Courtesy of reader Stan, who kindly typed this from the current Golfweek (since I'm still waiting on an issue with a March dateline to reach the apparently hard-to-reach home of the homeless):
Hall of Famer Tom Kite never won a Masters, but he had a splendid record there, racking up 11 top-6 finishes, including three seconds. He knows a thing or two about what it takes to excel at Augusta National. When the Man Out Front asked Kite whether a medium-length hitter could contend routinely as he did given the course changes, the topic stirred some passion.
"I can understand making the golf course stand up to technology," Kite said. "Unfortunately they're responding to what's happening with just a top few players. From what I've heard has been done, I don't know if Arnold (Palmer) could've won there. (He won there four times) He made such good recovery shots, but if you hit a 3-iron, you're not going to hit the green. It takes that ability away."
Palmer and Jack Nicklaus got Kite's attention when they expressed concern over the latest National changes. Kite says he understands why courses have to be lengthened. And he gets fired up talking about it.
"If the manufacturers continue to run the game, I think the game is in for a long, tough road," he said. "The rule-making body (USGA) is not making rules for the game. The manufacturers are, and their No. 1 goal is to sell product. The game has changed so dramatically in the last six, eight years. What's happened is a joke. It's mind-boggling, compared to how much change there was over the last 100 years. Everything is based on speed. It's not based on ball-striking. If you want a good game, you can go buy it."
And with these comments, I guess it's time to debut a still-very-much-under-construction page on this site, called simply "The List."
The List features comments and links from just a few noted names in the golf world who have expressed concern about the distance issue, and their suggested remedies.
I have yet to go back into my archives of stories to post pre-2005 statements, but for now, The List should give you an idea where just some of golf's bigger names stand on the distance issue. Naturally, I welcome reader submissions to help make the list more definitive.