Ben Stephens

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Road Hole to be extended for 2010 Open
« on: October 16, 2009, 09:29:34 pm »
Dear GCA

Article about Road Hole to be extended for 2010 Open - FYI

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/golf/8310879.stm

Kalen Braley

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Re: Road Hole to be extended for 2010 Open
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2009, 09:39:27 pm »
Seems a bit silly to mention it played to the same yardage in 1900 as in 2005....of all the holes to lengthen why choose this one?  Wasn't it already the most difficult hole on the course relative to par?

It also played as a par 5 in 1900 as well, I didn't see any mention of that!!   ;)  Yes yes I know "par" is meaningless.

But in light of this comment "This change will ensure that the hole plays as it was originally intended" -R&A chief executive Peter Dawson.  As a par 5 in 1900 wouldn't many have had short iron approaches for thier 3rd?  These same short iron approaches that they now seeminlgy loathe?
« Last Edit: October 16, 2009, 09:41:54 pm by Kalen Braley »

Adrian_Stiff

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Re: Road Hole to be extended for 2010 Open
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2009, 10:06:08 pm »
I cant really imagine where this +35 yard tee is going, maybe you can now hook it round the hotel. The 17th has played tough for always and still will. Adding length to this one seems like the work of the pickleheads. They dont like the fact the it can be reached with two irons? Why not do something with the ball !!!!!!!!!!!
A combination of whats good for golf and good for turf.
The Players Club, Cumberwell Park, The Kendleshire, Oake Manor, Dainton Park, Forest Hills, Erlestoke, St Cleres.
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Jud_T

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Re: Road Hole to be extended for 2010 Open
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2009, 10:10:35 pm »
WOW-now I know there is no god....I assume the member's tee will be unchanged for us mere mortals....
Golf is a game. We play it. Somewhere along the way we took the fun out of it and charged a premium to be punished.- - Ron Sirak

Kalen Braley

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Re: Road Hole to be extended for 2010 Open
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2009, 10:11:37 pm »
Adrian, it said this in the article!!  Having been there, not sure if it makes any sense or not though.

"I would make a tee just beyond the railway line on the other course," he had said. "It would restore this drive to its former value."

Cotton had been talking about the Eden Course, which is now the practice range, where the new tee will be constructed, increasing the length of the Road Hole to 490 yards.


Jason Topp

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Re: Road Hole to be extended for 2010 Open
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2009, 10:14:46 pm »
I was just thinking about how lengthening this hole makes a lot of sense (although less sense than a ball rollback).

The hole lost all connection to its history when it became an iron off the tee and a short iron into the green.   It was particularly embarassing that they narrowed the fairway down to nothing to prevent it becoming a driver wedge hole.

Shane Wright

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Re: Road Hole to be extended for 2010 Open
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2009, 10:16:11 pm »
Ok, one of you "CADD" experts needs to draw this on an aerial because the 16th green has to be in the way.  And I can't see how moving it to the west of the 16th green can possibly work.


Kalen Braley

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Re: Road Hole to be extended for 2010 Open
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2009, 10:16:38 pm »
I've attached the following aerial showing 35 yards behind where it looks the back tee is now


Shane Wright

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Re: Road Hole to be extended for 2010 Open
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2009, 10:27:52 pm »
Kalen - GREAT, thanks for posting.  That was fast.  It has been a few years and I had it envisioned  a little differently. 

Adrian_Stiff

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Re: Road Hole to be extended for 2010 Open
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2009, 10:31:38 pm »
Kalen- I am not sure thats the right angle though, that line looks more like to the 1st tee.  I guess the must be 35 yards there without interfering with the 16th...will restruck viewing though and make ST A even worse to watch.
A combination of whats good for golf and good for turf.
The Players Club, Cumberwell Park, The Kendleshire, Oake Manor, Dainton Park, Forest Hills, Erlestoke, St Cleres.
www.theplayersgolfclub.com

Sean Leary

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Re: Road Hole to be extended for 2010 Open
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2009, 10:32:12 pm »
I would rather have a longer tee and a bigger fairway rather than thinning the fairway like last time.

Adam Lawrence

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Re: Road Hole to be extended for 2010 Open
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2009, 10:32:35 pm »
There is space, but it's got to make the flow of spectators round that corner of the course - and especially the sixteenth green - even harder than before.

