As the Open at Winged Foot looms, check out the Winged Foot journal section if you want to check out some of the posts that preview key holes. And to get in the mood, there were several articles worth reading from Westchester's Journal News as well as our second annual attempt to spot the %$#@% pairing.
Steve Elkington's U.S. Open sectional WD over not getting to wear spikes generated a heated discussion...
Smolmania: "Soft spikes make greens better. There's no doubt about it. Come out and see a public course like Dubsdread at 3 o'clock in the afternoon on Saturday. In the old days, the greens looked like there had been an army of elephants trampeling them. Not any more.
Chuck: "the Sectional application let players know in advance what courses were softspike-only. Elkington's position becomes undefensible in that regard -- he could have/should have known long before the qualifier date and acted accordingly.
NRH: In theory, I'm with Elk on this one...it is his profession. One day of a few guys wearing spikes will not ruin the greens and he is correct that it should be the same at every site.
JPB: "The USGA should address this and go spikeless at all the championships and qualifiers next year."
Brian: "Spike marks? What about the bottle cap depressions left with soft spikes by guys over 200 pounds? That's like putting through land mines. Give me spike marks any day of the week."
Peter Kostis wondered why there was no outrage over distance increases on the LPGA Tour and you, like I, just loved his logic.
Reader Barry: "About the time the power game was completely taking over men's tennis in the early 90s, people would trot out this same nonsense. 'Yeah, the men's game may be going to hell...but the women are fun to watch now...'
Be patient, Peter. Before you can say “brand identity," power will beat the life out the women's game too. And then we can kick back and watch robotic, artless play on both tours.
Chuck: "The last time Kostis bubbled up out of the murk of Fortune Brands' marketing offices, he was proclaiming that it was player fitness that was to "blame." If we only had 400 or 500 more 140-lb. 16 year-old girls to prove the point, I'd think he might have a real trend here..."
But besides Michelle Wie's attempt to qualify for the Open, the big story remained Jack Nicklaus's decision to furrow bunkers at Muirfield Village. More final verdicts...
Scott S: "So, if a host decided to use hard as rock greens, or fairways cut at 3/4 an inch, or bunkers which use native sand as opposed to doctored-in-a-lab Bunker Sand (TM), will we see the same complaints? All of these could be viewed as "contrivances" compaired to many tour stops, but are a regular part of life on many golf courses."
Matt: "I don't know about anybody else but I think it definitely takes skill to get the ball out of a bad lie in the sand-it's never just hack and hope. And surely ballstriking precision that avoids the bunkers in the first place is a more important skill than playing out of the bunkers themselves. The bigger issue is that fairways bunkers cannot be placed properly on a golf course anymore because of the disparity between long and short hitters. Just get the ball rolled back and there's no need for this hulabaloo about furrows."
D. Edgard: "Well played Mr. Nicklaus and everybody around trying to preserve the esence of the game,
JM: "I wonder if working with Tom Doak on Sebonack influenced Nicklaus in any way and made it easier for him to make this excellent decision. And it *was* possible to recover with a bit of creativity... I think Mickelson demonstrated this best on #6 when he windmilled it from the fairway bunker and sailed it 160 yards to within 5 feet of the hole. That was creative shotmaking."