Do you think longer courses are counter productive even at tour pro level?

rollin

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I just don't see it. Short hitters perform very well all the time... Graeme McDowell is ranked 16th in the world and is ranked 171st in driving distance (at 277 yards). Former world #1 Luke Donald averages 278, as does current #6 Jim Furyk.

I guess I just feel that there is plenty of variety on Tour when it comes to distances of the holes. Clearly there are holes that might benefit the big hitter, but that's just the consequence of some guys and gals being awesome and killing the ball.
fair points. there may be some more variety than I am giving credit for. I don't say that only the longest hitters are winning and its not really the case. Yet??? also how do we know that there are not others (shorter ones) who would otherwise be on top not for the "too many holes too long" thing. Your list above would be much larger and the whole thing could add a broader field you would never see. Just something to think about.

But is that consequence you speak of really that they killed the ball (which they did) or is it also really that those holes have simply taken too many others away from being able to truly compete on them. If such holes become more and more the norm, who else but the bombers will be awesome on them?
 

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Agreed longer courses can give the long ballets an advantage but hopefully course designers will start to make courses challenging without just adding distance. Adding hazards and doglegs is a great way to add challenge without playing to anyone's advantages.
 

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Sorry but I would disagree with this completely. The shorter one can make his approach shots the better his chances at scoring. There is such a thing as playing to a yardage for a favorite club distance in. But go ask any pro at the bottom of the distance list if he would rather a long club into greens vs a shorter one? You would be hard pressed to find a single one to agree with that.
I understand your post but my understanding is for tour pros at the tournament they are there, they gotta play, long or short. If you ask them all would say they prefer the Thursday's pin to Sunday pin placement.

They are handling the situation handed to them. My point of view is short hitters always have longer shots to the green, VS long hitters who usually have short shots therefore in competition short hitters have been in that situation more time than long hitters. I remember Johny Miller said that the last round at Shinnecock when Cory Pavin won. It was odd because the popular believe is long hitters always have the edge but it made sense to me then and still does.

Longer hitter like Michelle Wie do not usually carry 3 wood, because she has never needed it to reach any green in 2, she's not going to be as good, percentage wise, as shorter hitter who always have to reach for 3 woods to reach the green in regulation when the time comes. That was my take.

I'd imagine if we put long hitter on a 9,000 yard course they are not going to do as well as short hitter playing 7,000 yard course. Or do I owe you an apology for my math:D
 

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I understand your post but my understanding is for tour pros at the tournament they are there, they gotta play, long or short. If you ask them all would say they prefer the Thursday's pin to Sunday pin placement.

They are handling the situation handed to them. My point of view is short hitters always have longer shots to the green, VS long hitters who usually have short shots therefore in competition short hitters have been in that situation more time than long hitters. I remember Johny Miller said that the last round at Shinnecock when Cory Pavin won. It was odd because the popular believe is long hitters always have the edge but it made sense to me then and still does.

Longer hitter like Michelle Wie do not usually carry 3 wood, because she has never needed it to reach any green in 2, she's not going to be as good, percentage wise, as shorter hitter who always have to reach for 3 woods to reach the green in regulation when the time comes. That was my take.

I'd imagine if we put long hitter on a 9,000 yard course they are not going to do as well as short hitter playing 7,000 yard course. Or do I owe you an apology for my math:D
Understood. You are basically saying that shorter hitters are that much better with their longer clubs for approach shots as it is something they have to do because that's the situations they are more often involved in. So being in those situations more often and using those clubs more often leads to them being very good with them for the approaches. Its a fair point in one sense. But with due respect, I think the logic of saying they are still better off with the longest clubs for the approaches and that the longer courses works in their favor is a bit misplaced.

