If I played Torrey Pines...
If I played Torrey Pines, I’d play the 14th from the forward tees every day for the rest of my life. It would be part homage, part ego massage. In terms of homage, I’d remember Tiger opting to lay up, a supreme example of mind over matter, then bang away with my war club, hoping for the eternal ace. Regarding ego massage, when given a choice among a 450 yard par four and a 270 yard version, is there a decision to be made? I agree.
If I were Mike Davis, I’d look to Bethpage Black and find the par four that could equal the 14th at Torrey Pines. It can’t come late in the round, as the only shortie is 18, and that cannot be driveable. The rest of the back nine two-shotters, even from the up tees, measure over 400 yards (no wonder the Red course rating is 78.9!) It can’t come too early (sorry, number two) for the sexiness would be lost. Sitting right at the turn, guarding the exit from the front nine to the back, is pretty little #9, all of 293 yards from the shorties. Why nine, you ask? Especially after it has been doctored to seemingly play longer?
The 9th hole has three changes to it. The new tee will add length and, combined with the new bunker built across the face of the upslope to the second plateau, will make a player trying to reach it with their drive a real risk/reward decision. In addition, the fairway is being cut much firther to the right and into the existing rough area.
Exactly that reasoning! If the pros play it long for two days, then arrive at the weekend and face a potential eagle, WOW! BPB doesn’t need excess length (see the new, 660-yard 13th hole tee,) only added creativity.
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