As appalling as the rough or tree planting plays in light of Bobby Jones's eloquently stated design philosophy, it appeared Sunday that the lack of tee flexibility hindered the committee's ability to make a few holes more vulnerable.
Every time there was a wide view of a tee shot, it seemed the markers were placed as far forward as possible. On holes playing into the wind where you want to tempt players to attack (13, 15), there was no alternate tee between the back and forward tees that might have forced led to some more aggressive golf. (And therefore, perhaps more drama?)
Also knowing that Jones and MacKenzie were hoping to import elements of links golf to their inland site, tee flexibility would be seemingly vital to preventing what Jones lamented:
…with our own best courses in America I have found that most of our courses, especially those inland, may be played correctly the same way round after round. The holes really are laid out scientifically; visibility is stressed; you can see what you have to do virtually all the time; and when once you learn how to do it, you can go right ahead, the next day, and the next day, and the day after that.
I've never understood the club's obsession with the "clean" look of two sets of tees along with the odd decision to bulldoze the old tees when extending the course.
Add it to the list of architectural oddities that has the place just not playing as well as it should.