Architects on Technology, Vol. 9038

Alan Tays in the Palm Beach Post talks to architects about the impact of technology and wonders when we'll see a 700 yard par-5.

"The Walker Cup was a joke," said Alice Dye, wife of fellow architect Pete Dye.

"I know that Tiger is strong and I know Vijay is strong, but those 21- and 22-year-olds carried a par-4 up there that was 354 yards."

Not all architects feel this way. Just most of them.

"There's a lot of people who believe the game is being ruined by the distance," Tom Fazio said. "I'm not so sure that I fit in that camp. It's really just following the way it always has been. I don't see it being bad for golf, myself.

"Jack Nicklaus used to hit it 300 yards. Now there's just more of them (who can)."

Asked if 700-yard holes could be in the future: "I'm not sure that that will happen. The scientists say the golf ball can't go much farther than it goes now. Of course, I heard them say that back eight years ago."

Regarding Merion at the U.S. Amateur: "They won't be hitting the famous 1-iron," Fazio said. "They'll probably hit 5-iron or 6-iron or 4-iron."

Tays writes that a 700-yard par-5 is nothing new. Just see The International in Bolton, Massachusetts.

"You stand on that back tee," said head pro Kevin Burnsworth, "you've got to kill it 250 yards to get it to the fairway, and then 20 yards ahead of that is the ladies' tee. So if you don't hit it 275, you're behind the ladies' tee, which is a little embarrassing."