Great hearing the Commissioner tell the NBC boys at Bay Hill about the new irrigation system that allows them to water on the roughs and not the fairways. I'm so glad MacKenzie and Behr aren't here to see this! Anyway...
Ryan Herrington looks at the TPC Sawgrass renovation and includes this quote from the Tour:
"We spend a lot of time talking to our tournaments about the need to upgrade what they do," said Bob Combs, the tour's senior VP for communications. "Yet we're the marquee event, and if we're going to urge others to keep raising the standard, we have to show them what it is."
I'm having a hard time envisioning that $16-18 million clubhouse renovations and $6-8 million course upgrades are that necessary for one week of Tour play. Especially when the course redo motivation is driven in part by a dislike for low scores, as this Garry Smits story pointed out:
Since Greg Norman torched the Stadium Course for a record 24 under in winning the 1994 Players, the Tour has attempted to set the course up with firm fairways and greens and high rough. In years when there wasn't much rain, that has been accomplished. An example was 1999, when David Duval won at 3 under, the highest winning score in Stadium Course history.
But if the area experiences a wet winter, there's not much Klauk could do with the current course to help drainage, as too much organic material has built up near the surface of fairways, causing them to be slow to drain.
The contrast between wet and dry has been dramatic. During years the Tour considered dry, the average winning score was 8.5-under-par. During years considered wet, the average winning score was 13.6 under, according to PGA Tour statistics.