Without Rough, Liberty National Shines

I would never advocate that the world of golf take any lessons from a $250 million+ golf course that looks like something out of a really bad cheesy 80s video game, but since Liberty National produced a super leaderboard for the 2013 Barclays it would be unwise to pass on yet another opportunity to point out how much better the game is without contrived, harvested, man-made rough.

John Hawkins on many topics in this week's Hawk's Nest, also addressed Liberty National's "overhauled" reputation which, in his "18 years covering the PGA Tour full-time, no course has overhauled its reputation as quickly and dramatically as Liberty National did last week."

Fifteen holes were altered in some form. Many of the putting surfaces were expanded and recontoured, which is a nice way of saying they dug up the elephants, but the problem in ’09 had more to do with all the humps in the original Tom Kite/Bob Cupp design.

Phil Mickelson has perfected the art of signing autographs, delivering the money quote and talking to drooling fans, all at the same time. “Imagine Augusta National with 24-yard-wide fairways and [heavy] rough,” he assessed. “The setup was fine once they turned the rough into a first cut. That brought out the strength of the golf course, which was the greens. You could play shots into them.”