We must remember we are talking tour pro's here. They are generally speaking exceptionally great with the whole bag. They as individuals certainly have stronger and weaker parts of their games among and vs their peers but over all are great at it all. Put a shorter hitter on any given hole and he just like anyone may lay up to a preferred yardage but that is within reason and depending on the specifics of a situation and perhaps done for a club or two. But unless I am mistaken he is not generally laying up for a much longer club into the green when he can have a much shorter one. As good as he may be with his longest clubs he is still going to stick more 9irons, gw's and pw's than 3 iron or 4irons or fw's. It certainly would not generally be the norm to do otherwise.

You make a good point but I don't agree with your view of it all working quite the way you feel. But that's all good. Fun to debate opinions. and this entire thread is really based on opinion and theory anyway of which I find interesting to discuss. The only thing factual about it is that there are a lot of very long holes in golf at the pro level and longer and shorter hitters :)
 

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I wonder when people will be satisfied. I remember when equipment was too long and courses where too short. Now courses are too long?! We have had this debate in other threads and there are arguments for and against. I think courses on tour are fine. We have a winner every week and it's always a bomber.
 

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I wonder when people will be satisfied. I remember when equipment was too long and courses where too short. Now courses are too long?! We have had this debate in other threads and there are arguments for and against. I think courses on tour are fine. We have a winner every week and it's always a bomber.
I don't think its a matter of anyone including myself being satisfied or not. The questions are simply to promote thought on do we think that making holes longer and longer at the pro level is good or bad for golf now or in the long term? is it being over done? When does the affect if any become a negative one? That's all this really is. Actually its the powers to be who have obviously not been satisfied. If they were, the courses/holes wouldn't keep getting longer.

I may not be giving enough credit that there are still plenty of normal length holes on tour. And even if some think its not any issue the trend is and has certainly gone in the direction of lengthening them. You say you feel its all just fine and so have some others. But if the trend keeps going is there a point where it has a negative affect ? Is the hole lengthening trend always been and still be the correct thing to do? Can it play in favor of the longer hitters to a fault and work towards a smaller competitive field? Those are things imo not good for golf. I don't know if any that has happened or began to happen yet but something to consider especially if the trend keeps going.
 

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all this will do is move the line. The ball will also of course be shorter for the shorter hitters too and this does nothing to make the issue any different. Do this and leave the long holes and all that does is make so the shorter pros wont stand a chance at all and the mid range ones will find it as hard as the shorter ones use to have it. The only ones really surviving for wins will only be the longest ones.
Ball technology is sufficiently sophisticated to allow manufacturers to design a ball which would be shorter for the harder swingers, yet not lose much distance on weaker hits. To be fair it would have to lose some for the short knocker, but not as much as the big hitters. Just by building in a max rebound factor no matter how much the ball is compressed they can do this.

Whether or not this ever happens is the question. All I've ever heard about ball changes is rumormongering and speculation from people who don't actually know anything. It's more of a Chicken Little thing right now, running around saying "The sky is falling" with no data to back it up.
 

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Ball technology is sufficiently sophisticated to allow manufacturers to design a ball which would be shorter for the harder swingers, yet not lose much distance on weaker hits. To be fair it would have to lose some for the short knocker, but not as much as the big hitters. Just by building in a max rebound factor no matter how much the ball is compressed they can do this.

Whether or not this ever happens is the question. All I've ever heard about ball changes is rumormongering and speculation from people who don't actually know anything. It's more of a Chicken Little thing right now, running around saying "The sky is falling" with no data to back it up.
that's Interesting and not something I thought about.
 

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Ball technology is sufficiently sophisticated to allow manufacturers to design a ball which would be shorter for the harder swingers, yet not lose much distance on weaker hits. To be fair it would have to lose some for the short knocker, but not as much as the big hitters. Just by building in a max rebound factor no matter how much the ball is compressed they can do this.

Whether or not this ever happens is the question. All I've ever heard about ball changes is rumormongering and speculation from people who don't actually know anything. It's more of a Chicken Little thing right now, running around saying "The sky is falling" with no data to back it up.
Completely negating a faster swingers ability to crush the ball further than his competition is not the way to go IMO. Its against the spirit of the game.
 

