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Jim Hoak

  • Karma: +1/-0
This is one of those assertions I read and wonder if it is true--and if it is, Why?  It is being used to once again defend a course like Royal Liverpool, which is somewhat underappreciated and sometimes maligned.  Is it necessary for this trite statement to be true to defend it?

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
This is one of those assertions I read and wonder if it is true--and if it is, Why?  It is being used to once again defend a course like Royal Liverpool, which is somewhat underappreciated and sometimes maligned.  Is it necessary for this trite statement to be true to defend it?

This assertion seems to have gathered steam the past few years. It's a load of cobblers. Any of these guys are good enough to catch fire. Why is it necessarily so that if a Ben Curtis or Bill Rogers wins at Sandwich that it is no longer a great course?

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Blackmoor, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Winterfield & Alnmouth

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
The longer an event goes on the greater the likelihood that the cream will rise to the top.
Kinda relates to a thread I raised recently about playing Mens Major Championships over 5 days and run of the mill mens pro tournaments over only 3 days.
And the cream would likely rise to the top even more if clubs weren’t of the customised quality they are these days, course conditioning wasn’t at the manicured level it is these days and the ball didn’t perform as it has since the year 2000.
Atb
« Last Edit: July 19, 2023, 03:24:16 PM by Thomas Dai »

Kyle Harris

  • Karma: +0/-0
The longer an event goes on the greater the likelihood that the cream will rise to the top.
Kinda relates to a thread I raised recently about playing Mens Major Championships over 5 days and run of the mill mens pro tournaments over only 3 days.
And the cream would likely rise to the top even more if clubs weren’t of the customised quality they are these days, course conditioning wasn’t at the manicured level it is these days and the ball didn’t perform as it has since the year 2000.
Atb


That’s one definition of greatness, I suppose.


But equal to this is an exigent that you must prove yourself in this moment on one hole. Have at it. If you can’t beat everyone in that one moment, if your skills aren’t on demand, can you be labeled great?


Obviously that does little with a full field so there is at least a balance to the size of the field and the amount of golf played.


There’s also an implied assertion that golf courses with more than 18 holes would be more worthy “tests” of greatness… applying your logic.


I think we are circling around the idea that greatness is measured by players that have the least variance in their games. And that more varied tests are the best way to examine that.


More isn’t necessarily better, but more AND different may be. 
http://kylewharris.com

Constantly blamed by 8-handicaps for their 7 missed 12-footers each round.

Thank you for changing the font of your posts. It makes them easier to scroll past.

Ira Fishman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Kyle,


Besides logistics, why not a 144 hole US Open. The first week at Merion and the second week at Oakmont? Or PH2 and TCC?


Would be fun viewing.


Ira

Ira Fishman

  • Karma: +0/-0
As to the OP,  pure media nonsense (which I think was Jim's point). Anyone who wins a Major is in a category of their own in terms of talent. The golf course was not a factor in their success regardless of its "ranking". Nor should the tournament results affect the assessment of the course (Jim's point again).


Ira

cary lichtenstein

  • Karma: +0/-0
The best players hone their games and try to peak at the Majors, regardless of the site.
Live Jupiter, Fl, was  4 handicap, played top 100 US, top 75 World. Great memories, no longer play, 4 back surgeries. I don't miss a lot of things about golf, life is simpler with out it. I miss my 60 degree wedge shots, don't miss nasty weather, icing, back spasms. Last course I played was Augusta

Jim Hoak

  • Karma: +1/-0
But are there certain courses—or types of courses or architectural characteristics—that favor multiple winner champions?  Or conversely are there things in some courses that favor flukes, “one-hit wonders”?
What I’m getting at is the assertion heard many times that Royal Liverpool must be a great course because the past winners have been great, career-long major champions.
I think probably as Sean and Ira said it’s all b.s.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2023, 12:59:59 AM by Jim Hoak »

Matt Schoolfield

  • Karma: +0/-0
I think there’s something to the statement, but I can’t put my finger on it. Game design should effect winner type and winner consistency, sometimes dramatically… I think maybe the causation is flipped. Great players, when we know they are great (however we define that), where they tend to win should identify the courses that reflect the attributes we want in a player.


I really think 72 holes is plenty to separate the wheat from the chaff. That said, I like a bit of randomness in my sports, so give me the NCAA style win-or-go-home because who doesn’t love an underdog  :)
« Last Edit: July 20, 2023, 02:11:11 PM by Matt Schoolfield »
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Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
But are there certain courses—or types of courses or architectural characteristics—that favor multiple winner champions?  Or conversely are there things in some courses that favor flukes, “one-hit wonders”?
What I’m getting at is the assertion heard many times that Royal Liverpool must be a great course because the past winners have been great, career-long major champions.
I think probably as Sean and Ira said it’s all b.s.

If Rory, Phil and Tiger win majors in a parking lot is it a great course? Courses are used for majors because they are usually considered to be great tests of golf, however that is defined. A great course may be a great test, but a great test isn't necessarily a great course.

The media and pundits need stories. Great courses produce great champions sounds good. It's nonsense, much like "the course requires every club in the bag".

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Blackmoor, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Winterfield & Alnmouth

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
The longer an event goes on the greater the likelihood that the cream will rise to the top.


Only if you define the cream as being the consistently good. Imagine if the majors were played over 10 rounds, how many times Matt Kuchar might have won.


Niall

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
But are there certain courses—or types of courses or architectural characteristics—that favor multiple winner champions?  Or conversely are there things in some courses that favor flukes, “one-hit wonders”?
What I’m getting at is the assertion heard many times that Royal Liverpool must be a great course because the past winners have been great, career-long major champions.
I think probably as Sean and Ira said it’s all b.s.


