Reviewing The Grove

Joe Passov reviews WGC AmExpress host The Grove and loves it. Peter Dixon sounds a little less excited in The Times:
In almost every respect, the event at The Grove, just outside Watford, has the look of a fully-fledged PGA tournament. More specifically, the course, designed by Kyle Phillips, an American, has been set up in just the same way — a touch of Americana plonked right in the middle of the Home Counties.
Jim Furyk had some interesting things to say in his news conference:
You know, not the golf course I think you would expect coming to England or coming to London. It had a very new style of architecture to it with the green complexes, falloffs, collection areas off the edge of the greens, not something I was anticipating before I got here.

But it's definitely a golf course that looks like it's been built in the last 10 to 15 years. I'm not sure when it was built, but it has a very new feel to it.

I came over here a couple weeks ago, playing Wentworth. Even though it had undergone a facelift with Ernie it has a very traditional feel to it, old style, and I didn't know what to expect coming to The Grove. But when we all think of coming to London, we don't think of anything really all that new, because they're kind of old and classic, at least I do.

So it has a little different feel to it than I expected. But the golf course is in very good shape. The turf is fantastic on the greens. The fairway and rough in areas is extremely thick and penal. It's got some very difficult holes on it, 8 and 9 come to mind right off the bat, long par 4s with pretty tight fairways, difficult green complexes on both of those. So it'll be I think it'll be a decent test.

Yesterday the greens were quite soft and rolling very well, which always yields pretty good scores.

The course I think could play pretty tough right now. It seems like the setup is going to field some decent scores.

Q. Do you actually prefer when you come to London, do you feel almost cheated if you don't get the classic?

JIM FURYK: No, I don't feel cheated. I think I prefer a classic golf courses in the States or whatever. It's not a secret I'm not a real big fan of modern architecture for the most part, but the golf course is fine. A lot of the golf courses that we play on in the States are of a modern architecture, and I tend to pick the ones we play on our Tour. Most of the courses that I really like were probably built pre 1960 and are a little bit more traditional, and I grew up on courses built in the early 1900s at home when I grew up playing the game. It might not be old for here, but it's old for home. Stuff that I enjoy playing.

I think had I grown up in Florida or had I grown up in an area where modern architecture was a little bit more popular, that probably would be the way I would be swayed because it looks good to your eye what you grew up on.