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Monday, March 13, 2006

I disagree with George Peper, Pinehurst, Augusta not overrated

I have the greatest respect for George Peper and his excellent life long body of work. Every architecture expert I know has his book 500 greatest golf holes on his shelf.

However, I read his Links Mag article where he says Pinehurst No. 2 and Augusta are 2 of the 10 most overrated courses on the planet.

I respectfully dissent. I think he was being glib and pounding out something for a slow news month. he was trying to stir the pot aq little and help lead a mix up of the rankings. (Which is a good thing...some new blood is deserving of recognition.)

He says Pinehurst's greens are goofy. I believe he says it because the greens do not accurately reflect what Ross designed because a) of the sand build up making them higher with more pronounced slopes and b) it was the USGA that did the cutting and shaping to encourage more dropoffs. If they really were what Ross intended, or if it was Ross himself who did that, I wonder if he'd have that position. I think he'd be more likely to support Ross and he'd wag a finger at the USGA. It's the present climate. I feel he's being reactionary to the USGA.

I like the contours...they have character and add challenge. Golf is not a game of perfect, but it's also not a game of easy. I love false fronts and sharp dropoffs...keeps you thinking, makes it an exciting golf adventure.

Same argument for Augusta. He asks, "if its so great why do they keep changing it?" He knows the answer...its the equipment and the newly chiseled physiques of the more athletic players and the length people are gaining off the tee. Yes, the pro setup is nothing like what The Good Dr. would have designed, but other than 4 days a year it's mute because all us mere mortals are getting the more authentic version. The question he should be asking is why is it Fazio doing the "alterations."

What a strange word for it (it's the word the course and networks use.). Makes it sound like what my tailor does to my pants.


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