A great course ought to produce the champion who plays the best that week, not the one with the best career resume.  We all know those two things aren't the same.


I do think there are maybe a few courses where being a brilliant tactician matters more than others, and favors great players whose skills include knowing when to parry and when to thrust.  Nicklaus and Tiger Woods both won twice at The Old Course, and that wasn't solely because they were the longest hitters, it was because they plotted their way around it well, to avoid fairway bunkers but also avoid 100-foot three-putts.


Hoylake might used to have been one of those courses.  It was very plain looking and difficult to decipher, and there was o.b. very close to a bunch of fairways and greens, so you really had to think about how close you could go.  So it wasn't the kind of course someone like Phil Mickelson would win on.  I first played it with their historian John Graham [whose father was the third best player at the club, behind Johnny Ball and Harold Hilton!], and I learned to embrace its plain-ness.  Some of the pictures I've seen in the lead-up to the Open make me very upset, and not just the new 17th.  It looks like they opted for plastic surgery and went too far.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2023, 07:38:13 AM by Tom_Doak »

Kalen Braley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Speaking of the new 17 at Liverpool, am I the only one who thinks it looks terribly out of place with the frilly bunkers and exposed sand? (not that i'm against that look in general)

Reminds me a bit of a local course that had to re-arrange its routing and build a new 9th hole.  They brought in some east coast guy so its 17 rugged looking, sage brush, mountain-esque type holes, and 1 hole that looks to be transported from Florida.  Very odd to say the least.

Ian Mackenzie

  • Karma: +0/-0
Maybe the best (aka: rigorous) course "set ups" identify the best player(s).

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Not comparing him to anyone else but Jack Nicklaus won 18 men’s pro majors.
He also finished runner-up in 19, and 3rd in 46. 19 and 46! Quite staggering numbers.
I can’t help but wonder how many more than 18 men’s pro majors he’d have won if they’d been 5-day (90-hole) events.
Atb

Phil Young

  • Karma: +0/-0
Great courses do always identify the best players, but only if you include these four words at the end, "who played that week."

Ira Fishman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Speaking of the new 17 at Liverpool, am I the only one who thinks it looks terribly out of place with the frilly bunkers and exposed sand? (not that i'm against that look in general)

Reminds me a bit of a local course that had to re-arrange its routing and build a new 9th hole.  They brought in some east coast guy so its 17 rugged looking, sage brush, mountain-esque type holes, and 1 hole that looks to be transported from Florida.  Very odd to say the least.


Jon Rahm on the new 17th: "It is a fair hole because it is unfair for everyone."


And no, I am not trying to set off a discussion about fairness.

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
From another sport but a not dissimilar context.
The great Formula 1, LeMans/Sportscar and Paris-Dakar driver Belgian Jackie Ickx, who was famous amongst his peers and others for racing exceptionally well in difficult wet and rainy conditions, was once asked why he liked racing in such conditions. His reply “I don’t, I hate wet and rainy conditions, but I know the other guys hate those conditions even more than I do.”
Atb

Jeff Schley

  • Karma: +0/-0
To flip this question...... Do "bad" courses identify the worst players?  I mean play if you played the US Open at any course hosting the Desert Classic, which typically play the easiest each year on tour.  LaQuinta CC, Nicklaus Tournament etc. Would that site identify a golfer that isn't good? 
"To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice your gifts."
- Steve Prefontaine

Jim Hoak

  • Karma: +1/-0
Jeff, isn't the question not that it would produce the "worst" golfer--but the biggest "fluke"?   I understand the assertion to be saying that a less-good course may give us the most chance for a fluky winner.  One reason I think the trite statement is wrong, is that Ben Curtis--maybe the biggest fluke winner in recent years--won on a great course.

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Jeff, isn't the question not that it would produce the "worst" golfer--but the biggest "fluke"?   I understand the assertion to be saying that a less-good course may give us the most chance for a fluky winner.  One reason I think the trite statement is wrong, is that Ben Curtis--maybe the biggest fluke winner in recent years--won on a great course.


I love Sandwich, too, but a lot of the modern players have described it as fluky, because some of the contours are so sharp.


There are always going to be fluke winners, even on the least disputed great courses.  When a guy has the week of his lifetime, what are you supposed to do about it?  Tony Lema at St. Andrews, Todd Hamilton at Troon, Retief Goossen at Shinnecock.  None of them were supposed to win, but they went out and won, and it kinda sucks that people look for a reason to look down on those wins.  It's not like Paul Lawrie where someone else [who would also have been seen as a fluke] handed it to him.

Kalen Braley

  • Karma: +0/-0
...and it looks like we are well on the way for another one this year.

Matt Schoolfield

  • Karma: +0/-0
I think we need to be careful how we frame flukes at the Open. I suspect that if the tour played more than one or two rounds per year against the Irish or North Sea, we would have a notably different pantheon of great players.
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Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
...and it looks like we are well on the way for another one this year.


Well, Brian Harman has contended in two or three previous majors.  He led for a round or two at Erin Hills, and played well recently at LACC.  He's also [historically] a bit of a short hitter in modern golf, and short hitters have their best chance at The Open, where the firmness of the ground minimizes the need for length and emphasizes the need for control.


If he wins, it won't be a fluke.

David Kelly

  • Karma: +0/-0
I think we need to be careful how we frame flukes at the Open. I suspect that if the tour played more than one or two rounds per year against the Irish or North Sea, we would have a notably different pantheon of great players.
Nicklaus, Woods, Watson, Faldo, Player, and Ballesteros would have won even more.
"Whatever in creation exists without my knowledge exists without my consent." - Judge Holden, Blood Meridian.

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