Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Was Turnberry The Open Winner?

Are majors getting too easy for the Tour? Should the world’s best players be regularly carding ten, twelve or even fifteen under par? Are the courses less of a test than they should be? Should the courses be set up to give final scores within +or- 5 from par?

In an attempt to Tour-proof some of our greatest courses, holes have been redesigned, with dog-legs introduced into the fairways and the rough and semi-rough brought closer and grown higher - the narrowest fairway at Turnberry is under ten feet wide. The 10th has also been redesigned to bring the coastline into play. It now requires at least a 200-yard carry over the rocks from a tee perched on an outcrop by the lighthouse – while the course is almost 250 yards longer overall. This mitigates against the power game, ensuring a real test of skill, and hopefully reigning in the absurdly low scores we sometimes see. (Interestingly the joint lowest score ever posted in Major championship history was 63 scored at Turnberry in 1986 by Greg Norman, another ‘old timer’ still gracing the Tour today.

The weather will perhaps deal the cruelest hand of all at links courses like Turnberry. Wind and rain set in on day 2, and of the first 54 golfers out on the course that day, only four were under par as the breeze increasingly picked up off the Firth of Clyde and light rain began to make the rough soggy. Its just these conditions when you need a good golf waterproof.

With all this in mind is The Open the greatest test of skill and should other follow the example?

1 comment:

tracy m said...

well if this is true, where was Tiger?
This should maybe help answer the question, it seems to be a very challenging course even for the pro's.
Sink and Watson were only 2 under for the last day that went into a playoff round.

Blog Archive