Heres what Phil Mickelson had to say about his club selection on 18 at Winged Foot while meeting with da medja in Chicago:
Fortunately what I have found has helped me play well or have that type of performances these past years in the majors is that I've done the prep work beforehand and I know what club selection I'm going to hit off each tee, given weather conditions, whether it's raining, whether it's hot or not. I already know and have known for weeks in advance what clubs I'm got to hit off each tee, so it's helped me approach the tee box with confidence knowing what club I'm going to hit.
It helped me when I hit the driver on 18 at Baltusrol on the last hole and ended up making a birdie. It helped me at The Masters knowing what club and what driver I was going to hit off each tee, and it helped me at the U.S. Open. Unfortunately I didn't execute the way I wanted to.
But it has erased a lot of the doubt as to the decision-making, what club am I going to hit, what club should I hit. I already know weeks in advance, and it helps me hit those shots and visualize those shots in practice before I ever show up the week of The Open.
But I'm wondering if his ability to select clubs in advance says something about the state of the game.
This is not a technology question, but I believe one about the state of course setup and course design.
Is there something wrong with setups and designs when a player of his magnitude (and others like him) know what they will be hitting on holes well in advance of tournament time?
Or to put it another way, is the golf more interesting and testing if the design and setup create decision-making situations that can not be made in advance?
Wind and the player's philosophy play a role in this, but isn't there something seriously wrong when some spontaneity is missing from the major championship equation?
I was both elated and troubled by Mike Davis's decision to announce the alternating of tees during the U.S. Open. Elated that he was doing it, troubled that he was giving everyone advance notice.
Don't we learn who is most skilled by finding out who can handle a club selection and playing strategy question under pressure?
Enough rambling...your thoughts?