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« Getting The Links Back Into Maidstone | Main | Punter's Note: Players Changing Coaches At Any Time »

Without Rough, Liberty National Shines

I would never advocate that the world of golf take any lessons from a $250 million+ golf course that looks like something out of a really bad cheesy 80s video game, but since Liberty National produced a super leaderboard for the 2013 Barclays it would be unwise to pass on yet another opportunity to point out how much better the game is without contrived, harvested, man-made rough.

John Hawkins on many topics in this week's Hawk's Nest, also addressed Liberty National's "overhauled" reputation which, in his "18 years covering the PGA Tour full-time, no course has overhauled its reputation as quickly and dramatically as Liberty National did last week."

Fifteen holes were altered in some form. Many of the putting surfaces were expanded and recontoured, which is a nice way of saying they dug up the elephants, but the problem in ’09 had more to do with all the humps in the original Tom Kite/Bob Cupp design.

Phil Mickelson has perfected the art of signing autographs, delivering the money quote and talking to drooling fans, all at the same time. “Imagine Augusta National with 24-yard-wide fairways and [heavy] rough,” he assessed. “The setup was fine once they turned the rough into a first cut. That brought out the strength of the golf course, which was the greens. You could play shots into them.”

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Reader Comments (14)

Well, Hawk. According to GC Tiger was the big story at the Barclays, not Phil. Would you care to comment on or characterize his perfecting the art of the invisible pen, delivering blue language in place of a money quote and ignoring drooling fans?
08.27.2013 | Unregistered CommenterD. maculata
It must kill Hawkins to be relegated to online writing and live chats while Matty G. becomes a GC star on TV!!

I guess his audience is smaller there than at GW (circ of about 100,000 diehards), where he was The Man on tour for many years.

Why doesn't GC put him on air anymore?
08.27.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMedia maven
11 under won it

even made the cut

Looks like the bob Hope Classic

Want a great leaderboard, start with a great field.
08.27.2013 | Unregistered Commentersmails
Hmm, it's really not that hard to 'imagine' that version of Augusta National. Just ask Hootie.
08.27.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDsl
lots of $ is a wonderful thing
08.27.2013 | Unregistered Commenterchicago pt
Whatever. With or without the rough, the place still looks like Florida to me. With 250 million one could have recreated the look of a Maidstone. Its astonishing that those involved could be so clueless and behind the trend towards less water usage. Guess water is free in New Jersey.And it does look like a cheesy version of a golf video game.
08.27.2013 | Unregistered Commentervwgolfer
If the Statue of Liberty were on the other side of the city and not across the river, the property would still be a landfill.
08.27.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPA PLAYA
Since when does a super leaderboard mean anything about the quality of the course? Plenty of tournaments on great courses have produced 'yawners' of leaderboards, and vice versa. This is just something the TV pundits like to try to make a point of, but I'd say it's pretty random., not to mention that greatness is subjective.

If Tiger winning means anything about a great leaderboard (given he skips many 'lesser' events), look at 3 of Tiger's winningest venues: Torrey Pines, Firestone, and Bay Hill. How great are they?
"Why doesn't GC put him on air anymore?" I rarely have watched GC, but a few years ago lived in an apartment with cable for a few months. IIRC one night during one of those Grey Goose (?) things he told Lerner that since he (Lerner) was a TV person, he was therefore an idiot (I paraphrase). That could be it. LOL. Or it could have been someone else, in which case I apologize for bringing it up.
08.27.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKLG

Artificial containment mounds: check
Water in play on more than 50% of the holes(10 holes): check
Cart path in play for average to worse golfer(13 holes): check
Target bunkers on outside of doglegs: check
Water right, bunkers left or vice versa: check
Hit it straight, then hit it straight again: check
Bunkers flank fairway on all but one hole: check

I could go on, but this course would fit in perfectly in Florida. It sucks, regardless of whether they reduced the rough.
08.27.2013 | Unregistered CommenterFifth Column
They should have made the whole thing essentially flat. With a slight slope towards the Statue of Liberty, then Faldo would have sounded like a genius, " all putts break towards Miss Liberty and look At that view people" lol. Liberty National Only redeeming quality, it used to be a dump. Florida golf blah blah and blah.
08.27.2013 | Unregistered CommenterVwgolfer
That course ( and the surrounding area) looks pretty cool on T.V. I don't know if its the same in person .........something tells me there's probably a couple of turds floating in the water :-)
08.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterTom
Where was last weeks event again ?
08.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterEasingwold
Been to the Barclay's the last 4 years. Liberty National pales so much in comparison, that it's rather insulting to the other courses to be mentioned alongside it. For instance, let's take the 6th and 16th holes at Liberty National. 6 is a 528 yard par 5, easily reachable in 2. 16 is a driveable par 4. Both holes in theory could be interesting, but they are not. They both are guarded by water hazards that run up the fairway on the right up to the right hand portion of the green. Also, 13 is a slightly longer par 5 that looks almost like a mirror image of 6. No elevation changes really, tons of fake mounding between holes.
Comparing 6 at Liberty National to the Par 5 4th at Bethpage Black is just laughable. As is comparing 16 to the 5th at Ridgewood, the 290 yard par 4. The only hole I rather liked at Liberty was the par 3 14th at 150 yards. Yet it is not in the same universe as the 11th at Plainfield.
They can cut the rough all they want, but the course will never compare to the others in the rotation. Plus the leaderboard was stacked tightly the last time they played at Liberty
08.29.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike Lynch

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