Today’s Technology & The Old Course

Frank,

Thank you for your column each week. It has helped my game and my understanding about how equipment really performs, which is as I have experienced, not always according to most of the marketing claims.

My question is not really about my own equipment but how the Old Course is going to hold up to modern equipment for the British Open?

–Trip, NJ

Trip,

Thanks for your comments about the column. With regard to the British Open most golfers in the UK refer to this championship as The Open and frown on those who call it the British Open. I only say this to alert you for your next visit to Scotland when you are looking for a preferred tee time on the Old Course.

The Old Course is playing this week at about 7,300 yards – about 1,000 yards longer than most visitors play it. It is one of the greatest courses in the world and has been used to play golf for about 600 years. Golfers playing The Open this week will find the course a very good challenge, especially if the wind blows up as it is inclined to do.

Fortunately, the average distance of drives on the tour has only increased approximately 18 inches since 2006 because a ceiling on distance due to equipment has been reached. For this reason, The Old Course will not have to be lengthened again and perhaps if the wind blows it may have to be set up a little less than the full length but will still be considered one of the best challenges in golf.

There are four drivable par fours to excite the spectators, these are the 9th, 10th, 12th and the 18th depending on the wind direction. 

No matter what has happened to the course to lengthen it over the years, it will always be my favorite but I will certainly not be playing from The Open tees.

Trip, equipment has improved but increased distance is no longer a concern as far as the tour players are concerned so the Old Course can now rest in peace.

Frank