Mark O'Meara jumps on the Augusta National criticism bandwagon while bemoaning the power game in a guest commentary for Scotland on Sunday:
The game is changing. Creativity doesn't seem to be as important as it once was.
The power game is more dominant than it has ever been. And guys who hit the ball as far as me have little or no chance to beat the bombers.
While I think the ability to hit long drives should always be rewarded, any advantage gained should not be overwhelming.
More length and more rough at Augusta National - so far, at least - hasn't really scared any of the big-hitters. The rough isn't so deep that you can't play out of it and it also has the effect of slowing the course down. Where wayward tee-shots used to run into the trees, they are now more often stopped from doing so by the longer grass. To me, that runs contrary to the way the course was originally designed.
Specifically, I think holes like the first and the now not so-short fourth would have been better left alone. Now, our opening tee-shot has to fly more than 330-yards just to make it over the bunker at the top of the hill. So a guy who carries the ball about 275 yards has really been taken out of the equation. That's just one example of where the power player 'who already has an in-built edge' has his advantage multiplied by the extra course yardage.
The sad thing is, I'm not sure any of the changes were really necessary. If I was in charge at Augusta I would have kept the course at around 7,100 yards and I would have eliminated any and all rough.
Instead, I'd cut the fairways tight, all the way to the tree lines, where the ball would run onto the pine needles. You'd either be in the fairway or on the pine needles under the trees. That would neutralise the power player enough that the shorter-hitter could compete.
Or you could just address the equipment that has helped fuel the distance disparity?