Week After Anti-Bombing Gripes, TPC's Anti-Bombing Change Causes Gripes

Last week some players were mad that Glen Oaks' 18th favored Dustin Johnson's ability to hit a super-human length drive under pressure and be rewarded. This week at TPC Boston, the newly updated 12th is causing consternation because it's forcing players to consider possible routes interrupted by bunkering, some a play down the 13th hole possible according to AP's Doug Ferguson who predicts many players will go all Lon Hinkle on us.

Brian Wacker at GolfDigest.com has some of the player reaction, including Paul Casey calling the hole awful. That's an eye-opener given his general astuteness, appreciation of centerline hazards and understanding that you can't judge a hole by one practice round.

However, architect Gil Hanse, who oversaw the changes along with Jim Wagner, is preaching patience and is not shy in suggesting that hazards were placed to prevent the bombs away approach found to be so upsetting last week.

Rex Hoggard at GolfChannel.com allows Hanse to explain the thinking behind the hole and need to consider it after more than just one impression.

“The expectation was it would take several rounds for these guys to learn how to play it and how they wanted to tackle it,” he said. “Unfortunately, some of the early reaction came after one practice round.

“The conversation we’ve had with three or four players is, 'Listen, just give it three or four rounds. Try to figure it out.' If we build a golf hole that the players can figure out after one round, then we probably haven’t done our job challenging them.”

And on preventing the new 12th from giving long hitters a distinct advantage:

“This golf course, rightfully or wrongly, has always been characterized as a bomber’s golf course,” said Hanse, who lengthened the 12th by 50 yards. “So when you’re making alterations, you have that in the back of your mind, and you don’t want to be seen increasing that advantage. We felt like the positioning of these hazards gives the average guy room to hit the ball. But as you want to push around 330, it gets more narrow.”