The bigwigs gathered to plug the upcoming Deutsche Bank event at TPC Boston, and they even included my pal Gil Hanse to talk about the course architecture. Even though you and I know we'll be watching to see those exciting FedEx Cup point permutations unfold.
RIC CLARSON: I wonder if the members of the Green Bay Packers when they won the very first Super Bowl in 1967, which wasn't even called the Super Bowl then, realized their place in history. The fact of the matter is they knew it was a big game and an important game, but they didn't realize that the way that New England's fans realized it when the Patriots won the Super Bowl. Thus we embark on a new era in golf called the FedExCup.Wow Ric, how long did you spend sculpting that gem?
Adam Scott, the very first winner of the Deutsche Bank Championship, you never get a second chance to be first, and we're delighted on behalf of the PGA TOUR after 24 years to actually have a season now that is structured like other sports where our athletes have the chance to not only perform over a 33-week regular season but a four-week Playoffs.
Some of the greatest moments in sports come from Playoffs. Some of the greatest moments in golf have happened right here at the Deutsche Bank, and when you combine those two ingredients, we think we're in for a great new era in golf.
Some of the greatest moments in golf have happened at the Deutsche Bank? And you say you don't learn things coming to this website?
BRAD FAXON: I just want to say here, I've been part of the TPC since day one when we broke ground here. It's been six or seven years ago we broke ground. We always needed a facility like this, and I'm proud to say that the TPC of Boston is the best TPC in the country, especially now with what's been done, with everybody partnering now to make this tournament, the Deutsche Bank tournament, Seth, the TPC, the PGA TOUR, to go ahead and let us make changes to make this tournament-worthy golf course.
Easy Brad, let's break 'em in slow!
Like Seth said, everybody knows Deutsche Bank is on Labor Day. We're going to have an unbelievable field, and I'm pretty excited to see the reaction of all the players when they come here and see a course that was maybe liked but not super-well-liked, and hopefully the changes that you're going to get to see now, you're going to say, wow, this is different, this is a New England-style golf course, this looks old, it looks like it's been here. The bad lies and the bad shots that you get today are going to be Gil's fault (laughter).
And from Gil:
As Brad mentioned, what we were really hopeful of doing was trying to create a golf course that looked and felt a little bit more like New England. So I think the touches that you'll see out there will really be reflective of we borrowed literally and liberally from The Country Club, places that are close to our hearts, great old New England golf courses, drop mounds, some blind shots, fescue edged bunkers, fescue out in the rough areas. So hopefully the golf course will feel and look a little bit more rustic and a little bit more like New England.
From a playability standpoint, these guys are so good that I'm skeptical that there's anything we can do from a physical standpoint to limit or restrict what they do. You can always make bunkers so deep, you can only grow rough so thick and tall and you can only have greens so fast.
But what we really tried to concentrate on is the place where I think is the most vulnerable is the mental aspect, trying to make them have to think significantly of different options and different ways to play golf holes, making them feel uncomfortable over shots because they can't quite see the bottom of the flagstick or they might have been in a bunker or on an island and they don't quite have a perfect lie. I think these are the things that architects are going to have to rely more and more on as we go forward with technology and as good athletes as these gentlemen are and the way they play the game.
So hopefully you'll find more strategy, more areas -- I think Pete Dye has a phrase, "Once you get these guys thinking, they're in trouble." I think that's what we're hoping for is we can make them think a little bit more as they go around the golf course and explore different options and opportunities.
Tiger then joined in at this point and he artfully sidestepped questions about the course changes he hasn't seen yet.
The Boston Herald's Joe Gordon played the renovated course in the post press conference media gathering and came away impressed.
With help from Barrington, R.I., tour player and budding architect Brad Faxon plus input from some previous winners of the Deutsche Bank Championship (including defending champ Tiger Woods), Hanse has succeeded admirably.
At yesterday’s media day, the course looked ready to take on a field of 120 players on Labor Day weekend in the second event in the four-tournament playoff series.
The project on the par-71 layout began last September, and work actually proceeded under flood lights.
The course was shortened from 7,488 yards to 7,257, with the par-4 fourth going from a 436-yard dogleg right to a straight, drivable par-4 of 298 yards. The par-3 16th was reduced from 211 yards to 161 with a pond expanded toward the front of the green.
The number of bunkers was reduced from 103 to 52. The greens were made smaller. More than 600 linear feet of dry-stack rock wall was constructed. Chocolate-drop mounds were incorporated, while ridges were created on fairways to force those who miss the desired landing area to face problems in visualizing the next shot.
The bunkers now have a hand-made appearance, rather than machine-made look. They appear more natural, unkempt and less manicured. The reconstruction of several holes will affect the playability in that the ground game can be introduced, especially on holes 5, 9, 11 and 17.
Hanse credited colleagues Jim Wagner and Matt Staffieri for their work and raved about TPC of Boston superintendent Tom Brodeur.