I received a complaint from someone who said my recent Golfobserver.com column on Hootie was unfair. Why? Because this well-meaning soul said that Hootie shares the same feeling about the distance issue as folks like myself.
But actually there is a big difference. Well, several. First, most of us who like classic golf courses wouldn't hire Tom Fazio to mow them, much less alter them based on his track record.
But the primary point relates to something Olin Browne touched on in Rex Hoggard's Golfweek.com column:
"The powers that be have become offended by the big hitters."
This view came through loud and clear in Hootie's press conference ("If Hogan were hitting a damn pitching wedge.."). His anger over the situation is directed at the players, almost as if this were baseball and he was having to deal with juiced players.
But as comedian Robert Wuhl pointed out a few weeks ago, in golf the equipment is juiced, not the players.
Hootie and those trying to offset eye-opening driving distances need to direct their frustration toward the governing bodies, not the players or even course designers.
The "big hitters" and manufacturers are simply doing what they are allowed under the rules.
The rulemakers--many of them members at Augusta National--are the ones who have let the game down.