"Players don't get better in the long-term if they stand on the tee and are not required to exercise their imagination."
It's comforting to know that the shallow love for rough and narrowness at the expense of strategy is not relegated to PGA Tour course setup. Derek Lawrenson on the setup last week in Dubai:
The Emirates Course in Dubai is one of my favourites but I do think the way it was set up last week meant it lost some of its charm.
Architect Karl Litten cleverly designed it so players would have numerous options both from the tee and with their approach shots. Many of those options, however, were taken away by growing the rough.
Take the par 4 sixth, where Litten's idea was to hit your tee shot as far to the left as you dare to get the best line into the green. Not last week.
That would have left you in the thick rough, meaning the only option was to aim for a thin strip of fairway.
Those in charge could point to a high quality leaderboard for validation. But players don't get better in the long-term if they stand on the tee and are not required to exercise their imagination.