Has there ever been a more conscise summary of what the distance issue is all about?
We have about 16,000 courses in the United States. Almost all of them are obsolete for tournament play. For them to become relevant, we need to roll back the ball about 40 yards. That or rebuild all the fairway bunkers at 300 yards. Which is what we’re doing, and it costs a fortune. Instead of changing equipment, we’re changing golf courses. It’s great for my business. I’m making a living redoing my old courses. But the game should be able to go back to the classic courses just as they are. Why should we be changing all those golf courses? It’s ridiculous.
Trying to build great courses today is more complicated than ever. I’ve decided it’s best to basically design for the enjoyment of the average golfer. That’s what works best for the owners, who are selling memberships and selling their land. I was once accused of designing courses that were too severe. A lot of that was because I was designing a lot of tournament courses.
Creating a true challenge for the best professional players for one week of golf makes it too tough for the average player who is going to play it the rest of the year. I’ve come to the conclusion that the only way to make the game better for more golfers is to take the driver out of the hands of the elite player. So I tighten up the landing areas for them. It’s kind of a sad compromise, but I think it’s the only solution we’ve got.
Actually, it's not a sad compromise if we could just make driver absolutely worthless on all championship courses. Then driver sales would plummet and just maybe some of the companies would say wait a second we need to roll back the...ah forget it, what was I thinking?