Q. In an ideal hypothetical annual schedule for you golfers, what would the ratio of these kind of courses to typical American courses be to your schedule?
CHRIS DiMARCO: I'd like to see more of these in the States, I really would. It's so much fun to play. I know TPC was meant to be played like this course, hard and fast, the ball running into the pine straw and into the trees and into some of those moguls they have out there, instead of the rough being seven inches and you just chop it out. Tampa plays a lot like that. Tampa is a great course, one of the favorites of all the players because of that. It's such an equalizer, because it doesn't favor the bombers if the fairways are hard and fast, because it makes the ball run into the trouble.
And when we're playing courses where the ball is hitting and literally your ball mark is a foot from your ball, it makes the fairways that much wider. And Vijay said it last year or year and a half ago, whatever, he said he has to hit it as far as he can on every hole because then he can hit a wedge on the green from the rough.
Until we do something about it, it's not going to make any difference. Until you have the balls go 20 yards off line, they might not hit drivers. For me, I was just telling Geoff today, Ogilvy, I said, it seems like it's been a long time since I ever hit a 3 wood off a par 4 tee. I feel like I hit 14 drivers, every round of golf we play, every course we play, because it seems every course we play it's 300 yards longer and the fairways are soft. And when you've got six par 4s over 470 with no roll, you have to hit driver.
The desirable length for a good course is from 6,000 to 6,400 yards. But bear in mind that it is quality, not quantity, that counts. In my work I repeatedly have had trouble making committees see the force of this. They seem possessed with the idea that length is the main desideratum. It is beyond all argument that many a long course is noticeably uninteresting, in contrast to shorter ones that are well thought-out and skillfully constructed. DONALD ROSS