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Completely negating a faster swingers ability to crush the ball further than his competition is not the way to go IMO. Its against the spirit of the game.
hmmm, good point to bring up if that indeed is how it may ever be done.
That would be like playing with something that gives advantage or disadvantage more to one player vs another. But then I guess one could possibly argue that with current club and ball limitations isn't that already doing the same thing? I don't really know if that would apply to your point.

And I know its sort of on a different note but your point is somewhat very similar to my feelings about them keeping this trend going of more holes being made longer. In my theory that could eventually lead to if not already be giving advantage or disadvantage more to one player vs another also going against the spirit of the game too.
 

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I've never been a long hitter, and while I certainly wish I was and feel I'd shoot lower scores more often if I was, wins and high finishes on the tour (and everywhere for that matter) almost always comes down to who is rolling it the best that week. I agree that so called "Tiger Proofing" in the day actually had a reverse effect, punishing short knockers more than the bombers, but at the pro level I just feel the game is far more about in and around the greens (and between the ears) than it is about distance. Should they slow the greens down and level out some of the severe undulations to bring in the poorest putters to enlarge the pool of viable winners? Just as courses are getting longer, so too has there been a trend in making greens faster and trickier. I see little difference in trying to be fairer to short knockers than trying to be fairer to the bad putters.
 
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I've never been a long hitter, and while I certainly wish I was and feel I'd shoot lower scores more often if I was, wins and high finishes on the tour (and everywhere for that matter) almost always comes down to who is rolling it the best that week. I agree that so called "Tiger Proofing" in the day actually had a reverse effect, punishing short knockers more than the bombers, but at the pro level I just feel the game is far more about in and around the greens (and between the ears) than it is about distance. Should they slow the greens down and level out some of the severe undulations to bring in the poorest putters to enlarge the pool of viable winners? Just as courses are getting longer, so too has there been a trend in making greens faster and trickier. I see little difference in trying to be fairer to short knockers than trying to be fairer to the bad putters.
Imo if greens are made easier the better putters are still going to make more putts because they still are better at doing it and its also easier for them too. That wouldnt become easier for one player vs another. It would be easier for both and one will simply still be better at it than the other.

I do understand the game on and around the greens certainly does not go without its due importance towards winning. But what about GIR's? Not only GIR's but also just how far off the greens the misses are. Both of these very important things can be difference makers too. and als directly related to that part of the game. Generally speaking the further away the approaches are coming from, the more chance for the GIR's to go down. Also the more chance the miss is not as close. And even when hitting the GIR's, the more chance to be further from the pin or desired landing spot. Not to say this is happening by huge numbers of difference. I just don't know for sure but I don't think we can deny that coming in from longer distances and with longer clubs can bring about such circumstances more often.
 

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Completely negating a faster swingers ability to crush the ball further than his competition is not the way to go IMO. Its against the spirit of the game.
I disagree. The difference between a long hitter and an average hitter has steadily grown through the last 20 years until it can even give an advantage to an otherwise less skilled player. If you go back the the roots of the game, distance was relatively unimportant with the feathery and the gutta-percha balls. The sole deciding factor was the skill with which the golfer played his game, not how far he hit the ball. As equipment changed, so did the game. Now if you can't bomb a drive at least 290, hit a 170 yard 7 iron, you will struggle to compete at a championship level, even if the rest of your game is solid.

I say that this trend toward length above everything else is what is against the spirit of the game, and it's certainly against the traditions of the game.
 

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I disagree. The difference between a long hitter and an average hitter has steadily grown through the last 20 years until it can even give an advantage to an otherwise less skilled player. If you go back the the roots of the game, distance was relatively unimportant with the feathery and the gutta-percha balls. The sole deciding factor was the skill with which the golfer played his game, not how far he hit the ball. As equipment changed, so did the game. Now if you can't bomb a drive at least 290, hit a 170 yard 7 iron, you will struggle to compete at a championship level, even if the rest of your game is solid.

