All of which begs the question: Can a man win on a course where he sees glaring flaws around every corner, even Amen Corner?
"I think 11 is terrible, to be honest with you," Ogilvy said as he waited to play in the par-3 contest with Scott and K.J. Choi on Wednesday. "They've halved the width of the fairway. It's not the length. A lot of guys hit it over 300 yards now and the ball is going to run, so most guys out here are going to have only 180, 190 yards downhill to the green. That's only a 7-iron so that's not bad. But the narrowness—it's almost a dogleg to the right now. I don't think it's what Bobby Jones wanted. I don't like it at all. The narrowness is stupid."
Maybe so, but Ogilvy, who is something of a golf course architecture buff in addition to being a heavy-metal guitarist, was blunt about other changes, as well. Of the lengthened, 240-yard par-3 fourth hole, he said, "It's longer than it needs to be." Of the narrow, uphill, 450-hard seventh: "They took away all the choice off the tee, which is what was intended when it was designed. There's no option. You have to hit it hard and straight. I don't like it."
Nobody designed this course. Nobody with a pencil and $2 million and five bulldozers. This was made by nature. It comes out of the ground. It was done with wind and rain and sun and the help of a few sheep. And so, while, for most Americans and other people, it’s not love at first sight at St. Andrews. St. Andrews’ Old Course is like a dry martini, an acquired taste, and, as such, it remains with you forever. JACK WHITAKER