I don't really approve, but anything has to be better than the stupid collar of rough across the fairway that just shrieked 'WE ARE THE R&A AND WE HAVE SURRENDERED OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO GOVERN THIS GAME.'

Adam
Adam Lawrence
Editor, Golf Course Architecture
www.golfcoursearchitecture.net

Short words are best, and the old words, when short, are the best of all.

Rob_Kimball

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Re: Road Hole to be extended for 2010 Open
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2009, 11:19:01 pm »
Regarding the great Road Hole and it's influence on Championship Golf, this reminds me of a debate that was had a while ago regarding the RH bunker in anticipation for the '05 Open --

http://golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,1922.0/


It is interesting when 'they fool around' with classic golf holes. 

Thanks, Rob

C. Squier

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Re: Road Hole to be extended for 2010 Open
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2009, 11:35:53 pm »
Why isn't Melvyn fighting this one instead of worrying about what Tiger is doing?  Should be right up his alley?  Even down his alley, in fact.

This seems pretty out there.  Though I've never played, seems pretty against what I imagine St. Andrews to be.

Adam Lawrence

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Re: Road Hole to be extended for 2010 Open
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2009, 12:42:02 am »
Why isn't Melvyn fighting this one instead of worrying about what Tiger is doing?  Should be right up his alley?  Even down his alley, in fact.

This seems pretty out there.  Though I've never played, seems pretty against what I imagine St. Andrews to be.

Clint - you think hitting a wedge into the Road Hole is what St Andrews should be?
Adam Lawrence
Editor, Golf Course Architecture
www.golfcoursearchitecture.net

Short words are best, and the old words, when short, are the best of all.

Bill_McBride

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Re: Road Hole to be extended for 2010 Open
« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2009, 12:43:21 am »
Fits right in with the 2nd and 14th tees.

Roll back the freaking ball.  Please.

David Lott

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Re: Road Hole to be extended for 2010 Open
« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2009, 03:02:02 am »
They could lengthen the 18th too. After all it was not a drivable green back in the day. Put the tee in the middle of the road. In fact just get rid of the road altogether and move the 17th green back. If the Egyptians and Russians could move Abu Simbel for Aswan, the R&A can move the Road Hole green and bunker. And rebuild the railroad. Install a steam whistle and record some train sounds that will play at random times to keep the golfers on their toes, just like they had to be in the old days.
David Lott

Matt_Ward

Re: Road Hole to be extended for 2010 Open
« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2009, 03:12:35 am »
When a hole has a 4.6 scoring average, if memory serves this is what the average was with the last BO there in '05, why the need to make it even tougher ?

If it's not broken why the need to "fiix" it ?

Jason Topp

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Re: Road Hole to be extended for 2010 Open
« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2009, 03:26:32 am »
When a hole has a 4.6 scoring average, if memory serves this is what the average was with the last BO there in '05, why the need to make it even tougher ?

If it's not broken why the need to "fiix" it ?


Because the hole as it played in the last Open was tough but only because it was tricked up in a fashion directly contrary to the principles that make the course the model for most quality golf course architecture that has followed.

The course should be very strategic with an agressive tee shot taking on the OB being rewarded with a shorter approach from a better angle.  Instead, strategy is pretty much dictated by the way they altered it to a layup off the tee short of where the fairway narrows and then an approach.  The reason the scoring remained high is because they narrowed the fairway to 12 yards (or whatever it was) in order to prevent long drivers from having a short wedge approach.

St. Andrews should be the epitome of strategic golf that presents difficult choices but the possibility of making an agressive choice.  Lengthening the hole and widening the fairway recaptures that.  I would not be surprised if the scoring average goes down with the changes, but the hole should improve.



mike_beene

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Re: Road Hole to be extended for 2010 Open
« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2009, 04:14:01 am »
I think it is a good move.The tee will be more out of play for 16 than it is now.Most plays in to 16 are coming at an angle because to go straight puts you tight to the OB.

Melvyn Morrow

Re: Road Hole to be extended for 2010 Open
« Reply #20 on: October 17, 2009, 04:16:38 am »
It's only my opinion and carries no weight, but I will say 'Forgive them Old Tom for they know not what they do'. Certainly, Peter Dawson seems totally in charge of a sinking ship.

The R&A and Peter Dawson played with the Open last year, now they are messing about with The Old Course. I would not mind if I believed it was for the overall improvement of the course, but I am willing to bet it is all about money yet again.  The R&A are good at making money but very poor when it comes to knowing what they are doing.

