I'll spare you of reading the transcript which was filled with several nice rally kills. Here's Jack Nicklaus on the new fairway mowing patter, the new bunker raking concept, and other things he's done to the course (there's more hole-by-hole talk if you go to the full transcript):
The other thing that we did one thing we did with the fairways, was that about for the last couple, three years, I keep looking on television and seeing the checkerboard on the thing and I said I just don't like it. It's pretty, but it doesn't look like a golf course, it looks like something else. You know what I'm talking about? The way we cut the fairways in the cross cutting.And, this is where it gets kind of silly when you really think about it...
I liked the look of Augusta, but I don't like cutting the fairway into you, because I think that's I don't like that, because I think it makes you hit flyers, because the grass is lying into you, and I think it's not a it slows down the golf course, that's why they did it was to slow down the golf course. I felt like the other way around, I like my golf course fast, and I felt like it's much nicer lie to play with the grass lying down towards the hole. It's a much better shot, the fairways will play faster, so the balls can run farther. I don't mind that the course kept playing shorter, because it makes the fairways shorter. We cut the fairways all in one direction.
The last thing we did is a couple of weeks before the tournament I called and I said, "Would you make a call to the Tour and ask them what they want to do with the bunkers?" We spend money every year, to try and deep even the bunkers, do different things and the bunker has ceased to become a penalty. And I said if we came back actually even if we raked them the way we did when we started the tournament, we'd have an uncertainty of what the lie was. We were probably the cause of bunkers being perfect today. They used to rake them with a pretty good sized rake and it was clumpy, and the ball really never set very well in the bunker. And we started working here, how do you make a bunker so it really is a nice lie so you really have a clean lie out of it, and so that everything is consistent. We developed that rake that is used, the round rake, and that was our development here. And we took that and that's what everybody uses today.
Now all the bunkers are so perfect, there's no penalty anymore. Bunkers are really supposed to be a penalty. I don't care about them being a penalty, penalty, right now guys look at a par 5, if I don't get it on the green, and put it in the bunker, I know I can get it up and down and we move on.
I asked the Tour, and they have been telling the guys all year, the honeymoon is over, the bunkers are going to be a penalty. I said, "When are you going to do that?" We haven't done it yet. I said, "We can start it right here if you want to." And they said, "Fine."
We developed a rake here that put us on I think I think it's center of the middle of the tines are like two and a half inches, when means two inches spread between the spread of the rake. And it gives you a little bit of a waffling in the bunker, and it can be you can get a good lie or you might not get a good lie. And particularly in the fairway bunkers, if you hit it in the fairway bunker, you've got an option before you hit it in the fairway bunker that's most of the bunkers that were changed, to have a penalty off the tee shot, if you hit it in the bunker they hit it so far, and it doesn't make any difference, unless the bunker is 25 feet deep. I'll never forget the one they did at 5 on Augusta, and hoot I said no one is going to knock it out of here. I said, "That won't make a difference." And so anyway, that was sort of the issue. And so rather than having to change the bunkers all the time, we'll continue to change our bunkers, now we've got to get them consistent to all the bunkers on the golf course, we continue to change a few every year, but now I want them so when you hit the ball they say, "I don't really want to be in that bunker." But if they get in it then they have a chance of having a penalty. That was sort of the idea.
The Tour liked it, the Tour supported it 100 percent, and that's what we're doing.
Q. Jack, is there any strategy to raking the bunkers with these rakes? In other words, having the furrows run parallel toward the green or perpendicular?And...
JACK NICKLAUS: We had it going the other way, but the Tour said they wanted it the other way. I don't care how you do it, I could care less. I think the Tour probably said it's not quite as much a penalty if you go towards the hole. I don't care which way you go. All I'm trying to do is make the guy think he doesn't want to be in the bunker, and it's not the place to aim for. To the right of 18. They don't want to be in the water, guys have tried tried to drive over the bunker, some still can, but they didn't mind being in the first bunker to the right, because it was a fairly flat, low profile bunker and you could play the ball. I can't figure out a way to deep even that bunker, so let's just make the lie uncertain. That way the guy is not going to just want to be in that bunker.
Q. Compared to Oakmont type bunker, how do they compare?And...
JACK NICKLAUS: When I played in '62, you took a sand wedge and hit it out, that's all you could do. That was much deeper than what we have now. That was a big that was probably that deep (indicating), probably a ball deep and it was sort of like that (indicating). This is two inch spread, actually from edge of the rake to the edge of the rake, and it puts a thing but not nearly as severe as that.
Q. You talked about when you played at Oakmont you had to hit them out with sand wedges, would you like to see them back to that, or do you think that's too dramatic now?
JACK NICKLAUS: It would be okay. Why do you put a bunker on a golf course? I think there's two reasons three reasons, one, is esthetically it's very pretty, it gives you a framing issue. Two, it guides you around the golf course or three, it's penal. It could be one of those three. To this point in time they've been esthetically pleasing and they guide you around the golf course, but they haven't been penal. So I think that third element needs to come into it. I thought that for a long, long time.
The proverbial technology question...didn't even get out before Jack jumped in, followed by a nice rally killer...
Q. I was going to ask you what, as technology keeps on you have guys hitting
JACK NICKLAUS: I hope in technology, somebody wakes up, eventually, to technology.
Q. On the subject of psychology, has that changed the art of shot making, does that still exist, or do people just hit it as far as they can?