Use rough instead of length
The Way It Should Be
By kickntrue on 6/28/10
By Matt Snyder, ClubSG Contributor

Matt is an opinionated* golf enthusiast from Pennsylvania. He coaches at the high school level, molding the minds and swings of our next generation. His column will appear each Monday on ClubSG. Feel free to chime in with your thoughts and opinions of Matt in the comments. Don't hold back- because Matt won't.

It's starting to sound repetitive, but what a great tournament for the PGA Tour again this week! It was awesome to see a young bomber fighting it out with two more "experienced" players for the win. And what make this great finish possible? A fair golf course!

I am sick and tired of the PGA and the USGA taking courses and stretching them to insane yardages to make the course more difficult. It doesn't accomplish that at all. Instead, it isolates players like Corey Pavin or Justin Leonard who are great golfers that just don't hit the ball a mile off the tee. They have little to no chance to compete on courses that are extremely long. So, quite literally, the USGA kills the little man. But I can understand why they do it. After all, who wants to watch a Sunday like we saw today? The course was hard enough to demolish Justin Rose and fair enough to allow Verplank and Pavin to challenge for the win. That's boring, right!?

I am sick and tired of the PGA and the USGA taking courses and stretching them to insane yardages to make the course more difficult. It doesn't accomplish that at all.
Mike Davis, I hope you are paying attention to what is going on these days. There is an incredible mix of young talent that can hit the ball a long way and also some seasoned veterans who are playing good enough golf to compete with guys half their age. That is to say, as long as you don't ruin it by taking the courses and stretching them to the maximum yardages. You have absolutely nothing to gain with that strategy! If you want to make the courses more difficult, don't always look to the length to do it. How about actually addressing the characteristics of the course that put a higher demand on good golf. Let the rough grow higher, narrow the fairways, and for goodness sake, let the greens get a littler firmer. I'm not saying they should be like concrete, but let's see these guys actually have to hit the ball from the fairway to control the ball on their approach shot, ala Pebble Beach. And don't even get me started on the whole grooves scam again. We all know now that the grooves are a joke and the numbers support the fact that changing the grooves changed absolutely nothing. So, don't just make courses longer and weed out all the great talent from senior players who can still compete. Do the right things to demand the best golf and give the fans a chance to cheer for all types of players. I mean, who wasn’t cheering for Corey Pavin this week? The guy is awesome!

It seems like there is a great storyline among the leaders each and every week.
I do not care what anyone says, this has been one of the best years for the PGA Tour within the last decade. It seems like there is a great storyline among the leaders each and every week. I have to mention that I believe the lack of Tiger has a lot to do with it. Without him around, there is a lot more airtime for everyone else. Viewers don’t have to watch recap after recap of Tiger’s round when he isn’t even in contention. I don’t blame Tiger for the terrible job that the media does, but it is the truth. I don’t care about the purses and all the press that he brings. Better coverage and tournaments that come down to the back nine every Sunday, what more can a golf fan ask for? Professional golfers where happy enough playing for the money that they played for before Tiger, so why should the fan care if those guys are making more money now? I just want to see good golf!

All right, enough about Tiger. It has been a lot of fun watching these guys play the game that I love at the highest level. I’ve enjoyed getting to know some of the newer players and also reconnecting with some of the guys who have been around for a long time. My hope is that Mr. Davis and all the others responsible for course setups and executive decisions around the PGA Tour are actually paying attention to the things that are happening in the game and doing their best to continue them. After an awesome week at the Open last week, I was looking for a let down this week. Silly me. Keep up the good work USGA and don’t threaten to move tournaments because the courses aren’t 7500 yards long. Let the fans see all different styles of play. The truth is that you don’t have to hit the ball 300 yards to be good at the game of golf. The PGA Tour should represent that truth!

* Matt's views and opinions are his own do not necessarily reflect those of SkyGolf.

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[ comments ]
NEdomer says:
Very good article. I agree that I like seeing more precision shots take place instead of seeing the long bombers hit. We always say, "drive for show, putt for dough" but if you're not able to drive far enough as a pro, you aren't given the chance to putt for the dough. Don't get me wrong, it's interesting to see some people hit the long ball and insane to see someone like Phil be able to combine both crazy long distance and accuracy but I'd still like to see others have a chance to make things more fun.
NEdomer says:
I should qualify that - Phil's long distance and his accuracy with his wedges and irons. I know his driving accuracy has been less than stellar especially as of late.
Enycee92104 says:
NEdomer I'm glad you corrected that :) How you end up playing off the service path is beyond even my shank. I been enjoying the whole season really. Everybody has had their strengths hardened and/or weakened with a different character every week. I like seeing the resurgance of the chase to be number 1 now that number 1 isn't certain yet. Seeing Pavin contend with stellar wedge play is another ace hitting those dream shots. The long bomber didn't fair so well on the last day of the open. All that distance isn't gold, short game always saves.
rodendahl says:
I agree with making golf courses more difficult to play opposed to stretching them from here to eternity. Everyone should toss out the "drive for show and putt for dough" saying. Make more doglegs, narrow them up, longer rough, and I agree with faster and more difficult greens. This presents a risk reward situation on every hole. You want to bomb it out there 325 yards. Well, go for it! But it's at a risk! The game should be all about accuracy and not 325 yard drives. Us old farts can't hit it that far anymore and don't stand a chance at playing a long golf course how it was intended to play. Using driver and three wood every hole isn't much fun!
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