They bought 6 Pilmour Links, my grandmother’s home and where my father grew up, yet what have they done to it but destroy the rear and turn the house into old offices. No clear plan or imagination, in fact they were going to extend it to the back of Old Tom’s shop but the family managed to stop them.  Therefore, we should not expect too much from them regards the course. It’s a question of real forward planning and understand what they are trying to achieve. My feeling is that they don’t really know themselves, they are slow they dither and should have grasped the nettle years ago – as Bill so reasonably put it ‘ Roll back the freaking ball. Please’. Alas Bill they have not woken up to that possibility yet and I swear as I have said before that some Members still believe Old Tom is still alive,  One day the penny may drop and they may remember that they once were in charge of the game. Regrettable I fear their days are numbered and quite rightly so.

The answer I feel rests with the ball or as some call it ‘roll back’. The distance the ball travels will maintain the current lengths of courses rather than force clubs to keep adding yardage to their holes and the expense that places on each club. It’s an easy cop out to keep extending, no cost to the R&A but to everyone else and ultimately the poor golfer who has to foot all the bills. However very clever to place the blame on old Henry Cotton if its not liked.

Bring the game into disrepute, maybe the charge that either wakes them up or ends this nightmare. The day must be near when that charge will be placed at their door.

Actually, I do not want to say, “Forgive them Old Tom for they know not what they do”, they do know what they are doing but don’t realise the error of their ways.

Adam posted “'WE ARE THE R&A AND WE HAVE SURRENDERED OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO GOVERN THIS GAME.'” , yes I go alone with that and totally endorse it, however I would love to see them take real control and do what is required to save the game we know today as golf. The talent is there to do the job, so come on lets have a total reshuffle of the Team with people that will listen and know what is good for the game, not just the R&A.

The answer I feel rests with the ball or as some call it ‘roll back’. The distance the ball travels will maintain the current lengths of courses rather than force clubs to keep adding yardage to their holes and the expense that places on each club. It’s an easy cop out to keep extending, no cost to the R&A but to everyone else and ultimately the poor golfer who has to foot all the bills.  

Melvyn  

Anthony Gray

Re: Road Hole to be extended for 2010 Open
« Reply #21 on: October 17, 2009, 05:25:32 am »
When a hole has a 4.6 scoring average, if memory serves this is what the average was with the last BO there in '05, why the need to make it even tougher ?

If it's not broken why the need to "fiix" it ?

  Agreed



Mike Bowline

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Re: Road Hole to be extended for 2010 Open
« Reply #22 on: October 17, 2009, 05:33:11 am »
Quote
 I would not be surprised if the scoring average goes down with the changes, but the hole should improve.

This is one of the most astute comments I have ever read on GCA.com.

Yes, the hole will improve (especially with the widening of the fairway in the new landing zone), but if the average score of #17 over the course of the tournament does indeed drop, would the R&A consider the change a success? My guess is "no".

Martin Bonnar

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Re: Road Hole to be extended for 2010 Open
« Reply #23 on: October 17, 2009, 05:39:10 am »
What's annoying me the most is the seemingly uncaring desecration (okay, maybe a bit strong, but!) of the adjacent courses in the name of 'improving' the Old Course.
If TOC is actually SO poor at providing a Championship venue, then why not go elsewhere or build a new one? Or just blow apart one of the adjacent courses and remake TOC as a NEW Championship venue? THEN AGAIN!!!! why not just frikkin fix the ball and/or the clubs to suit. Have the R£A (sic) really NO IDEA? I begin to think more so. Yet, I know so many members who care. Where is the disconnect?
Ah, but the Eden has been so raped and ravished that another despoilment won't hurt her any more, will it? WTF is Eddie when he's needed? Kicked upstairs to the European Tour or simply 'disappeared?' St Andrews. Once again. I despair. FWIW.
FBD.
Can Heironymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness?

Paul_Turner

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Re: Road Hole to be extended for 2010 Open
« Reply #24 on: October 17, 2009, 06:33:33 am »
The R&A have absolutely no qualms with forcing changes on our classic links.  Hoylake being the most blatant.  But  all of them have been altered apart from Troon and Muirfield.  Muirfield will no doubt go under the knife in the next year or two, with bunkers being added to tighten the  entrances.

It would have to be a radical change in the ball to make a difference that's meaningful. Something like reducing the max  ball mass by 30%
can't get to heaven with a three chord song

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