I say that this trend toward length above everything else is what is against the spirit of the game, and it's certainly against the traditions of the game.
well said imo
 

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I disagree. The difference between a long hitter and an average hitter has steadily grown through the last 20 years until it can even give an advantage to an otherwise less skilled player. If you go back the the roots of the game, distance was relatively unimportant with the feathery and the gutta-percha balls. The sole deciding factor was the skill with which the golfer played his game, not how far he hit the ball. As equipment changed, so did the game. Now if you can't bomb a drive at least 290, hit a 170 yard 7 iron, you will struggle to compete at a championship level, even if the rest of your game is solid.

I say that this trend toward length above everything else is what is against the spirit of the game, and it's certainly against the traditions of the game.
That's an interesting take and honestly I've never looked at it that way.
 

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Imo if greens are made easier the better putters are still going to make more putts because they still are better at doing it and its also easier for them too. That wouldnt become easier for one player vs another. It would be easier for both and one will simply still be better at it than the other.

I do understand the game on and around the greens certainly does not go without its due importance towards winning. But what about GIR's? Not only GIR's but also just how far off the greens the misses are. Both of these very important things can be difference makers too. and als directly related to that part of the game. Generally speaking the further away the approaches are coming from, the more chance for the GIR's to go down. Also the more chance the miss is not as close. And even when hitting the GIR's, the more chance to be further from the pin or desired landing spot. Not to say this is happening by huge numbers of difference. I just don't know for sure but I don't think we can deny that coming in from longer distances and with longer clubs can bring about such circumstances more often.
How is the bolded part any different than someone who is better (for arguments sake, longer) at driving the ball? A longer course becomes longer for both players, one is just better at that aspect of the game than the other.
 

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Do you think longer courses are counter productive even at tour pro level?

Let's say the courses on tour are shortened. How does that help the short knocker? Are his skills as a short knocker the same on a short course as those of the long baller in a long course? Of course not, I long hitter would dominate the short course.
 

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Let's say the courses on tour are shortened. How does that help the short knocker? Are his skills as a short knocker the same on a short course as those of the long baller in a long course? Of course not, I long hitter would dominate the short course.
Very true.

I guess in order for something to change courses would have to be shortened and tightened up bigtime. Just pulling two players at opposite ends of the spectrum, Rory hits 60% of fairways and Zach Johnson hits 70% but drives the ball 30+ yards shorter. I still think on a short, tight course it's advantage Rory.
 

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Let's say the courses on tour are shortened. How does that help the short knocker? Are his skills as a short knocker the same on a short course as those of the long baller in a long course? Of course not, I long hitter would dominate the short course.
Yes but Its not really about shorter holes. Its about the fact that they lengthen them in order to try to combat what they think is a problem and there are better ways imo to combat the issue other than adding length. Short holes without much trouble in long hitter landing zones and/or with no forced lay ups would be dominated by the longer hitters just as you say. And this is a very reason they then add length. But they could instead just add the troubles and forced lay ups. Its not that shortening holes helps the short knocker because it doesnt, but is more about lengthening them works to further punishes the short hitter and that in turn then helps the long hitter by default. Their logic in the way they choose to combat an issue just may possibly not be working the way intended or at least not without unexpected negative consequences towards its own cause. .
 
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Imo if greens are made easier the better putters are still going to make more putts because they still are better at doing it and its also easier for them too. That wouldnt become easier for one player vs another. It would be easier for both and one will simply still be better at it than the other.
.
How is the bolded part any different than someone who is better (for arguments sake, longer) at driving the ball? A longer course becomes longer for both players, one is just better at that aspect of the game than the other.
I'll try (hopefully) to explain why I feel its different. I may not get it out very well and even if I do I may not be so correct but I will try anyway :)

Firstly I think its a fair to say that in golf generally speaking the longer a shot and the longer the club, the more difficult it is to be more precise. There is simply going to be a bit more error involved a bit more often. Unless I am misunderstanding this game I don't think you would disagree with that part. But also imo with each longer club and relative distance the percentage of error in general increases.

