December 2, 2023

There has been a certain amount of grumbling – justified or not – about how some of the European Tour tournaments have played out very easy, Most notably in 2019 when Rory McIlroy criticized the possibility of playing at Renaissance Club in North Berwick, Scotland, which has hosted the Scottish Open since 2019.

“I don’t think the courses are adequately prepared,” McIlroy told reporters at the time after the Alfred Dunhill Links Championships, which also played in Scotland. “There are no penalties for bad shots.

“I don’t feel like golf is as good as it can be. It happened at the Scottish Open in the Renaissance. I shot 13 under and got 30 [actually tied for 34th] repeatedly. It’s not a good test. I think if the European Tour is to come up with a really good product, the golf courses and settings have to be tougher.”

Other players soon expressed similar concerns. Ernie Els of South Africa said he agreed “100 percent” with McIlroy. “The main European Tour tournaments and other major events should be tough.” Experience the best! Els said on Twitter.

Eduardo Molinari of Italy, a three-time winner of the DP World Tour, said on Twitter: “Good shots should be rewarded and bad shots should be punished…It’s that simple!”

Now, either from player input or from owners who have simply made improvements, several courses have made changes in Europe and the US, including Al-Nahda Club, which is hosting the Scottish Open for the fourth time starting Thursday.

Padraig Harrington of Ireland, a three-time main winner who recently consulted with the course Architect Tom Dock, admits it may have been easy at first.

“The first year was low, but that was because the European Tour didn’t know the golf course,” Harrington said of the first year the club hosted the tournament. “They were very easy to set up. That’s when he was the owner of the Renaissance Club, Jerry Savardihe said, “Let’s tighten this course.”

Players like McIlroy have reacted to how officials set up the tournament course, Doak said. Consider the weather.

“They’ve played the tournament there for three years, and once a year the weather isn’t normal,” he said. “It was windy for only one or two days out of 12. It’s usually a windy place, it’s like Muirfield next section. Circumstances make a big difference.

But we don’t control the weather. You can’t build a links course and tighten it so that it’s hard in benign conditions, because when it’s windy, the path is impossible. You should have some leeway. So we are slowly going with the changes. We don’t want to overreact.”

Most of the changes were gradual.

“In the last two or three years, we’ve mostly made small adjustments — driveway bunkers and layout,” Duak said. “We only work around the margins. When I first designed the course [in 2008]We were only going to host an event once. You’re not really designing for a one-time event, I’m designing for member play.

“But when you host a tournament on a recurring basis, you need to think about the core function of the golf course and what we want to do differently because of that.”

They let the raw grow. “We’re trying to make it rougher,” he said.

Addition of aisle pot caches [deep with high side walls] Off the tee, Duak said, he should increasingly challenge players by forcing them to think more carefully about their shots and strategy.

“We never really thought about it when the course was first set up,” he said. “I never worried about players with 300 yards. But now a group of them can.”

Other, more significant changes were considered, such as changing the green, or making it smaller.

“It’s going to be really hard to change the green and get it back to the right state before the next tournament.” Doak said. He’s waiting to see how the course plays out in the most normal weather conditions. “Then we’ll see if we keep the changes going, or if we’re good at where we are.”

Harrington, who won At the US Open last month, changes came close from a player’s point of view.

“As a player, you want these changes now,” he said. “In a perfect world, all golf courses evolve. Golfs are always changing. But you have to go slowly with those changes, and you can’t go through with them to make them tougher in order to make them tougher.

“We made little changes to separate the field a little bit,” Harrington said. “You have to make your golf course a rigorous test.

“I like to punish the guy who doesn’t take it, or the chicken who goes out on bail. But nobody wants to stop a player from playing well. We want to encourage them to play well, harass them, and ask them to take more great shots. But we will punish you if you take a shot.” her death.”

Harrington also emphasized that the changes will force players to choose their shots more carefully.

“We have defined the penalties more clearly, and if a player wants to implement them, that’s great,” he said. “But they separate the winner from the guy who is 10th. If you don’t play well, there is a lot of risk. But if you play well, you get the rewards.

The goal of Savardi, the owner of the club. It was simple. “I want a cycle that rewards good shots and punishes bad ones,” he said. “No matter what the weather.”

However, Savardi still kept an eye on the weather.

“The greens are very dry, and our driveways are rock solid,” he said. “If the weather stays like this, this place will be on fire.”

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