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R&A Promotional Film Or Golf Channel Old Course Update? 

You be the judge, but boy does it seem like Golf Channel Senior British Correspondent Tom Abbott is in R&A suck-up spin mode in this orchestra-aided (!) report from The Old Course at St. Andrews, where the critics have it all wrong. And by golly my dear old chap, we did the Lady proud by fixing the places where she was "too easy." Translation: where too many birdies might have been made, damaging precious egos.

Yes, the "too easy" words are uttered by people who have never played in an Open, never will and haven't a clue what it means to hit a shot under major championship pressure. Always reassuring that such folks are guardians for the masterpieces of golf!

Thanks to reader Moises for the aggravation.

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Reader Comments (19)

If that had not aired on Golf Channel, I definitely think it would come across as an R&A promo.
02.26.2013 | Unregistered CommenterOB
Sounds like a new spin on the reason for secrecy. Was this prompted by Mr. Ogilvy's criticisms?

Classic British old boys network nonsense.
02.26.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDavidC
Geoff, I thought you've been borderline over the top in bashing the authorities for changing St. Andrews. But when I see propaganda like this, my BS meter goes off the chart.
02.26.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBarry
This idea that a golf course may be "too easy" or "too difficult" for tournament play is so totally bananas. Par is just a number that means absolutely nothing.

What really counts is this: The ease or difficulty of winning a tournament is almost entirely determined by your competition (and maybe the luck of the draw when it comes to weather...). You're not going to lose The Open because the course was too easy. Or too difficult. You're going to lose, because somebody else made a 2 where you made a 4. Or because you made triple on 17, while some other dude made birdie there every day.
The pressure of championship golf originates in the fact that everybody is watching, that you know that everybody else is giving it their all, and that your result will be remembered in eternity. It doesn't stem from staring at a 480 yard Par 4 that used to be 320 yards.

Now, a course may become less interesting or challenging, as equipment advances render certain strategic features meaningless...but that is not what happened at the Old Course I'd say.
02.26.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlex H
That was sickening to watch, epitomizes everything that's bad about golf coverage. And to see the bunkers on number 2 was discouraging, the hole will be impossible now, the pros played it over par the last 3 times the Open was played there as it was. And Dawson is totally out to lunch, and looks like he could skip a few.
02.26.2013 | Unregistered Commenterpeter kessler
While as Peter Kessler says 'that was sickening to watch". What was also sickening was your comment "And by golly my dear old chap, we did the Lady proud " I sincerely doubt if Gordon Moyer has used a phrase like that in his entire life. Be careful who you patronize, you are not Simon Pure yourself
02.26.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Morris
It was satire...cliched satire I'll grant you.

It is amazing that the second hole played over par in The Open and yet any hole location on the right, if used would be "too easy." What's funny is the more you "define" a shot for today's aerial game artists, the easier it gets. The undefined right side of the green probably could defend itself just fine if given the chance. All of this really speaks to how much they feel Old Course is overwhelmed by technology, and how much gerrymandering goes on to produce higher scores to assuage the fears of those whose egos are tied to the score.
02.26.2013 | Registered CommenterGeoff
I think it is interesting that the Old Course is being changed geographically when the primary remaining challenges to golf at the highest level are wind, rain and cold (ie. last weeks wgc match play). Technology has squeezed the remaining uncertainties so much (rough, trajectory, spin ) that many courses are point and shoot target practice for the pros. Yet every once in a while you get a hole like no. 10 at Riviera or 17 at the Old Course that requires thought before you hit the tee shot and the competitor's mental acuity is tested. Many players will comment on the "arbitrary" nature of the outcome and how it isn't a proper test of skill. But I think the newer technology has muted the skill difference between players. That is why someone like Tom Watson ( and Greg Norman before him) could still win an Open. They know better when to take on a shot or where to miss it when the remaining challenges of todays game are at their peak. A lot of the current players don't know that nuance - today's equipment has erased it for them.
As a result, the best golf for me is when the elements show up. Otherwise today's new bunker is tomorrow's favored target to carry off the tee.
02.26.2013 | Unregistered Commentermunihack
Golf courses, especially the ones used for daily and tournament play (like The Old Course), are living organisms. They are exposed to the elements, they suffer from tear and wear and they are liable for developments in the way the game is played. It sounds like a contradiction, but the only way to preserve them, is to change them.
02.26.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMartin
I am uncomfortable with the Old Course being radically altered, but I am also uncomfortable with scores of 62 and lower littered across the Old Course.
02.26.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRandom Fan
The talking head introduction to the piece was so biased that you do not need to watch the video. For example:

Like a roof over Wimbeldon (there is no equivalent in golf which is NEVER played indoors but many tennis tournaments are indoors)

The changes are for the better (no need to hear the other side).

Debating and Logic 101 are not required courses in many schools today. The language on display in this piece porves it..

Controverssy is mentioned BUT the opposing view is never fully explored. The Golf Channel now exists to promote the golf tours (PGA, LPGA ET) not to provide objective reporting. There was a time when at least Golf Central had some journalistic independence. NO MORE...
02.26.2013 | Unregistered CommenterStephenP
When I want boob jobs and sock puppets and goofballs I watch the Golf Channel...when I want golf I go play it.
02.26.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D
When is the Golf Channel not in `suck-up' spin mode? It's the GC's business model. Cheerleaders. Apologists. Whatever it takes, but don't upset the players or the powers that be. And we all know it. But we all watch. At least Abbott went to St. Andrews, unklike his colleague Rich Lerner, who horned in on the Lydia Ko story by covering the Aussie Ladies Open from Orlando!
02.26.2013 | Unregistered CommenterLiberty Apples
And yet, when peter Dawson tells the world that it is time to stop anchoring, why he the noblest defender of our great game.

You guys need to choose...Messiah or blasphemer?
02.26.2013 | Unregistered Commenterjoe
"But we all watch."

Really? I had to look up the channel number to watch the match play coverage - I don't bother with the other nonsense.
02.26.2013 | Unregistered CommenterArthur Nelson
Techno question. Why can't I make the video play on my iPad? Sorry for the what a stupid I am question.
02.26.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKangy Boy
I wonder how many so-called experts on here have actually played TOC?

I don't like the addition of the bunker at the second. I think it wrecks the character of the hole. However, I can't wait to see how a left-sided pin position at the 11th plays out into a prevailing wind.
its fitting that tom abbott the worst of the GC hosts does this show. what a lame attempt to push their agenda, pretty common theme among media these days.
02.27.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBen

I'm glad you found the channel number.
02.27.2013 | Unregistered CommenterLiberty Apples

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