Bob Carney does a super job summing up the various debates and vigorous give-and-take that took place during the Golf Digest Panelist Summit, and offers this from Tom Fazio on his work at Augusta National. I missed his presentation today while flying the unfriendly skies. But it was a typically masterful blend of Fazio rationalization:
Fazio, who did that remodeling, was having none of it. "Put yourself in Hootie Johnson's postion. You are in charge. And you have the best players in the world and you have a venue that used to contain long, strong par 4s--No. 1, No. 5--that required a long drive and a mid-iron. What do you do. Well, it's a simple issue. You just fix it. You do it."
Yes, and it's been so well received.
Length, yes Tom. Rough, silly tree planting, no optional tee flexibility and an overriding emphasis on protecting egos through other contrived features? Not working.
Fazio suggested another exercise in imagination. He said imagine Donald Ross, today, watching Tiger Woods tee off on Pinehurst No. 2. The ball explodes off the tee. "Donald Ross has never seen anything like this, says Fazio. "What do you think he thinks? He's going to say, 'If that's the way golf is now, we need to look at that.'"
Yes, on the regulatory side. But since Fazio has openly encouraged the distance expansion, it's clear he has his own best interests at heart over the health of the game. What a shame.