COUR­SES FOR THOUGHT

Golf World (UK) - - TALKING POINTS DIALOGUE - Stephen El­lis, Leeds

As the golf ball de­bate rum­bles on with calls to dial back the dis­tance as cour­ses be­come ob­so­lete, I had to smile see­ing Greg Nor­man re­cently on Sky Sports say­ing enough is enough and, with a grin, telling us that the am­a­teurs would still hit it in the trees what­ever ball was used! His call to re­strict the ball is a bit ironic as I re­call as a teenager be­ing at Ful­ford in the late 1970s at the B&H and watch­ing in awe as he knocked a 5-iron over the back of the par-3 3rd when the likes of Neil Coles were hit­ting 3-irons or 5-woods. He was like Jack Nick­laus be­fore him, the player who raised the power bar for oth­ers to fol­low.

We can­not stop progress as play­ers get big­ger and stronger, just like Greg was way back then, so de­sign­ers need to stop mak­ing wide open cour­ses with shal­low bunkers and bring in some proper haz­ards and dog legs which make peo­ple think about strat­egy rather than au­to­mat­i­cally reach­ing for the big dog.

A short, drive­able par 4 with out of bounds over the back and a stream 20 yards short can re­ally fo­cus the mind... Birdie or dou­ble bo­gey is the choice and this can be height­ened if it is to­wards the end of a round and the player is in con­tention.

No mat­ter what, we can­not have bi­fur­ca­tion as we all want to use the same equip­ment and test our­selves against the pros.

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