2005 Majors In Review

John Huggan reflects on the 2005 majors and wonders if we're being cheated by not getting to see Tiger and friends playing certain shots, or playing courses as they were designed to be played.

Still, though it is difficult to take one's eyes off a charging Tiger, the nagging feeling persists that technological advances in the ball and clubs actually prevent him from showing us his full shot-making repertoire. Yes, he can win by blasting away from the tee and wedging onto the greens from basically anywhere, but imagine how great it would be to watch the best-ever shaping shots into more distant targets. That he may never be asked to do just that is a source of lasting regret.

Indeed, the lengths - pardon the pun - to which the four major-running bodies of Augusta National, United States Golf Association, Royal & Ancient and PGA of America are forced to go to in order to keep scores within an acceptable range are becoming laughable. Not only are the game's best courses being stretched to breaking point by ever-longer balls and clubs, but their original design values and strategic questions are being lost amid a flurry of heavy rough and increasingly silly pin positions.