What should have been a quiet week in May produced several interesting comments from noted Tour players, and plenty of great stuff as usual from you readers. Thanks as always for the laughs and insights. Some highlights:
On the news that Donald Trump had cleared a vital hurdle with his Scottish course by preventing windmills from being raised within view, Scott noted, "If the location of the golf course is also a good place for windmills, then the golf played there is going to very difficult. There are not very many successful golf courses built where the wind always blows. (why would you build a windmill farm in a place without constant winds?) But what does Donald Trump golf designs know about site location and prevailing winds?"
Regarding Ben Crane's inability to speed up, earning him yet another lecture (but no penalty) from the Tour, OldSchool writes, "The neglect by PVB to deter this professional conduct unbecoming of a professional at Q-School and even on the Nationwide Tour has added to this topic. Rory made a bad decision last year on how to deal with this, to date it's the only real decision that has been made. Where Rory drew a ton of outrage over that incident, he also helped bring the awareness level way up. What's happened to Ben Crane thus far, nothing?"
Speaking of the Tour, their rumored FedEx Cup points system continues to be met with plenty of questions. Reader J.P.: "Skewing points for Majors and WGC's, (and THE PLAYERS) is ridiculous. The PGA Tour has been running all sorts of "incentivizing" plans since 1998. These plans have all worked as designed, putting more money into top players pockets, while allowing these players to continue to play only 18 to 20 tournaments a year."
Meanwhile J.T. loves the new logo unveiled: "I thought your art department must have spent a few minutes coming up with that logo, but then I realized that it was the real thing. Brilliant design, how do these people come up with such creative ideas!!!"
On the thrilling news that the PGA will be returning to Oak Hill in 2013, Stan DeBarons reports enthusiastically: "I just got off the phone with my travel agent. I've secured for August 2013, a hotel room for the week as well as tickets for the Rochester Dinner Theater's production of Fiddler On The Roof for friday night."
Photos were posted of the new look Ohio State course, dubbed a "Nick-enzie" by Jack Nicklaus and host to this week's NCAA Women's Championship won by Duke. Reader AP Maran writes, "As MacKenzie said regarding bunkers 'It is often possible to make a hole sufficiently interesting with one or two bunkers the most,' and here we see a lot of bunkers added, many of them with Nicklaus favorite type with the tongue of grass in the middle, none resembles a MacKenzie bunker. the two in 12th and 13th are hideous monsters, freak show."
RM wrote, "1. The visual experience of this course is now dominated by the bunkering. The bunkers don't seem to flow with the rest of the course. 2. I believe the brown dirt bunkers gave the course a more natural feel. I love Augusta, but the glaring white sand is not always a good look. 3. If I were a student, I'd rather play the old course for $18 than the new course for $30. I'm sure there is some local muni that will see a rise in student play."
Now, for those player remarks. On Davis Love's assertion that there have been minor advances in equipment, Steven T. writes, "Minor advances in equipment? Will Titleist cut him off of his 5M/year deal now?" OldSchool wrote, "With all the minor advances in equipment, why all the major renovations in golf courses?: And DK: "Minor? Hell by his own words Mickelson has gained about 80yds since 1997."
Jim Furyk and Colin Montgomerie called for the golf ball to be rolled back this week, prompting Sean Murphy to say, "Interesting to finally see more of the games elite players speaking out about the state of the game (the distance SNAFU), especially since the PGA Tour is dependent on TV ratings, and where John Hawkins has informed everyone on how low and miserable those ratings go. People are tired of watching "Long Drive Contest Scrambles". It's not golf and has little appeal when compared to how golf use to be played at the professional level."
The rough harvest at uh, "The Foot," as dubbed so dreadfully by Tim Rosaforte, is going well if you like lots of rye grass, but not so well in the view of Walter Driver, who whipped out his Blackberry to message staffer Mike Davis.
NRH: "The head of the USGA using a Blackberry on the course? God help us." And Pete the Luddite: "Let's hope that they do something about what can only be a debacle in the making and set the rough up better than described. I don't think they will, though. Players and fans may complain, but as long as the tv ratings and ticket sales are up, why change, right?"
R. Thompson wrote, "I'm situating myself for another Major let down at Winged Foot. Tapered rough, and wind mills on the greens, who are these clowns in the blue blazers? They are the Ivy League, badminton, intermural, all star team. It's obvious these fellows couldn't beat there way out of a wet paper bag."
Ian Woosnam's assertion that shorter players have little future touched off several comments. Steve White wrote: "Did he watch last week's playoff at Colonial? Richard S. Johnson is 5-7 and still managed to hit the drive on the second hole of the playoff just shy of 300. I also don't see Tim Herron, who hit his drive on the same hole 350 yards, as a fitness obsessed player, yet he managed to get to the winner's circle. These kind of generalizations in Woosnam's answers are meaningless, at best.
Reader Dean didn't agree: "You're right Steve, every leader board is chock full of overweight gluttons pounding 350 yard drives and yet some 5'7, working his ass off overtime, manages to walk a tight rope some given week to prove that distance is not an issue. Wether its Clark at Augusta or Johnson at Colonial, where are the rest of the 5,7 players filling up the leader board. Give us one leader board this year with 4 players under 5'9."
Finally, Brad Faxon touched off a firestorm with his remarks about the ball getting too much blame and athleticism being the source of future distance advances.
Glyn: "who said he never works out?...was that J.B. Holmes.? Must be natural athleticism. So if it's athleticism, it shouldn't matter what ball a pro uses right?"
Chuck: "...somebody needs to seriously get in Faxon's face about accusing Nickluas of holding to his position on golf ball developments because, 'If Jack Nicklaus had a successful ball, he would never say another word. But he's never sold a ball that's made a dime.' That says it all to me. Maybe Faxon is actually right. That players' opinions on balls are shaped -- determined, really -- by the company that they have their ball endorsement deals with. If so, I rest my case. Faxon, we know who you're working for. Please don't ever apologize for your statement, or retract it in any way. It is too valuable as ammunition in the ball-regulation battle. A question for the class -- Can anyone name one Titleist staff player who has openly talked about his or her views that the golf ball should be better regulated?"
And Barry: "See the movement of my pocketwatch, back and forth, back and forth....you are feeling very relaxed now...repeat after me..."distance is not changing the game"..."the ball is not a problem"..."this is not about the money..."