COURSES FOR THOUGHT
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.