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Golfworld: How 'the Course Setup at Winged Foot Played Into the Bombers' Hands'

Discussion in 'Golf News' started by Dogfish Head, Sep 22, 2020.

  1. Dogfish Head

    Dogfish Head Well-Known Member TEA is my HERO

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    BRYSON DECHAMBEAU IS NOW A BULKY GUY. But the new U.S. Open champion is a smart guy, too. This isn't a recent development. He figured out a few things before blasting his first tee shot at Winged Foot last Thursday.

    Golfworld highlighted this and other points in its "18 Parting Thoughts From a Wild Week at Winged Foot."

    Here's one of their takeaways:


    2. In hindsight, the course setup at Winged Foot played into the bombers' hands. Length is always an advantage, and there's a temptation to combat it by making the fairways super narrow and the rough super long. The problem is, when fairways are that narrow, everyone's going to miss their share. The field only hit 39.6 percent of fairways this week—that's the lowest percentage of any PGA Tour event over the last 30 years, per stats oracle Jason Ray. (DeChambeau might have hit only 23 fairways, but he ranked a respectable T-26 in the category.) And when everyone is missing fairways, the guys closer to the green are going to fare so much better than the guys further away.

    DeChambeau was well aware of this, maybe more so than anyone in the field. Here's what he said in his post-round presser: "[Statistician] Mark Broadie was talking to [coach] Chris Como, and they were talking about how they just made the fairways too small this week to have it be an advantage for guys hitting the fairway. So what I mean by that—let's take an example of you going like a yard wide. Nobody's hitting the fairway. OK, length's going to win. You make the fairways too wide, lengths going to win."

    The takeaway: length is always going to win.
    [​IMG]

    Source: Golfworld: How 'the Course Setup at Winged Foot Played Into the Bombers' Hands'
     
  2. bdcrowe

    bdcrowe ST Homeland Security

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    Unless you make the shorter landing areas a little wider.
     
  3. limpalong

    limpalong Mental Ward Escapee Supporting Member

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    I would like to see a "funnel" design where the fairway narrowed the further you hit the ball. Put the emphasis on accuracy.
    Woods began overpowering all the other players as he employed fitness coaches to build his body specifically for golf. Others had to follow suit and, soon, most all of them began hitting the ball longer and being able to dig it our of typical rough. DeChambeau is the next step beyond Woods. DJ can probably hit the ball just as far. If the DJ's of the Tour get into the type of rough we saw this past week, they have difficulty getting the ball onto the green. DeChambeau didn't! He is a horse! He played the rough like some play the fairway. Still, if the fairways funneled down the longer they were, you would have some hitting 6 irons from the fairway while DeChambeau was trying to horse a 9-iron out of the rough. It would even things up a bit.
     
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  4. BigJim13

    BigJim13 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

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    At this point seeing the guys play out of the rough, I’m not sure making the fairways narrower makes any difference. I’d say firm greens but I’m not even sure that will make a difference.

    You could argue rolling back the equipment, which I’m not 100% in favor of, but I think this shop has sailed. The USGA never got ahead if it and has been playing catch up ever since.
     
  5. limpalong

    limpalong Mental Ward Escapee Supporting Member

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    Equipment is a difficult issue. I am not for bifurcation. We weekend hackers need... the golf industry needs equipment standards which keeps the game challenging, but fun. If they dial down balls and drivers and the best of the weekenders can no longer hit 200 yard drives the game will suffer. Were we to go back to 150 cc persimmon drivers and thin blade irons people would go play pickle ball... or shuffleboard... or checker instead of golf. There is bifurcation in baseball. Aluminum bats can be used until you reach the higher levels of professional ball. It's worked there. Just don't know that it would work in golf.
    I don't know that it's simply "funneling" the fairways. It's making rough... rough!!! If they miss a fairway, there needs to be 6" deep, tangled grasses where you're lucky to find your ball. Harris English lost a ball on Sunday. Guys had trouble all week getting out of the thick rough. Some of the manicured courses on Tour have rough shorter than some public course fairways. I would just like to see the pros have to return to shotmaking instead of this current evolution to "bomb and gouge".
     
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