That Geoff Ogilvy statement will have the howling players of the early 80s questioning his sanity, yet it's hard not to look at the old photos as Ogilvy has done and wonder if, other than some extreme and immature greens, maybe the lambasted version was ahead of its time?
Either way, we'll never know as Pete Dye hasn't stood up to Commissioner Monk's neat and tidy sterilization of the place and therefore we get a TPC Sawgrass which doesn't quite get the juices flowing like it could. Ogilvy explains in Golf World:
The fairways were beautifully maintained, but outside those playing areas there was an unkempt, Pine Valley-type feel to the place.
Not that I've ever seen any of that at Sawgrass. In my time on the PGA Tour, it has always been strictly maintained and manicured. Which is a pity. I'd like to see the course allowed to be a little more "wild." It's a bit too neat. It would be nicer to look at if it wasn't so nice to look at, if you know what I mean.
It could be done too. The green complexes are sufficiently challenging. You could get rid of the rough and create some interesting angles for the approach shots. Right now, scoring isn't easy even from the middle of every fairway, because that isn't necessarily the best place to be on any given hole. It isn't playing from the rough that makes the course so difficult, it is missing such undulating greens in the wrong spots.