When one is a short hitter he/she is already in a longer club. That is no ones fault of course.
But with the above said, when we then add more distance in order to combat the longest hitters it ends up being those longest hitters who are not quite as penalized as are the shorter ones. They too (longer hitters) are in a longer club of course but Mr short who already was in a longer club is now in an even longer one. His percentage of error increase is two fold. He imo is punished a bit more harshly than Mr long is.

The scenario with greens being easier imo plays equally easier for both good and not as good putters as the two players are holding the same club, have the same putt and same chance. Easier greens raises both their chances as does harder greens lower both thier chances. But extending hole length doesn't equally make it harder for both players. Imo it punishes one a bit more than the other. I hope this all makes some sense :)
 

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Understood. You are basically saying that shorter hitters are that much better with their longer clubs for approach shots as it is something they have to do because that's the situations they are more often involved in. So being in those situations more often and using those clubs more often leads to them being very good with them for the approaches. Its a fair point in one sense. But with due respect, I think the logic of saying they are still better off with the longest clubs for the approaches and that the longer courses works in their favor is a bit misplaced.

We must remember we are talking tour pro's here. They are generally speaking exceptionally great with the whole bag. They as individuals certainly have stronger and weaker parts of their games among and vs their peers but over all are great at it all. Put a shorter hitter on any given hole and he just like anyone may lay up to a preferred yardage but that is within reason and depending on the specifics of a situation and perhaps done for a club or two. But unless I am mistaken he is not generally laying up for a much longer club into the green when he can have a much shorter one. As good as he may be with his longest clubs he is still going to stick more 9irons, gw's and pw's than 3 iron or 4irons or fw's. It certainly would not generally be the norm to do otherwise.

You make a good point but I don't agree with your view of it all working quite the way you feel. But that's all good. Fun to debate opinions. and this entire thread is really based on opinion and theory anyway of which I find interesting to discuss. The only thing factual about it is that there are a lot of very long holes in golf at the pro level and longer and shorter hitters :)
This is a very interesting topic and I like thinking about it. Good thread rollin':clapp:

My perspective has been different this time back to the game and with a new borne daughter, I've been watching almost exclusively all of the LPGA tournament, and some Seniors, not so much the PGA(only majors). I'm really rusty with all the name and their abilities right now, however I know most if not all the seniors guys because they were in PGA when I was still playing 10 years ago:act-up:.

Just a couple of weeks ago LPGA Championship Brittney Lincicome (long hitter#3) vs Inbee Park (short hitter#84) sudden-death playoff. Inbee won. You are right pros of any tour can run circle around any scratch player and then some on the range and practice round any clubs and any shots, but not all have the mental toughness. Even Tiger suffers from serious first tee/round jitters and nerve problem.

I notice that many long hitters feel like they have to get on the green in 2 or regulation because it takes the pressure off their short game. Short hitter have less choices and must scramble all the time, so they are less nervous.

Even I feel that way playing with shorter hitter, I hit it longer and approach with shorter clubs, I should score better, but that's not always the case. For Pros add spectators, cameras, commentators, Johny Miller, millions viewers it gets to you. I guess what I'm trying to say is yes it's better to hit longer but it's only a small part of the advantage, it's not as black and white as adding yardages. If long hitter has clear advantage then at least the top 10 leading distance should win more right? I don't think it's even close. Most winners are from avg distance, just play better that's all.

Here's an interesting stats that I came across from this http://jamieonsport.wordpress.com/2013/09/26/best-stats-from-the-2013-pga-tour-season/

2013 PGA Tour events:
0 were won by players leading the field in driving distance
0 were won by players leading the field in driving accuracy
2 were won by players leading the field in strokes gained putting*
4 were won by players leading the field in scrambling
6 were won by players leading the field in greens in regulation
 

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I disagree with the initial statement.

