Reader Sam wanted to know why I don't like it when Tiger Woods praises a course for being "right in front of you," (as he did again today with Warwick Hills and will inevitably do when he answers dumb questions lobbed his way by the inkslingers.) Oh, and check out the doozies he was asked today. No wonder he can't stand the media.
Anyway, the "right in front of you" thing is simple.
Woods, like Jones, Hogan and Nicklaus before him, thrives on strategic courses that reward local knowledge. These courses nearly always tend to contain mysterious design features. Even the ones that seem straightforward (Pebble Beach, Riviera), are loaded with subtlety and elusive qualities.
The elite players have always embraced this mystery and recognized that it separates them from the merely great player.
So for someone who adores the Old Course like Tiger does, it's hard to fathom why he also loves courses that are "right in front of you," when they have little to reveal after one or two rounds, and therefore, lack an intelligent purpose.
Then again, if Woods told the media that thoughts of Warwick Hills make for an ideal sleep aid, he'd be tarred and feathered as a negative, spoiled Tour pro. So he's probably wise to keep on repeating the same line.