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Kite: Most Players Said Good Things About Liberty National 

Liberty National co-architect Tom Kite's remarks that a vocal minority in 2009 got too much attention for criticizing the course might carry a little more weight if they hadn't completely blown the place up.

Brett Cyrcalis reports on Kite's visit to Liberty Monday on the even of the Barclays.

“There were a lot people that raved about the golf course, and there were a few people that were critical,” Kite told The Post behind the driving range at Liberty National, where the first tournament of the four-event FedEx Cup playoffs will begin. “We tried to address some of the issues that were a concern to some of the players, and at the same time build on all the really good things most of the players said. It wasn’t written about, but most of the players said really good things.

“It’s easy to write negative stuff,” Kite continued. “It’s more than that. When people say complimentary things about you, you all don’t write about it. There’s no question that that was the case.”

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Reader Comments (26)

That's strange, Tom, because your course was ranked dead effing last in a player's poll. I'm sure that's not representative of all of the raves you've heard. Raving about the views and setting is not raving about the course underfoot.

On the flip side of the same coin, there is plenty of good press for courses that players love. When TPC Boston was redesigned we heard about that for weeks. No shortage of great press for Merion's setup or for any course Coore and Crenshaw has ever designed.

Sometimes you have to own your mistakes. It makes you a lot more endearing.
08.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterChris from DE
Please--more pictures of Lenny Dykstra. Anything but discussion of this course.
08.20.2013 | Unregistered Commentersmails
Gee Tom if you wanted positive things written about your design you can do 2 things:

1. Hire a PR firm.

2. Be a better golf course architect.

And Tom your old enough to know that sometimes people say positive things about your work because they are standing right in front of you. Sometimes people kinda of lie about stuff like this.
08.20.2013 | Unregistered Commentervwgolfer
its the best course of its type i've ever played.
08.20.2013 | Unregistered Commentersmails
Went to Liberty today. Course looks nice in pictures but just looks weird and fake in real life. Lot of random hills and man made streams and ponds. Grass and fescue look fake. Heard Bayonne looks and plays much better.
08.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterOc

In High School, a girl told me we could still be friends. Even I wasn't dumb enough to believe that when I was 17, and I was smart enough not to repeat it to anyone.
08.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterTighthead
Seeing Crenshaw mentioned in the comments made me think:

Whose career would you have rather had of the former UT Longhorn teammates - Tom Kite or Ben Crenshaw? Both had 19 PGA wins but Ben had two Masters versus one US Open for Tom in the majors. Tom made many more millions playing than Ben (roughly $11M vs $7M I think). Both have had success on Champions Tour, but Tom much more, including a major there. Ben is much more known as an course architect than Tom and is revered in that regard.

Is it a no-brainer? (It beats thinking about Liberty National, anyway)
08.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRickABQ
08.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKLG
Bob Cupp seems to have (smartly) distanced himself from Liberty National.
08.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRM
I remember very clearly when Tom was the leading all-time money leader on the PGA Tour at about $10m. It was always talked about. Amazing how things change.

The guy did put out a great short game video about 18 years ago (I think). I bought it and viewed it on my computer, which was pretty revolutionary in the mid-1990s.

But to answer the question...Crenshaw, hands down.
08.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterChris from DE
I think Gentle Ben may have wheeled more benefits from Tour life as well...
08.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterTighthead
The women that I have hung out with over my life have alway - to a woman - been shocked when they see Tom Kite on tv. His appearance is rather startling (although I got used to it a long time ago and I respect his game).

On the other hand, Ben was a rather handsome youngster and has aged gracefully (except for his teeth.)

I chose Ben
08.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterOld Tom Morris
The next complimentary statement I hear regarding Tom Kite will be the first.
08.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterFWIW
@RickAbq... I'm a fan of Crenshaw but he has had very little playing success in terms of high finishes, even top 10's on the Champions Tour. Has never won an event and placed 2nd once in many events played. His design work has been a great fallback for him.
08.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterOWGR Fan
FWIW, how about the fact that Mr. Kite was one of the absolutely greatest grinders to ever play. He didn't hit it deep, but worked so hard on his short game and wedge play that he was able to make an absolute fortune playing the game. . . and won our National Championship playing one of the finest final rounds in the event's history.

Kite never played the game with the panache or elan of his Texas compatriot, but your dismissive post strikes me as, at best, ill-considered, if considered at all.
08.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSmolmania
Many don't know this, but Tom Kite was way ahead of even Jane Fonda when it came to exercise videos:

Take that Ben Crenshaw! Mr. big time architect.
Rick, just being curious, what do the initials ABQ stand for in your name? Is that something to do with academia like ABD (all but dissertation) or PHD? I think I recall you discussing the physical sciences and/or doing research in previous posts....
08.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterOld Tom Morris
@Old Tom Morris -

Albuquerque, NM. Just where I am fortunate enough to live! Of course, the desert isn't for everyone but I like it.
08.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRickABQ
See you at paa kao in october
08.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterVwgolfer
Vw -

Sure. You can get my email address from Geoff if you would like. Have you played it before? Don't miss either Black Mesa or Twin Warriors if you have the time.
08.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRickABQ
So Mr. Fireman dropped $250M on the project, brought in Tom Kite (?) and Bob Cupp (. . .) and some people, including Tom, were surprised that the course was essentially panned?

If you are spending $250M, why wouldn't you bring in a decent design team? Did nobody else want the job?

This seems like a big project that a bunch of firms would have loved to take on.

Based on GC coverage - The pros are showing it some love now . . .
Liberty National looks like any other "manipulated" PGA Tour golf course like Sawgrass is, to me. The only reason these guys moan and groan about playing there is it can be hot and muggy in the NY/NJ area this time of year, the place is built on a trash heap, and it's not a very big event in the realm of the WGC or The Players - but just imagine if The Players is played there - with that big a prize, nobody would complain - just as nobody really complains about Sawgrass just because the prize money is nice when they play The Players there. Duh. Liberty National is a fine course.
08.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBC
"Kite never played the game with the panache or elan of his Texas compatriot, but your dismissive post strikes me as, at best, ill-considered, if considered at all."

Well said.

Kite was a credit to the game and always conducted him self in a gentlemanly way. He might be considered as a bit of an over-achiever, while Gentle Ben might have been somewhat of an underachiever. Both ended their TOUR careers with fairly impressive resumes.

But why the Kite bashing?
''Kite was a credit to the game and always conducted him self in a gentlemanly way. He might be considered as a bit of an over-achiever, while Gentle Ben might have been somewhat of an underachiever. Both ended their TOUR careers with fairly impressive resumes. ''


Crenshaw hates to practice, and his wins were streaky. Kite changed the game as much as Sarizan (sp) in the 125 yard and in play.

As to design, I am not a fan of Crenshaw's big greens, but love the minimal movement of earth on his overall course designs. Kite has had to rework more than one of his courses, and I find the ability to correct issues to be a plus. Very few courses ever get ''done right'' the first time around.
08.21.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
No way I bash a guy's career posting 19 wins and a major. Who among us would not be happy with those numbers.

Crenshaw was no angel, Feherty brought up in his interview, guys on tour called him "Mental Ben" and Ben laughed and acknowledged the nickname.
man, that almost naked picture of Kite is nasty

and Bayonne is SO MUCH better than Liberty, at least when i played them both on the same day about 4 years ago
08.22.2013 | Unregistered Commenterchicago pt

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