Thanks to reader John (as always) for John Paul Newport's WSJ column, this time looking at the race for more green speed in light of this week's R&A course setup boondoggle.
Insights from Ran Morrissett and Rees Jones stood out:
In recent years, the introduction of heartier bentgrass varieties that can thrive when cropped to an eighth of an inch or even shorter, plus other advanced agronomic techniques, have ushered in an era of expensive green-speed oneupsmanship among clubs. "It's like a nuclear-arms race. Nobody wins," says Ran Morrissett, host of the authoritative Web site GolfClubAtlas.com.And...
The pity, both at older courses and at some new ones, is how many potentially great hole locations have been lost because of galloping greens. "Once you reach a certain speed, the greens just aren't as interesting anymore, because it limits the type of places you can put the holes," says Mr. Morissett. In the olden days, rapping the ball up and over undulations and banking it off slopes was a fun and challenging part of the game. "I'm not sure it didn't take as much skill to putt those old greens as it does the modern fast ones," says Mr. Jones. "There was a lot of technique involved in hitting the ball properly. Now the players basically just have to guide the ball, tap it in the right direction."