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19th Hole

Are players majorly unhappy with Quail Hollow redesign?

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Quail Hollow was shut down following James Hahn’s win at the 2016 Wells Fargo Championship for requisite pre-PGA Championship doctoring under Tom Fazio’s scalpel.

Golfweek’s Bradley Klein detailed the surgery with far more eloquence and expertise than I can muster here, but a quick sketch of the changes looks like this.

Before the 2016 shutdown, Fazio and company had already worked to move the first and 10th tees, ninth and 18th and greens for more spectator room, as well as strengthen the 14th through 18th holes. They also moved the par-4 16th hole 50 yards to the left.

Since 2016, the greens were regrassed with a new variety of bermudagrass. Predictably, tree work, rebunkering followed.

As Klein writes

“The old first and second holes have been combined into a demanding dogleg right par 4 measuring 524 yards (played as a par 5 for members). The old third and fourth holes were re-sequenced as the second and third holes, then comes a virtual splitting up of the old par-5 fifth into two holes through use of some lateral land.

“The new fourth hole, a 184-yard par 3, calls for a forced carry over three front bunkers. A new fifth hole, a 449-yard par 4, was flipped to the right.”

Interestingly, it seems like some players are less than enthused about the changes to the first hole and fourth green, as ESPN’s Michael Collins found in his latest Caddie Confidential feature.

“Collins: All the players in front of the camera are saying the course (Quail Hollow Club) is fine, but off camera that ain’t what they’re saying. What’s the truth?

“Caddie: I would say most of the guys are not happy with No. 1 or No. 4, to be fair. I would say No. 1 should be played as a par-5. The green was designed to be a par-5 green.

No. 4, I think the green is just too penal. It’s too severe for the length of shot. I think if it was a shorter shot, you’d actually have a third (tee) box for that to be fair.”

Collins then indicated he heard from a Quail Hollow member that there are plans to entirely redo the fourth green.

Now, it’s important to keep in mind that the opinions of the anonymous caddie are not necessarily representative. However, Collins, a former caddie himself, is one of the most plugged in guys out there. If he says this is what the chatter is, you have to be inclined to believe him.

All of this leads to the obvious question: Why has Fazio’s carte blanche doctoring yielded two holes players hate before even facing them in competition?

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19th Hole

GolfWRX Members Choice: Best Open Championship course

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With Open week upon us, we wanted to know which Open Championship venue is first in the hearts of GolfWRX members.

We asked: Factoring in course design, viewing enjoyment, overall test of golf, history, and whatever else you put into your criteria, what do you think is the best Open Championship venue, and why?

The top-three vote getters got more than 80 percent of the vote. Only Royal St. George’s was more than two percent. As a refresher, the other venues were, Royal Liverpool. Royal Troon, Royal Lytham & St. Anne’s, Royal Portrush, Royal Birkdale, and Turnberry.

The top three from the Open rota in GolfWRX members’ links-loving hearts are as follows.

3. Carnoustie (18.57%)

Ignatius Reilly says, “I went with Carnoustie – maybe because it’s the current one, and maybe because it’s so nasty.”

Sean 2 says. “I selected Carnoustie because it is a challenge regardless of the weather. As DJ called it: “…a true test.”

2. Muirfield (20%)

15th Club draws on his first-hand experience, “But I have been asked this question before; of the British Open courses, which one was your favorite? And my answer always was an additional question; if all of my remaining golf could only be played on just one course that I have been on, what would it be?”

“And the answer is Muirfield. It might not have the interest or the quirkiness of The Old Course, but to me, it is the finest, fairest, purest test of golf I have ever seen. It is at once a perfect match play and/or stroke play golf course. And it is more natural, with less town-encroachment than almost all of the other sites on the Rota.”

1. Old Course at St Andrews (41.43%)

IVM says simply, “St Andrews the home of golf.”

Bucky316 points out, “St Andrews….but only with heavy wind… otherwise it’s sad to see a historic track getting thrashed by the modern technology.”

What do you think, GolfWRX members? You can vote in the poll here, or feel free to discuss your favorite track in the comments.

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19th Hole

Fancy a punt? Check out these Tiger Woods British Open prop bets

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It wouldn’t be a major featuring Tiger Woods without Tiger Woods prop bets, would it? Bettors, as we know, get off the sidelines to shovel cash behind Woods when he tees it up in major championships. This has been historically true. It was true at the Masters. It was true at the U.S. Open.

Accordingly, the good folks at BetDSI are offering a number of Woods wagers you may be keen to punt on…especially if you want a piece of the TW action but aren’t keen to take Woods at 24-1 to win The Open.

Tiger Woods makes cut

Yes -350
No +250

Tiger Woods wins

Yes +2400
No -2900

Tiger Woods finishes top 5

Yes +600
No -900

Tiger Woods finishes top 10

Yes +270
No -400

Tiger Woods finishes top 20

Yes +140
No -170

Tiger Woods finishing position

Over 25.5 (-115)
Under 25.5 (-115)

Tiger Woods lowest round

Over 69.5 (-110)
Under 69.5 (-120)

Tiger Woods highest round

Over 75.5 (-110)
Under 75.5 (-120)

Tiger Woods highest score on any hole

Over 7 (-110)
Under 7 (-120)

Tiger Woods total double bogeys or worse

Over 3 (-110)
Under 3 (-120)

Tiger Woods within 5 strokes of lead during final round

Yes +225
No -300

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19th Hole

WATCH Phil Mickelson hit a flop shot over a man 2 yards in front of him

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On the Gear Dive podcast, Fred Couples told Johnny Wunder that Phil Mickelson is the best judge of a lie (and the shots he can execute from a certain lie) in the game of golf.

This video from Carnoustie yesterday is testament both to that fact and a reminder that Phil Mickelson’s short game is truly singular.

Former European Tour pro Gary Evans was the guinea pig.

Here’s the shot from another angle. That’s gotta be a 64-degree Callaway Mack Daddy PM Grind, no?

Mother of golf gods! Check your trousers, Gary! How crazy is that shot? There’s plenty of puffery when it comes to Phil’s short game, but that shot is simply insane. Would love to see the Trackman data on that flop.

I mean, if Phil doesn’t get the contact he wants and you get hit, you gotta hope to get pelted in the stomach or chest…and not the jewels or the face.

What do you think, GolfWRX members? Would you take Evans place for viral video fame? A few bills from Mickelson’s famed cash wad?

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