A Blueprint For...?

Steve Elling talks to Arnold Palmer about possible changes to Bay Hill in response to modern day driving distances, something that first came up in his Sunday NBC interview.

Also on Palmer's might-do list is an overhaul of the sixth hole, a par-5 that curls like a semicircle around a large lake. After watching a couple of players blow 300-yard drives across the pond and hit short-iron approaches into the 558-yard hole, he wants to move the green back a few yards. "I think he'll mess that hole up if he does," Retief Goosen said. "I don't think he should mess with 6 -- it's a great hole as it is. It's all about excitement and going for that green [in two] and you'd see more guys laying up."
And this...
His two-year experiment with longer rough seems to have been a mixed bag. By forcing long hitters to play from the fairway, he placed a bigger value on shotmaking. But he also widened the number of potential winners.

Sunday, Palmer wasn't necessarily buying the argument that he had opened the door for pack of middle-tier players at the expense of the big boys like Woods, Vijay Singh and Ernie Els -- all long hitters with lengthy pedigrees at the course. Nor did he necessarily agree that he had retreated to a setup that could produce more winners such as Paul Goydos and Andrew Magee, journeymen who each claimed their lone and biggest tour titles, respectively, at Bay Hill.

If Palmer reins in the bashers, on balance, he likely will have to accept a few middle-tier players as winners.

"You are saying that, I'm not saying that," Palmer said when the notion was posed. "I can't answer that. I don't know. I honestly thought that Tiger would do well [he finished 20th], that this would be a good week for him."