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Coronagolfman

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Everything posted by Coronagolfman

  1. IMHO R&A did a great job in the course setup to keep some "honesty" in the layout. Sure, there were a number of tees where players had to march back some 50 yards from the regular tips but with tour pros these days hitting 300-yard 3-woods and 150-yard wedges you have to put some extra length in the course. Still, on a number of holes, we saw players hitting mid-irons to some of the greens and that hole number 11 was something else with the OB just a few feet from the green. Also fun watching the antics on the "Postage Stamp" hole where you don't need an island green to make a short par 3 interesting.
  2. Waste areas versus bunkers, Hi-Def cameras focusing in on grains of sand or blades of grass around a golf ball or free drops given from a large amount of temporary on-course obstructions - wonder how Bobby Jones or Old Tom Morris would feel about all of the scrutiny or controversy that players these days play under. At some point in time, something will happen that really goes south with all of this high-tech imagery or some of these local rules in a major and things will get very ugly.
  3. I like RTJ's 12th at Spyglass - spectacular setting with a pond rather than a bunker as the chief hazard - the farther back the flag is on the hole the more of the pond you have to carry and it doesn't help that the green slopes in the direction of the pond as well.
  4. So should it have been disqualification for signing an incorrect card if they did not warn him of the infraction in time to change his card before the last player finished?
  5. Just curious - what would those advocating that it was an incorrect drop say the consequences of the bad drop should be - disqualification? Is it not the case that the RO on the spot is allowed to make the determination of what the proper drop should be? As long as the drop was made no closer to the hole in the predetermined spot should that not be sufficient to protect the field?
  6. At bit surprising that the scores are so high at old Firestone - these guys are hitting 7, 8, 9 or PW irons to the greens and they still can't manage better then 5 or 6 under after 3 rounds? Some of the holes are a bit longer than the days of the "Big Three" but you would think the scores would be in the -12 to -16 range for this relatively straightforward course. Now, it is true that with a field of only some 60 players the tournament is missing some 80 more players of which some might have been able to get hot and shoot some good scores - but it still seems that in this age of live golf balls, sports training and technologically advanced drivers that these guys that routinely drive the ball 350 yards on a string should be able to tear up old Firestone.
  7. Everybody has their own sense of asthetics - some people feel that Augusta overdoes the "manicured" look compared to a course look Oakmont that has a hugh amount of gnarly rough, ditches and a freeway running through it. Perhaps the one thing that sets golf apart is the number of different venues on which it is played. The qualities IMHO that stuck out at Oakmont were the (a) difficult greens, (b) absolute premium on hitting fairways and greens and (c) mix between long and short holes. Given those factors, it seemed like a very good US Open venue to me. Oakmont membership apparently feels that the lack of trees is something they like - you get some tremendous vistas and from the standpoint of being able to view the tournament from a number of spots that offer views of a number of holes without moving, you would have to think that situation in some ways beats a heavily wooded course where only one hole at a time can be seen. And you can't really deny the fact that a number of great champions have been crowned in the Opens that have been played there.
  8. I remember going to Lanaii with some golf buddies just after the Manele Bay course opened in 1996 (the pro shop was a trailer). We stayed at the Hotel Lanaii for about $100 a night with each of us having our own room. Guests at Hotel Lanaii could use the pools and facilities at either Koele Lodge or Manele Bay Hotel, paid a one-time fee of $20 for use of the shuttle between all three hotels and we paid something like $75 for green fees at Koele and Manele courses. Now its a Four Seasons at the two big hotels with $700 a night rooms, $200 green fees for Manele Bay golf and not even sure what arrangement (if any) Hotel Lanaii has with the other hotels. Will say this - no other island (except maybe Molokai) offers the opportunity to really get away from civilization like Lanaii does with their jeep treks on dirt roads over a good part of what is a very interesting island.
  9. Equity would be better upheld if everyone in the tournament was told that there was a local rule saying that "Tower A" would be part of the course and played as such rather than as a TMO - give those guys making up the local rules adjustments some credit for knowing if and when such a problem might come up and retain the right to penalize the player for what would be a bad shot.
