My Final Word On Bigger Par, Longer Courses, and Narrower Fairways
Do whatever you want, baby! Make par 80 for 18 holes. Make the fairways really narrow. Make the course really long. I can promise as a dyed-in-the-wool golfomaniac that someone different will win every week. When one of the greats gets on a run, that train won’t pull in the station for anyone. Heck, I’ve seen Billy Andrade get on a run, winning two in a row and challenging at a major.
Just as our swings get quite off track, so does the professional swing deviate microscopically from the zenith. That miniscule deviation, however, is enough to cost three or four strokes minimum over four rounds, and take the favorite out of contention. If a player can make up for this shortcoming with an extraterrrrestrial (too many ‘R’?) short game, bravo. The road less traveled makes quite a difference.
Having played Tom Doak’s roller-coaster back nine at Pacific Dunes, near Bandon, Oregon, the idea of something more than 2 par 3s, 2 par 5s, and 5 par 4s has found a home in my heart. I like short and long holes, and find myself often beaten down by an endless series of par 4s (which Doak does on his front nine.) What makes his front nine at Pacific Dunes different is that every par 4 hole is like playing two par 3s. You need to get to point A to see point B. If not, it’s recovery time.
None of the courses at Bandon measures more than 6800 yards from the blacks. The greens are St. Andrean in size and roll. If you build it properly, score will be protected.
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