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V. Kmetz

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"The best players and the noteworthy tournaments push the reputation of great courses to greater."...Why?... Because we understand the particular player's exceptional greatness and lay his or her record against where he or she has achieved it.

C'mon, isn't part of Riviera or Colonial's "greatness," or Oakland Hills lingering reputation, because of what Hogan did there?  Haven't Woods and Mickelson record at Torrey elevated that course in the public mind?...

As good as WFW is to the player-connoisseur, in the public realm of whatever greatness is, isn't its reputation still trading on the memorable Jones win of 1929; on Casper's clever performance 30 years later, on the Massacre of 1974...Love's "rainbow"... Mickelson's collapse, BDC's empty destruction of it?...And not how cunning the fairway lines and angles work with the ground?

As singular and fine architecturally as Oakmont is, ANGC is, look at the preponderance of great performers/champions/ tournaments at both's women's, invitational field or not, it usually turns out a significant champion, one whose record is established without those wins. Not always but many, many times...reliably, repeatedly.

And to my mind, while any championship winner is worthy of our praise as golfers, course fall out of "greatness" favor quickly when they don't produce sterling champions, or adopt controversies associated with their hosting... I think beyond whatever legit arch. critiques of Olympic there may be, the roster of its event champions has hurt its standing in the pantheon(s).

Of course Cypress and PV and Seminole and National and Chicago(es) are exceptional courses, but their greatness is disconnected from identity with players... to a gca purist that might sing, but to me, it feels more momentous and memorable when Nicklaus or Jones or Hogan or Woods or Daly (lol) made their bones in the very spot where I play my anonymous game.

"The tee shot must first be hit straight and long between a vast bunker on the left which whispers 'slice' in the player's ear, and a wilderness on the right which induces a hurried hook." -


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