  10. If one of the 200-some Course Superintendents flown in by the USGA to ensure pristine conditions could have provided measurements and data indicating that due to photosynthesis one of the blades of grass on the green grew enough so that at just the point in time that Dustin was attempting to address his ball that blade grew enough to cause the ball to move then perhaps DJ might have avoided the penalty. But in the eyes and thinking of the USGA, since Dustin was the last one seen just outside of the bank prior to the holdup and there was no video taken inside, then it must be inferred he was guilty due to his location compared to the location of the crime.
  11. Simple way to solve the problem would be to use a local rule stating that TV towers or other particular "temporary immovable obstructions" be considered part of the course. The rule is there to avoid situation where somebody hits one behind or into a grandstand or hot dog stand. Pros know the rules - how many times do they aim for a grandstand or TMI knowing they will get a drop? On PGA tour, with those grandstand and hospitality tents just a few yards off of a number of greens, sometimes playing it into the stands is better than flirting with a hazard on the other side. But in some cases, if a tower is being erected well outside of the boundaries of the fairway and would only be a problem if somebody hit one way offline, shouldn't there be a local rule saying "sorry - you hit a bad shot and this tower is something you will simply have to deal with". No worse a situation than the one that ocurred one year at the PGA where they overnight planted a tree to block off players wanting to play down a parallel fairway to get a better angle to a green. Miss the fairway, get penalized ........... makes common sense. Oh, sorry - this is the USGA so maybe the "common sense" factor is one that may not count.
  12. A few other comments on Fox: 1. Scott McCarron and Juli Inkster were terrific - gave us accurate reporting of what was going on with each group they were with in a very professional manner 2. Liked Zinger and Fax - good insider information regarding the course and the players 3. Joe Buck - send him back to baseball and football - no shame in that as even Vin Scully couldn't hack it doing golf commentary 4. Holly Sonders - will they ever find anything meaningful for her to contribute to the telecasts other than to show how much off-season training she has been doing in search of the "Kim Kardashian Look"?
  13. Fox did their due diligence in having the USGA Rules Guys on after the tournament was over to explain themselves - and from my point of view the USGA guys did nothing to clarify things other than to pretty much say they didn't believe DJ and were unwilling to go along with the ruling made by the USGA rules guy following the group. The explanation offered was that there was no compelling evidence that DJ did anything but since the ball moved and there was no other explanation available he must have been at fault. This whole fiasco is just more of the same mess the PGA Tour and the USGA have gotten themselves into by allowing HD video review of certain situations after the event takes place to be considered as means to call penalties or even disqualify a player (remember the issue that started it all where Craig Stadler used a towel at Torrey to "build a stance" under a tree and thus was disqualified after the round was over?) Unless you want to set up a "war room" at the tournament site that reviews every shot of every player it really means that only tournament leaders will be under such scrutiny - I suppose they could have an LCD sign behind each green letting a player know if his score for the hole was under video review and then make the call on the spot (like they do on hockey goals). USGA has a rules guy following each group - should be the responsibility of that guy to make the call on the spot and regardless of what TV shows later you have to go with the call "on the field". Rules guy asked DJ if he caused the ball to move and his answer was that he did not - it should have ended there. It's totally unfair that players are at the whim of whatever view the TV cameras may show and what shots will be seen and what shots will not; if you really wanted to take such stupidity all the way to its conclusion you could HI-Def the ball every time a player addresses it and then apply a penalty even if a player has a ball oscillate on him which is not a violation of the rules but may look like the ball moved. At some point you just have to trust the players and the on-course officials to do their jobs correctly.
  14. USGA and pro tour brought all of this trauma on themselves by allowing stuff observed on TV to become situations where penalties can be assessed after play is concluded. Every sport now has situations on the court or the field that HI-def TV allows to be seen - you have to draw the line someplace and if you have a rules official with each group in the US Open then that persons call should be binding and final on the spot. Nobody questioned the ruling that allowed Dustin to drop from the hay into the light rough because of famous "temporary moveable obstruction Oakmont rule" that Ernie Els benefitted from years ago - that drop may have saved him one or two or more shots at that point in the round and may have made a huge difference at the time. I liked David Fay's attempt at equality for that ruling by saying that perhaps a player might have a good lie in which case that ruling would hurt them - but of course nobody would be asking for such a ruling if the lie was good (just like having a ball on a cart path that can be easily played from). But we can leave the argument about "line of sight" for another time, particularly if the actual line of play the player might want to take is not on that line of sight.
