The Loop

More Masters

April 14, 2007

__"It may not be out of place to say here that I never won a major championship until I learned to play golf against something and not somebody...and that something was par." Bob Jones, Down the Fairway


We may never stop talking about the 2007, Zach Johnson Masters. In a letter entitled, "Bikini Wax the Rough at Augusta", Nick from Newport Beach, unlike Dan Jenkins in his report, argues for the good old days:

__The 2007 Masters was everything viewers expect from a Major, but not from the Masters.  The Masters lost its most profound and unique attribute when rough was added.  Jones's "no rough" design at this year's conditions may have been a classic - yet it is very difficult to compare this year... to past years.  Bobby Jones built a course that is meant to be generous to the tee shot, but penal to the approach.  Positioning off the tee differentiated easier approaches from more difficult.  The added length brought brought back long iron and wood approach shots - very positive.  However, the added rough eliminated shot making creativity and added "gouge" to Augusta vernacular.  Changes to grooves and a return to endless fairways at the Masters can't come soon enough.


Nick, rough is one thing. Trees, "a million trees" as Tiger put it, are another. Look at old photos of the course Jones and MacKenzie designed and you'll see that everything has changed. It's been changed to add balance to the course. It's been changed to make it look better on television. It's been changed to defend against "technology." We may see a thinning of trees in years to come. But most of them, and the rough, are here to stay, I suspect. We're not going back.