  Sort of average Nicklaus fare.

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I'd have to agree as well. Masters is it's own when it comes to scoring, the only major to be held at the same golf course. Besides that, the majors should be the toughest test. Well the British can get wonky because of the links courses and the weather. I think the US open should be the toughest, then the PGA championship.
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I haven't had the chance to watch much, but from the descriptions I read of some of the holes, I thought they were pretty lame. But that's just how I feel about any course design forcing a certain shot vs allowing a player to choose between options.
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The setup is horrible. They could make Valhalla a lot tougher than it is. These fairways are ridiculously wide, the pin positions are a joke and the rough isn't penal at all. I would not be surprised given the weather forecast if someone finishes -20 and someone shoots a 62 before the week is done. This is a major...challenge these guys.

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I generally like the PGA's approach to setting up majors, but they likely blew it here.  The PGA scoring record in relation to par was set here by TWO players in 2001.  Look at your damn notes and make the appropriate changes.  It's not hard.  I'm pretty sure they have a SubAir system.  Suck the moisture out of the greens and grow the rough.

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I'm with you guys. Pretty bland course, and the setup is weak this year.
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I agree with everyone's comments. I have thought about this for some time. Valhalla just doesnt seem to rise to the level of any other course the majors have hosted in a long time. Thats why I am excited for next year's PGA. Whistling Straits is such a fun course and it views well on tv. Kaymer still won at -11 a few years ago, but that course really has uniqueness to it and can really clench its teeth. IMO, I for some reason get the feeling that Whistling Straits should almost be used for US Opens. PGAs to me should more so be traditional parkland course layouts. Oak Hill last year was a perfect example. The US Open can be the crazy hard tournament that has different courses with crazy layouts/setups. With that said, Valhalla is not acceptable; it can host the John Deere or Barracuda, but not a major. I am drunk and like to ramble.

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It reminds me of a lot of new big park courses. In great condition and nice to play, but just seems to lack the character that the great courses have.

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They should move Valhalla to the infield at Churchhill Downs and run the derby at the same time.

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Tend to agree with the first article after looking at the scores, leaderboard, and setup. Maybe it is set up more for the 20 PGA Pros who qualified rather than Touring Pros.

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I agree wit the overall idea that Valhalla doesn't capture the spirit of a major venue. I thought his last line in the video detracted from the argument however- something about how a bunch of European players like Joost Luiten, Weisberger, and Levy represent "mediocrity" and that those players being at the top reflect poorly on the venue. That line of reasoning seems like crap and is rather insulting to those guys. Don't all majors have surprises in the first couple rounds- even some that surprise us all the way to the 72nd hole (Ben Curtis/Jean Vandevelde/Shaun Micheel/etc)?  The rest I agree with though. Valhalla just doesn't have a feel of being a major.

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I like the course, but it definitely was better suited to the Ryder Cup than this tournament. If the BMW Championship is rotating hosts, I'd say Valhalla should be held here in the future, in the way Bethpage is now in the Barclays rotation.
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I've never been there. But it seems ridiculous to me that they can drive it 40 yards off line and still have a good line in to the green. Huge wide fairways, almost no rough even if you're really wide, and (judging from the TV) no real character to the place. There must be more testing and interesting venues available.
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Not sure how many people commenting have actually played the course, but I have and I can tell you, it's not nearly as easy as the leaders are making it out to be. I played it from the same tees they are playing from (actually some further back) and it's not easy. Also, the fairways are not near as wide as everyone is making them out to be and the rough isn't nearly as thin either. I was there yesterday and the rough is around 3.5 - 4 inches but it's thick Kentucky bluegrass which isn't easy to hit out of. When you're talking about the low scoring (which everyone isn't going low although more low scores today) you have to keep in mind the rain. I think they've had like 1.5 inches of rain in the last two days there and yesterday when I was there, it was REALLY wet. People were losing their shoes in mud it was so bad. With all of that rain, you have the best players in the world firing at almost every flag and making a ton of birdies because they have no fear of the ball bouncing over the green.

As for the gimmicky holes, I guess I can see why some may feel that way, but not sure a waterfall or an island green makes it gimmicky? On hole seven, you can either hit it to the narrow left fairway and have about 240 into the green or you can hit it to the right fairway and layup. Gives players an options and risk/reward play. 13 may be gimmicky in that it's a man made island (we all know island greens never work or are popular *ahem* Sawgrass) but I don't mind it. It's a pretty cool little hole I think.

To his point about lesser known players on the leaderboard. That really means nothing to me. He's acting as if lesser known players being on the leaderboard somehow discredit the course. Rich Beem, Ben Curtis, Louis Oosthuizen, and YE Yang all were on the leaderboard and won majors. Does that also make the courses they won on "not major worthy?"

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