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« 2013 Northern Trust Open 3rd Round Comment Thread | Main | 10th Hole Scatter Chart Autopsy, Northern Trust Second Round »

Peper: Leave The Old Course Alone!

Thanks to reader Richard for sending in George Peper's column lamenting changes to the Old Course.

As an area resident until recently and Royal and Ancient Golf Club member, it's great to see his attitude about allowing low scores on the Old Course at St. Andrews and also poking fun at the other governing bodies for living in fear of being the first to give up a 62.

In the Old Course the R&A has something the other three do not—an original—the true and sacred crucible of the game. As such, it should not be bastardized, it should be celebrated.

Imagine for a moment that none of these changes were made to the Old Course—imagine in fact that the holes that have been lengthened for the past two Opens at St. Andrews were restored to their original distances, so the course played at something close to the length it was one hundred years ago. What would happen when the Open returns in 2015? Assuming decent weather, there would be numerous scores in the low 60s—likely a few in the 50s—and the winning total would be somewhere around 30 under par.

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Reader Comments (12)

I'm sure that golf fans the world over would clamor to watch the pros shoot Open rounds in the 50's and a final score of 30 under. Uh, not really. That's not celebratory; it's a mockery. So until they change the equipment the pros play with, we can expect more tinkering, shrine or no shrine.
02.16.2013 | Unregistered Commentertlavin
Thank you Mr Pepper for having the courage to speak out agianst the changes as a memebr of the R&A. Your viewpoint is idiosyncratic, but welcome nonetheless.

So many in golf have privately sympathised with you but have avoided the chance of any contorvery. Money doesn't shout it whispers, "conform, conform."
02.16.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBelowPar
got to agree with tlavin.
Wish they would hurry up and do something about it though-fed up with all the tinkering.It shouldn't be needed.
02.16.2013 | Unregistered Commenterchico
First of all, it's not going to be "numerous" scores in the low 60's. Yes, one or two might do it but who gives a sh**. I agree with Peper, the governing bodies running the majors are way too wrapped up in the final score or someone breaking the 63 barrier. I obviously favor the ball rolling back to something comparable to the Titleist Professional in the 90's which would negate having to lengthen and trick up some of the greatest golf courses in the world.
02.16.2013 | Unregistered Commenterol Harv
I'm sorry, but that's an awful article. Mr. Peper should start living in the real world.
02.16.2013 | Unregistered CommenterStord
@Stord, regardless of course or conditions come Sunday Dawson will hand the Claret Jug to the low scorer. It's incredible the R&A will have spent gobs of money simply to change whatever number slots next to the holder of that trophy.
02.16.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMark B
17 million on renovations of the courses in the rota in the last 12 years...

The 16th at Turnberry used to be one of the great fours in golf. Now it's just long and difficult, lacking in the charm and choices. Go ahead, renovate all the great courses to "Championship" standards if you like, just don't ask me "Where did all the great mid-length fours go."

I'm architecturally tired of seeing great thing damaged by "the need to protect par."
It's facinating to note that Merion will "undo" all their recent changes right after the US Open.
02.16.2013 | Unregistered CommenterIan Andrew
Ian, and it won't even be close to the same. Youknow it and I know it both.

This idiot Marzlov doesn't.

Mike Davis, your one of my greatest disappointments.
02.16.2013 | Unregistered CommenterTommy Naccarato
Ian, at least you don't have Mike Davis changing one of the world's great par 4's, the 5th at Pinehurst, into a par 5. Can you imagine having the ego to suggest something like that? .....Incredible....
02.16.2013 | Unregistered Commenterol Harv
@ Ol Harv Agree 100% re: the 5th at #2! Nicklaus said it was the best hole on the golf course. But he only won 18 majors. Davis trumps the Golden Bear? Give me a break. BTW Ol Harv, I see your old stomping ground near P'hurst, Foxfire Resort, , has re-named the pub after you and is under new managment / ownership. Remember when you hung your hat there. (in reference to the late Harvie Ward - known as Ol Harv and lived in P'hurst).
Thanks Pro, finally someone gets it. I knew ol Harv and he was quite a guy. He actually lived in a modest house in Southern Pines for a while. Little known fact was that there is(was, not sure if still because of recent ownership change) a room at the Magnolia Inn named after Ward as well. James Dodson had gotten to know Ward and talks about his relationship in "A Son of the Game" and apparently was going to write Ward's book on his life, but he unfortunately passed away. Definitely a big part of the Pinehurst area.
02.16.2013 | Unregistered Commenterol Harv
@ Ol Harv He was a real character for sure. There are a lot of Havie stories abound. Not sure he was really given credit for what he won - 2 US AMs, 1 British AM, 1 Canadian AM --- only one other in history to do that, Loved his blue RR with Ol Harv license plate. He was known to have a Bombay at the Pinecrest Inn now and then.

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