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Do we need alternatives to adding distance to PGA Tour tracks?

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As even the most casual fans of this maddening game know, since the advent of titanium drivers, the golf courses of the PGA Tour have been adding yardage to preserve difficulty. Since 1990, for example, Augusta National has added more than 500 yards.

GolfWRX member MadMaxx makes an interesting point about the added yardage at PGA Tour tracks, offering alternative suggestions for ratcheting up the difficulty level that don’t necessarily adversely affect shorter hitters.

“Lengthening courses only makes it harder for shorter hitters. If it were up to me I would shorten the courses. The big hitters would be able to drive the par 4’s but make the risk/reward very penal.

“Hit it short, left,right or long and make them pay around the greens. Water, pot bunkers, domed greens, run offs into trouble. Any landing spots in short iron range should be undulating so they never have an even lie and have unpredictable kicks. Pot bunkers put the fear into anyone. Make the most favorable landing areas for approaches reachable by even the shortest hitters.”

“Of course, this would necessitate some serious earth moving, which is one of the knocks against lengthening courses. Also, tour pros would hate just about everything he proposes. However, at least courses wouldn’t face the “running out of real estate” issue, and Maxx offers a potential remedy for the obsolescence of classic courses.”

Disco111 agrees

“In truth, this is exactly what the tour needs.”

Lijka writes

“I agree, there are a lot of ways to make golf more interesting. We don’t have to tack on a few hundred yards onto every course just to make par a bit harder to reach. There are all sorts of ways to make things more intellectual and tricky in order to make it more entertaining and/or difficult (if that is really the goal). I do think though that regardless of course set up and all other things being equal, being a long hitter will always be a natural advantage and the goal shouldn’t be to punish those that are.”

Cardoustie agrees and offers this perspective.

“The other part you’re missing is that these big courses are longer but ALSO wayyyyy WIDER. Definitely easier for bombers. Big targets and HUGE greens. I keep using this example. Merion GC at 2013 US Open that Rose won … 6,996 yards. High rough, small tilted greens, narrow fairways = higher scores.”

Of course, wildcatden’s, point that there are other ways to make courses difficult may be the most salient of all. He offers this image.

What do you think about lengthening vs. toughening courses, GolfWRX members? Join the discussion in the forum.

 

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19th Hole

The 7 best #GolfWRX photos on Instagram today (10.11.18)

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If you’re on Instagram, you’re hopefully aware that we are ‘gramming it up as well (@golfwrx). And if you’re not following us, well, that hurts our feelings more than a three-putt bogey.

Even if you do follow WRX on Instagram, however, you may not be aware that an abundance of equipment enthusiasts are hashtagging their photos #GolfWRX. We feel it’s only right to feature the best of the WRX-tagged imagery here.

And if you’re not on Instagram, well there’s no way you could see these photos, so think of this series as a handy filter for the best #GolfWRX photos from the past 24 hours.

Michael Martinez with a phenomenal custom Nike concept sketch in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.

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Hispanic Heritage Month #golf #nikeshoes #leetrevino

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Worse than the blue screen of death…

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Sadness. #RadryGolf

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In the pantheon of golf tattoos, this one has to be featured prominently, no?

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Tattoo level: Tin Cup ???????? ???? via @pgamemes

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BB&F continues to reign as the ferrule king.

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Ferrule B

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Kraken’s latest ballmarker is hotter than a fire track.

With all due respect to aquatic creatures, these are the best kind of scallops.

A clean sole grind and stamping from Don White. Nothing like it.

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Made with a purpose.

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If you’re on Instagram, remember to hashtag your photos #GolfWRX. And if you’re not on Instagram, well, don’t.

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19th Hole

Report: No tickets will be sold for Tiger-Phil match

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Sorry, fans, you’re not going to be able to buy tickets to the Tiger Woods-Phil Mickelson $9 million megamatch at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas, November 23.

Per a report from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, only a “small gathering of sponsors and VIPs” will be allowed on course. The report also indicates that, in contrast to Phil Mickelson’s promised primetime (ET) showdown, the match will be played under the Nevada sun. The official start time is yet to be announced, ditto the PPV price.

We corrected the promo graphic below to eliminate the crowd. But right-handed Tiger Woods swinging a left-handed club still needs fixing.

Woods is the -220 favorite at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook. Mickelson is a +180 underdog.

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WATCH: Is this the craziest hole-in-one you’ve ever seen?

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Golfers often say that getting a hole-in-one is all luck. (Keep in mind that Tiger Woods, arguably one of the most skilled iron players ever, says he has 19 holes-in-one… so maybe not all luck.) But certainly there are some holes-in-one that are “luckier” than others.

And then there’s this shot by Eddie Pepperell at the 2018 British Masters…

Definitely a great shot, and he absolutely took dead aim, but how this golf ball found the bottom of the cup is mind-blowing. It seemed to bounce off the ground, go up the flagstick, hit the ground, then side hop itself right into the basket. Wow.

But is it crazier than the bank shot?

That one is hard to top.

Or how about the all-time classic Bugs-Bunny-assisted hole-in-one by Michael Jordan in Space Jam?

Looney Tunes aside, here’s what Pepperell had to say about his hole-in-one.

He may not have seen what happened at the time, but he’ll see it on highlight reels for years to come.

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