"They're mediocre, lack subtlety and require a one-dimensional aerial game.”

In his weekly golf column, Tod Leonard highlights portions of Bradley Klein's recent Golfweek review of Torrey Pines.
With Torrey Pines South on the clock for the 2008 U.S. Open, the reviews of the course are going to be more discerning, and in some cases, more critical. Golfweek architecture writer Bradley S. Klein fired the first harsh salvo last week with a critique subtitled, “I thought U.S. Open courses were supposed to be special.”

Among Klein's thoughts:

“Torrey Pines has come a long way and is in far better management hands than it ever has been. But all of the changes there for the 2008 U.S. Open cannot mask an underlying truth about the monotonous structure of the golf holes. They're mediocre, lack subtlety and require a one-dimensional aerial game.”

“The USGA formula for Open setups – added length, narrow fairways, deep rough – is anathema to everyday golf. It also makes for boring championship play by reducing the game to one dimension. That's more prevalent at a simple layout like Torrey Pines South that has little fairway contour and no diversity of angles off the tee.”

“For everyday players, it's a slog. And for premier golfers, it's a game with little strategy, because favoring the safe side to those tucked pins still leaves a favorable uphill putt.”

“So why Torrey Pines South for a U.S. Open? No surprise here: It has to do with logistics, since a 36-hole facility is ideal for staging all the infrastructure. And because taking the national championship to a true municipal layout is the right thing to do politically. “But let's not get carried away by mistaking site election here for a branding of quality.”