Merion Fairway Contours

merion14.jpgmerion16.jpgSo with all of this talk about Merion's meticulous restoration work to get the course resembling 1930, no one seems to mention the chintzy fairway gerrymandering to mask how short some of the holes would play if they had 1930 fairway contours.

For starters, what is this year's wood chip nursery running up the left side of 14 to force the players to play way out to the right?  Note in this 1930 aerial photo (left) how the 14th fairway hugs the road on the left.  Today there appears to be 10 yards of wood chips (or whatever that is) and another five or six yards of rough between chip nursery and fairway.

Also check out the photo of #16 (right) and how the fairway hugs the left fairway bunker. There looks to be 10-15 yards of rough to the right of that same bunker this week. As with #14, someone is trying to force the players out right to make the hole play longer because, well...the kids are just really working out a lot!

FYI: The lines indicate how Bobby Jones played the holes in his 1930 U.S. Amateur qualifying rounds.

And FYI II: The 14th green played today is not in the same location as the green site used in 1930. The green was shifted for the 1934 U.S. Open, and never restored to its original location. Same deal with the second green.