I missed Mark O'Meara's sit-down with the assembled scribes at Torrey Pines today, but loved this from the transcript:
Q. A lot has changed in the last ten years. It's become a power game now. Do you wish that you could go back or guys could learn maneuvering the ball, hitting the ball different directions? It's kind of a lost art out here.
MARK O'MEARA: It is. That's why it's kind of fun certainly to watch what Tiger has done, the way -- he has the power; that's not an issue. But the cool thing about Tiger Woods is he can hit an 8-iron 87 yards if he wants to. I think a lot of the other young players that are brought up in this modern era of power and distance, you have to hit the ball far to really compete nowadays. The creativity standpoint, that's kind of gone away, the fact that the equipment and the ball don't curve as much.
Would I like to see that change? As long as the equipment is legal, I have no problem with it. But I do agree with that. I think when I play with a player that plays some creative shots, that impresses me more than just somebody who's powerful and beats away.
You know, the conditions have kind of led into that. Everybody talks about how far everybody is hitting, and they think that's ruining the game. So they think, okay, to fix that we're just going to make the golf courses longer. But I'm not so sure that really fixes it because when you look at the game and you look at some of the most creative holes or the most talked-about holes in golf are usually the shortest ones. So it's kind of ironic that, okay, you can go play a 497- to 512-yard par-4, but it's pretty much bombs away.
Okay, the guys who are powerful are going to have a huge advantage over the average length players, and power players should have somewhat of an advantage. But I think if you want to mess with these guys you've got to create options. You've got to force them to think a little bit. There's more fear on a player's face when he's standing on the 12th tee at Augusta than there might be standing on the 12th tee at the South Course at Torrey Pines.