The biggest sip sip at the Thursday Club gathering was about the new tee being built on the Road Hole (17) of the Old Course. The tee will open in time for the 2010 Open next July and will “restore the shot values to allow the hole to be played like did years ago”. Well, a lot has changed in golf and golfers since the days when the t-shot was launched over the railway yards to a wide firm fairway, and building new tees is an interesting way to keep up. Personally, I would prefer to have a championship course like the Old allow every generation’s best to show just how much better they are than their grandfathers. Continually moving the goal posts is expensive and it makes it harder to say just how much better (or worse) Tiger Woods is than Bobby Jones. So what if they break 60? The Masters has the same problem, the 2010 Champion will not play the same course as Craig Wood did in 1941, wouldn’t it be nice to see them play the same course. I thought it was great that Lorena Ochoa won the women’s British Open on almost the same course that Jack Nicklaus had won the Open, wouldn’t it be nice to have one course where we can measure the differences?
After lunch I went out to where the new tee is being inserted (on the driving range). It will make the hole play at 490 yards, which is 35 yards longer than it has been for the past 100 years! Yes, it will be interesting and yes it will restore this drive to its former (terror) value. In my humble opinion with the right wind conditions the pros will be launching their drives over the Old Course Hotel itself. The umbrellas at the Jigger Inn will have to be reinforced (the windows already have been).