  15. As I was watching the Open I began to wonder what distance the regular members at Oakmont play these holes at - I would think it would be impossible to find a membership of some 500 players that are all tour-quality young bucks that hit it 300+ off each tee. So looking at hole yardages as posted on the Oakmont Club website (nice site I might add) here are the yardages for each of the holes from the White Members tees: 423,317,378,504,347,152,357,209,459 (9 is played as a par 5 for members) 3146 front nine; 436,307,550,139,332,428,189,276,420 3077; 6223 yards total Not saying that the course would be all that much easier because the green speed and undulations, the effect of the rolling terrain and the amount of hazards on the course are all significant factors in making the course a tough test - but it does seem like a decent 10 handicapper might be able to at least make a few pars on the course if they could keep it straight and get some easy pin positions that might allow them to make a few putts.
  16. Watching with the sound off It would stand to reason that between CBS and NBC they figured out over the past couple of decades who the best folks for doing golf are (hey- they even fired Vin Scully and Dick Enberg along the way!) - so Fox is making do with some of their "staff" announcers and a collection of "other" golf commentators that have been waiting in the wings or simply had not made the cut previously. Azinger is the one guy I like because he provides that competitive (and successful) players point of view - Juli Inkster also seems to bring something to the coverage but I will be willing to bet that Holly Sanders in her tight-fitting cocktail/night-out-on-the-town outfits will get more air time than an LPGA Hall-of-Famer observing play on the course. Course looks "gettable" at this point in time with the softening up due to the rain - will be interesting to see how quickly it dries out or if the humidity allows the moisture to stay around and keep the course a bit more playable than it would have been otherwise.
  17. Many years ago while on a business trip to London I got a chance to play Wentworth West - even back then in 1991 it was a tremendous course that made great use of the rolling woodlands in Surrey. Its a bit sad that the course has now become the architectural plaything of Ernie Els and the European tour - some of the holes now resort to certain modern tricks like artificial water features or shaved greenside banks leading to hazards or chipping areas - perhaps in the next round of changes Ernie and his design elfs will come a bit more to their senses and let the design return a bit more to the features that were there in the original HS Colt design. As far as the tournament goes, it seems like there is a real problem in terms of when to fit it in a place in the schedule where you can get the cream of the European tour to show up. The Players Championship with its huge reward of 10 years of exemptions for the US tour makes it a bit more compelling as an event and the Nelson and Colonial and Memorial tournaments are all big events on the US tour leading up to the US Open so taking the two weeks time to travel over to England in the start of the summer is perhaps not something a lot of European pros who live in the US are willing to make. Was exciting to see if Chris Wood was going to choke the event away but nice to see him win - he did have a great front nine but seemed on the verge of letting it get away on the back nine.
  18. I was under the impression that Cypress Point had been removed from the "Crosby Clambake" simply because the membership at that course didn't like the idea of the general public trampling on their hallowed turf. Part of that reasoning might be based simply upon the notion of exclusivity and status; on the other hand, the environment around the course is somewhat fragile and having thousands of golf fans moving around that delicate seaside plant life and sand dunes would not be good for it. You can't tell me that most of the pros who play in the AT&T ProAm don't try and pull whatever strings they have at their disposal to play a round at Cypress during the weekend or weekdays before the AT&T event given the spectacular design and the chance to play a relatively well-preserved MacKenzie design. So even now that Cypress Point has female members I don't believe we can expect that we will ever see it on the AT&T course rota again.
  19. Sergio is kind of funny in that many times when he wins it seems like he is the last man standing compared to a Rory who wrenches the title into his grasp with stunning shots. Spieth had a decent tournament until he made some uncharacteristic mistakes on the weekend - one has to wonder how much in this age of social and professional media how much attention he pays to these guys reporting all the bad things about his swing - it will be interesting to see if a guy who was halfway to the Grand Slam last year starts going into the tank because of a concern for a few more yards off the tee that he probably could live without - sometimes the hardest thing to do in golf is just keep repeating that swing which has worked for so long as opposed to tweaking it and fooling with it to the point of not being able to get it back. On the other hand, you good old Sir Nick who basically won some majors and then totally rebuilt his swing and won some more majors - that is perhaps the rarest of feats indeed in the history of the game.