- The crazy distance some can get is what separates them as top level athletes.

- They can get that far through hard work, practice and talent. It's not just a height thing like a dunk in basketball.

- The short game still exists. Which balances out the long hitters. Everyone needs to putt.

- I would love to see courses (PGA) change up the lengths more. Imagine a 1500 yard hole and 100 yard hole in the same comp.
 

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This is a very interesting topic and I like thinking about it. Good thread rollin':clapp:

I notice that many long hitters feel like they have to get on the green in 2 or regulation because it takes the pressure off their short game. Short hitter have less choices and must scramble all the time, so they are less nervous.

I disagree with the initial statement.

- The crazy distance some can get is what separates them as top level athletes.

- They can get that far through hard work, practice and talent. It's not just a height thing like a dunk in basketball.

- The short game still exists. Which balances out the long hitters. Everyone needs to putt.

- I would love to see courses (PGA) change up the lengths more. Imagine a 1500 yard hole and 100 yard hole in the same comp.
thanks "Rusty" and glad you find this worth good thought and discussion :) That bold part is one of the things that stands out to me. When holes are made longer they then have even less choices and is a part of why I feel its more punishing to them and bad for the sport. If the trend of longer holes keeps going their choices get even smaller and eventually they have none and at some point are simply out. As in my opening post, imo the field becomes smaller and/or more filled with only one type of player.

To be on top and contend on top all players must be very good enough at all things. They will all have things they are worse at than others. That is what balances things out imo. But those things still have to be at certain level in order to compete and contend. One who may be far too lacking in a given part of his game is simply going to find it more difficult to contend with the top best due to that area of his play being too detrimental. That's just the way it is and I think fair easily understood. But then players are also better in certain areas and stand out more in certain areas than others. That too is what holds balance.

If we were to make things so that it favors one area of expertise over the other areas of expertise we then narrow the filed and gear it better suited to those who excel more in that one specific area.
"davemate" you say you would love to see 100 and 1500 yard holes in the same camp. I know perhaps of course an exaggeration to make a point but what you say speaks in every way for one thing and that is diversity. I assume the reason is that you want to watch all different types of players and different golf all competing and contending. I agree and the whole suggestion leans towards my opinion. keep on allowing the trend for longer holes to continue onwards and upwards imo is a one way street that works against the diversity you desire. Plays towards one type of player more than the other.

But instead of lengthening just force layups and/or add more risk at the longer landing zones. To be fair also do keep a number of holes where Mr long is allowed to excel in his area of dominance and showcase and use his great ability. It can be done in such ways to keep the diversity and still keep it fair to all. Just adding length imo doesn't work towards any of that.
 

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I don't mind it too much., but I am a longer hitter. It makes me use my long irons more. I like playing a par 4 and having to use my 4,5 or 6 iron to try to get on the green. On Shorter courses I can use my 3wood or driver off the tee and leave myself a 115 yard (or shorter) shot to the green. Driver/wedge combo gets a little old after awhile. The only thing that gets me are the 220+ par 3's - That's why I don't typically play the back tees (I don't switch b/c I track my hc).


I should add that I also really like not so long courses that force you to manage the course a lot more. But there are really only 1 or 2 around me/.
 

rollin

"Just playin golf pally"
Albatross 2020 Club
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The news in the other thread about a course designed by Phil in Calgary made me think of this topic again. An 8,000 yrd course? Here we go again as this trend continues.

Unless the altitude is worth a thousand yards or 50/60 yards per hole (about 5 club lengths) here again its further playing favorite to the longer hitters and further adding to my logic that the whole thing works against the same issue they are trying to combat in the first place and again working towards creating a field of competition that is smaller or at least one sided. A tiny step in the process but none the less is indeed one more course adding to this trend that I see as something not good for golf.
 

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