Thursday, August 7, 2008

Are Oakland Hill's Par-3's Too Long?

I have tried and failed to find anything to make fun of about today's 1st Round at the PGA Championship (although who says golf without Tiger is boring -- Ken Duke is in 4th place!)

Anyway, I just feel compelled to say that I don't understand the gnashing of teeth by Tour pros over Oakland Hill's 9th hole: 257 yards and 17th hole: 238 yards. Lee Westwood, who was a favorite this week, shot 77 and when asked about the 17th, said:

"If the wind gets up you won't get there. I hit a three-iron and Zach Johnson hit five wood on 17. I sound as if I am moaning which I am but it is a great shame as it is a fantastic golf course, they are great greens and they are playable but there is no need to play it as it is."

He's upset because he had to hit a 3-iron? Or is it because he shot 77? Or perhaps it's because he failed to make the U.S. Open playoff by a stroke and failed to catch Vijay last week at Firestone even though Vijay putted like Frankenstein.

The par-3's are long, the course is probably set up a little too penal and the graduated rough should have been employed here too, but at this point, so what? It is what it is. Get your ball into the hole in the fewest strokes that you can.


Bobbio said...

Ditto. I picked him to win in my globally read blog. 3rd thing on British "worst" list, after teeth and food. Attitude.

courtgolf said...

Complaining or not, what is the point of making ridiculously long par 3's with THOSE greens ? I don't think Westwood was complaining about having to hit a 3-iron as much as how the hole is set up as opposed to how it was designed to be played.

Those greens are not made or set up to accept long irons, much less 3 or 5 woods - and I'm guessing a couple of drivers. They are hard as rocks and heavily bunkered in front. There is no run up area for the shorter hitters.

If you can't throw a long iron or fairway wood a mile into the air and have it come down like a wedge, it is almost impossible to make a great shot.