Cameron Morfit conducts an entertaining Q&A with Steve Flesch, covering all sorts of good stuff.
Let's talk Tour policy. You've slammed course setups. What's your beef?
It's the same every week. Having every par-3 at 230 yards is boring, as is having the rough at five inches. The greens don't always have to be 12 on the Stimpmeter. They water the fairways and around the greens, forcing you to hit a high spinny shot in. We've gotten away from the fact that golf can be played more than one way.
But that's exactly how Tiger and Phil and most of the top players like to hit the ball. Maybe the rest of you guys should learn to live with it.
But let's not set up every course so it's like a major. The public wants to see us make birdies, so let's set up the courses so we can display our skills and show everybody how good we are.
Seems the boys really are in love with the Memorial these days.
Jack Nicklaus upset the pros when he toughened Muirfield Village for The Memorial and furrowed the bunkers. Who's going to call up Jack and say, "Enough!"?
It's hard. Jack should have his input, but is it really in the best interest to play the course like that? That was eight-inch rough that obviously hadn't been topped off the day before the tournament, as Jack indicated in the papers.
Are you calling Jack Nicklaus a liar?
No, I'm not, but it was eight inches on Monday and it wasn't touched the whole week. Whether it's the tournament director or whatever, don't tell us it's four-and-a-half-inch rough. I can put my foot in it and see it's over my shoes. It's the same at Arnold's event. That rye-grass rough is sticky and it's five inches long. Muirfield is one of my favorite courses, but from the first time I played it in '98 to 2008, it's gotten harder, not better. The greens are 14 on the Stimpmeter and they're not big; do you need ruts in the bunkers, too?
This may be the first time someone dared to note the issue for Phil Mickelson and his joint instructors Butch Harmon and Dave Pelz.
Your fellow lefty Mickelson had a quiet 2008. What's wrong with him?
Phil Mickelson is fantastic. I have learned so much from watching him play. He knows I respect his game, and I don't want to say anything that would upset him, but right now I think he's got two different kinds of coaches. I worked with Butch Harmon for five years, and his way of thinking about the game is a lot different than how Dave Pelz is. Dave's very analytical, very scientific, and everybody respects that. Phil is trying to find a balance between two methods that seem to pull him in different directions.
And of course, slow play...
What else is on the PAC's radar?
Pace of play. There are a dozen guys out here who are habitually slow. It's not that our fine structure isn't strong enough — it's that our officials should be more assertive. We all know who's slow and who's not, and while half of the slow guys say they want to get faster, the other half say, "I don't care if I'm slow or not." Well you know what? You've got 144 guys out there that week and most of them feel you're disrespecting them by taking that attitude. You have 40 seconds to hit the shot, and if you can't do it, you're not playing out here.
Is this why weekend golfers seem to think a glacial pace is okay?
My 10-year-old Griffin now plumb-bobs. I go, "Dude, what are you doing?" He goes, "I don't know, I see you guys doing it on TV." That's exactly why it's wrong for us to be playing that slowly.