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The Renaissance Club


Masters: Assessing The Course

April 21, 2008

We're getting a bunker full of mail on the Masters course changes and set-up. Like John Hawkins, who covered the event for Golf World, and many other writers, some--but not all--or you think that the course changes have subtracted drama from the event.

Gene Martineau of Roseville, California, says "Congraluations to the folks at the Masters. They have accomplished their stated goal of Tiger Proofing their course so well that Tiger may never again win another Green Jacket."

And Doug Foy or Fort Wayne thinks he knows where, exactly, the roars have been removed:

I always look forward to your in depth issue that comes out after every major. I do agree that some of the fun has been takin out of the Masters. By looking through the hole by hole chart that you always provide, it is obvious that the par 3's & par 4's are all being played over par while the par 5's are being played under par. The tees could be moved up a little on the par 5's so more players would not lay up, but the big difference is the par 4's are just to tough to birdie and easier to bogey. Hopefully the "Big Dogs" at Augusta noticed the same thing.>

But many of you don't see any problem in the courses changes or the Sunday set-up. Unlike the writers who made course changes their theme, you like what you see.

Here's Malcolm Roberts of Huntington Beach, California, after reading our coverage:

I hope Trevor Immelmann is not insulted by the backhanded compliments mentioned in your coverage of this year's Masters. Whenever Tiger doesn't win people act as if its a tragedy or a fluke, and by the way this other guy happened to hit more fairways and greens and putt better. While I agrre with Mr. Russell that past Masters had more flash the tournament had to change before bomb 'n' gouge players took what skill is left in the game ( with the better equipment factored in ) out. Jack Nicklaus has been quoted many times that off the fairway should be a penalty; bravo to the majors for returning good all-around golf to the rewards podium.

And David Crow of Huntington Beach, California:

Re: Masters not being "fun"anymore. If "fun" means shooting like 25 under Par as Lorena Ochoa did in Mexico (a WAY TOO EASY course?), then maybe the Masters isn't "fun". Instead, the Masters remains a rarity - a REAL TEST of golf skills. Go MASTERS!!!!!

This editor's two cents: Trevor Immelman was 11 under par after three rounds, and got to ten under par on the par fours. (Amazing.) On Sunday, despite five or six tees being moved up and hole locations made quite accessible, the weather took its toll, with temperatures dropping into the low 60s and winds gusting to 30 miles per hour. That was Mother Nature, not Father Payne.

--Bob Carney