  20. Funny how both players in post-tournament comments made it sound like they both were having swing problems and were just trying to fight through such issues on the last day or the weekend - I'm sure there are plenty of PGA tour players wishing that they could have had that problem will shooting 10 under for the tournament and getting into a playoff. Sergio, for all of his supposed skills as a match-play player from Ryder Cup days, hasn't been particularly outstanding in playoffs from what was reported (about 50% in playoffs over the years) - and Brooks K. certainly did not rise to the occasion on the short 18th with his pulled tee shot that cost him the win. But I guess the exploits of Sergio and Brooks was nothing compared to what seemed to be the constant deluge of comments from Peter Kostis and Sir Nick regarding what seemed to them to be the obvious flaws in Jordan Spieth's swing that was leading to his final round swoon. Funny - wasn't Jordan going into the last day in the final pairing only a couple shots back and didn't he finish as runner-up at Augusta with that same swing 6 weeks ago? Sure, Jordan missed the cut at the players but he had plenty of company doing so in that tournament on a quirky Dye course that sometimes doesn't fit the eye of a lot of good players. Good thing CBS doesn't have any majors again until August so we don't have to listen to that barrage of comments - oh wait, CBS has the Colonial (or whatever name is now appearing on their constantly changing list of sponsors for that once grand invitational) and Jordan will be there again - I can hear old Sir Nic and his buddy Peter warming up the Konica Minolta Swing Vision Bizhub Printer Server Camera-thingy already to rip into Jordan for his patented bent left arm at impact swing that has only gotten him two majors to this point in his young career (one official major more than current #1 Jason Day who is the darling of CBS and NBC at the moment). Oh well - at least the European PGA at Wentworth will be on this weekend where they don't spend so much time taking people's swings to task and seem to focus more on the achievements of the players contending for the title.
  21. Issue at Muirfield sounds very much like the situation the PGA tour put forth to Augusta regarding a possible boycott of the Masters by PGA tour members if the club did not meet their membership policy standards - when directly confronted Augusta declined to change their policy but after things died down for awhile it was noted that indeed Augusta did make changes to their policy based upon their own "independent decision" to admit women members. One expects that in the next year or so while still in the window to retain their spot in the Open rota one might hear that the members of Muirfield, of their "own free will" and not because of any pressure from the R&A or anybody else, have decided to take in women as members.
  22. A few years back I found an article on redoing the greens for one of the early 1900s courses in the Pinehurst area. The modern turf grass allowed the ball to run so hot that any long downhill putts from the back to the front of the green ran off and down the fairway. And, certain upslopes turned into false fronts with the finer-bladed turf.
  23. Golf is a hard game to learn - once you have some basic skill in making contact with the ball it becomes easier but getting that initial level of skill established can be quite daunting for somebody just starting out. I've tried to get both of my sons interested in the game - the older one did take a couple of lessons and is able to get the ball airbourne most of the time; the younger one doesn't like lessons and has a very difficult time with the concept of a turn and staying down on the shot. Both of the boys played ice hockey for about 7 years and all I can say is that I tried to skate a couple times but never could get the hang of it, much less expect to hold a stick while doing so. So between the 3 of us I think there is a pretty good understanding that some ports take time to learn before one can expect to be proficient.
  24. Quote from IACAS: Those situations are highly unlikely (incredibly rare). On a course with speedy greens, its usually always better to be below the hole (even if a foot or two off the green) than 10 feet or more above the hole. In such instances, wouldn't most golf instructors try to have their student leave the ball below the hole?
  25. I believe the original designer of Oakmont was not a "name" architect but rather a fellow (I think the name was Fownes) that was looking to make a punishing layout in the spirit of a Pine Valley. The massive bunkers, the "church pew" rows of grass in some bunkers and the fact that the rakes had big teeth that resulted in deep furrows in the bunkers to increase the penalty for hitting into them were somewhat unique features along with the lightning-fast and firm greens that were legendary for their difficulty. I think the furrowed bunkers concept was removed some years ago and for the last Open at Oakmont the USGA talked the members into removing a bunch of trees to make the course a more "links-like" layout. If it's hot and dry in Pittsburgh that week then one might expect a similar carnage as to what was seen at Chambers Bay last year.
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