In recent years we've been subjected to plenty of stories praising the tree planting, rough and other shenanigans at Augusta National. Now that Hootie's gone, it will be interesting to see if any scribblers try to tell us that the new "premium on accuracy" is all that it's been cracked up to be. Remember, for the last few years we've heard that we need to see the course fast and firm to judge whether the lengthening, tacky tree planting or ridiculous rough could be considered an improvement.
The lengthening perhaps, but that the soft conditions exposed that the course lacked elasticity, leading to additions to the 11th and 15th tees this year (again, that should have been anticipated by the architect).
But more important is the notion that there has been so much criticism of the changes. As Geoff Ogilvy noted in John Huggan's Sunday piece:
...for 60 years not a bad word was said about the place and for the last five a lot of very important people have been very critical.
Does this onslaught (and the likelihood that we'll read few pieces praising the rough and trees) speak to just how awful the changes have been?
Or is it more of a statement about how much Hootie Johnson was feared and disliked?
Or a bit of both?