After playing his first Open, Luke List is wishing the USGA mimic the R&A in setup philosophy, reports Tony Jimenez for Reuters.
A similar refrain was repeated many times by players, observers and fans who enjoyed the tough-but-fair and noticeably faster golf, though as I note in this assessment of Carnoustie for Golfweek, the issue is layered but also incredibly simple: green speeds made the difference between complimenting Carnoustie's architecture, and ruining it.
Pace of play was noticeably better and as a "product," The Open proved infinitely more pleasurable to watching without having to spend so much time watching players grind over short putts for four days.
While professional golfers are praising the R&A coming off the U.S. Open setup issues, there were more than a handful of silly hole locations saved only by green speeds in the high 9s when leaders reached them. Had the USGA slowed greens at Shinnecock down to the high 9's, there would have been softer and bumpier conditions that today's spoiled-by-bent-grass players would loathe. But on a seaside links with a blend of poa, fescue and bent, with a links mindset, the players are more accepting of a bumpiness.
And really, the ball goes too far.
On another day we can continue to lament how much course setup manipulation must take place to mask regulatory mistakes and debate how vital it is for golf to slow greens down.
In the meantime, I'd prefer to celebrate a magnificent week at Carnoustie made special by Mother Nature baking out an outstanding course. As I note in the Golfweek piece, Carnoustie has had a troubled relationship with the rota at times, but brilliant maintenance management by Craig Boath's team, mostly great work by the R&A and a hot, dry summer allowed the links to remind people of its great strategic character.