The R&A's resident spinner will sit down before the scribes Wednesday to talk about the Open Championship, the weather and if we're lucky, his budding design business.
I'd love to hear what you'd ask the Executive Secretary, because I think you'll find that my questions pretty much all come back to the same point...no one ever said I was original.
- When justifying the R&A-driven changes to Birkdale since the last time it hosted the Open, you said that "the game has moved on somewhat since then." Does this mean that the R&A feels it is more convenient to change courses instead of issuing decisions that regulate equipment?
- There is a perception that the R&A's refusal to act is the reason that the planned-for 2009 U-groove-rule change did not happen. Why did the R&A decide that the golf world was not ready for this rule change and can you give us some idea when and if the R&A will be jumping on board with the USGA?
- You mentioned in April that pace of play was getting to be abysmal. Do you see this as the result of players getting slower, or is there some connection between the increased length, thicker rough, narrower fairways, increased bunker and other post "game-has-moved-on-since-then" difficulties similar to those we are seeing at Birkdale this week?
- After the 2005 Open Championship, you said "Hitting distances have reached a plateau. This is definitely happening; all this discussion that players are hitting the ball further is not true." If that is the case, then why are changes driven by distance gains continuing to be made at rota venues, and do you think these course renovations have a positive influence on the game?