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Cashew Lou's Yukon Annex

I've got Pop-Pop in the attic.

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Okay, there is a goofy little "controversy" surrounding the Memorial Golf Tournament in my old stomping grounds up there in Columbus, Ohio.

(*pauses to wave to trdsf!*)

To quote an MSN.com news article:

In an experiment that did not go over well with players, wooden rakes with 2 inches between the deep tines are leaving high furrows in the bunkers in an attempt to make them play like hazards.

This is followed by a few whiny quotes by sandy-footed professional golfers.

Um, guys? Bunker shots are supposed to be hard. If they weren't, the whole damn golf course would be sand.


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I saw them. They're effin' SCARY. One of the Memorial volunteers allowed that it might've happened this year because this is the first year Jack isn't playing. :)

Anyways, Jack addressed that during the Q&A he hosted after the delayed Memorial ceremony and clinic--he thinks the game is getting out of hand, and it's time that a hazard be a hazard. The Tour asked if he'd be willing to pilot the raking system this year, and he agreed.

I have heard that Lefty approves of the change. Woo!

Speaking of Lefty--his team smoked the field in the pro-am, turning in an aggregate -14. o.O;

well of course lefty approves, hes at the bottom of the list in sand saves, so this could only bring the field even closer to him. :)

Yes, but Phil's leading the tour in GIR, so he's apparently not seeing much sand to begin with. And he's not at the bottom, there are four guys below him. :D


Doom doom doom dedoom doom doom doom de doom!

(six months later...)

... Greens in Regulation. :)

Oh, excellent little Flash minigolf game here. Adam and I were playing it last night. I shot a 32... 16 under par. Be advised that holes 14 and 18 are patently unfair, and you should be all set. :)

Off topic here, yeah...wante dto let ya know Baroo is trying to get ahold of ya.

Yeah, he emailed me a week or so ago...and my response to him bounced.

Im 50/50 on that whole issue. On most courses in america though the sand is nowhere near what it is on tour, and it truly is a hazard. Yer lucky to find a bunker totally raked, filled with the right amount of sand (overfilling = bad, underfilling = shank city), with no footprints in it. On tour in some cases its better to be in the sand, and most of the guys can get up and down from a bunker 40-50 percent of the time. If they came to a local course and had to play out of some of the lies we get then Im sure that percentage would drop.
I think the main gripe here is that while they were warned, they really had no idea it would be that severe. 2 inches between the tines can pretty much screw you big time should your ball nestle down nicely in that groove. As tough a course Muirfield is, you can hit a pretty decent shot that may be just 10 feet off and get totally bitten by what was once a plausable up and down for a good player. It is a big change considering how long the rakes have NOT been like that.

If the tour went that way with all the bunkers then i think up and downs from them would start to equalize among players, since a lot of what makes a bunker shot easier then would rely totally on the luck of the roll and not so much on the skill of the player. I think if you worked hard enough to get your percentage up to 60 or 70 percent out of a bunker you deserve that chance to save our strokes with consistent decent lies. Being in a bunker is never a gimmie, cause more than half the time on average on tour a bogey is taken.

So yeah I like seeing a course play tougher. I dont like the scores to be monstrously low. But Jacks design of the course makes it tough enough without adding a gimmick like that.

Then again, someone was complaining to Jack about where they should aim now that the rough is ridiculous and the bunkers are impossible.

Jack replied, "Oh I dont know...how about the fairways and greens?"

So certainly, the best way to avoid this situation is to not get in it in the first place.

I'm inclined to agree with Jack there: the bunker is called a hazard, so it should doggone well be one. Part of the appeal of golf is that in principle, the amateurs and the pros can play the same courses (not in practice, necessarily, but in principle--otherwise, I'd've trod the green cathedral that is Augusta by now). What's happening is that the pro game has so completely outstretched the amateur game, it's growing harder to maintain a course in any way that both the pros and the duffers can play it.

So I think the raking setup at Muirfield is a great idea. The players can't just bomb it and expect an easy approach from a "perfect" bunker. And as we saw, good scores are out there... if you avoid the bunkers like you're supposed to.

Here's an example for you: the par-5 5th is unplayable for the amateurs now--it wasn't when I first started going in 1997. There's nowhere to put your ball that you won't be blocked by trees, and if you try to blow by the trees, the fairway slopes down into a creek. I call that tricked up.

From here on out, I think we're going to see a meaner Muirfield, too. Remember, the Players moves to May next year, meaning the Memorial is the midpoint between the wanna-be Major, and the US Open. We're going to see it set up as a warm-up ... not that it wasn't already a tough course to begin with. Single digits under par will be winning it, for the foreseeable future.

And I think that's a good thing.

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