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Nothing New Here

Continued (page 2 of 2)

Yes, there will also be a new bunker on the ninth. If any architect doesn't think the ninth, probably the flattest, most featureless, most boring hole in championship golf, couldn't use an improvement, then he lacks not just imagination but credibility.

What this is really about is the architects' ongoing war against technology. The Old Course has become their Maginot Line, and now that it has been breached they realize the only ammunition left is a war cry: "Don't change the Old Course, change the golf ball!"

Sorry, designers, but it's too little, too late. The golf ball isn't going to be rolled back to some arbitrary configuration. (MacPherson makes a compelling argument in his book why a rollback of the ball could keep the Old Course competitive, but he's a realist. He also suggests another way is to abolish par, and yet another way is, yes, to remodel the course.)

Related: How well do you know the British Open rota?

The golf-ball genie done escaped her bottle a long time ago, and I'm fine with that. It's called progress. Started when the gutta percha replaced the feathery, and it has changed golf courses ever since.

That's why I find the protest pointless. Without change, golf architects wouldn't have any reason to be in business. 

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