Sunday, March 13, 2005

Johnny Miller on Mirasol

So on yesterday's telecast of the Honda Classic, Johnny Miller, who I generally like, told viewers that Tom Fazio's Mirasol course "could hold a major championship."
It is an interesting comment because apparently the reasoning for the comment was twofold. First, Mirasol's mowed down chipping areas that surround greens are somewhat like Donald Ross' work at Pinehurst No.2. Secondly, scores at Mirasol aren't high, and last year Todd Hamilton won the tournament. He went on to win at Troon as well, taking home the British Open in the process.
I find Miller's comments fascinating and strangely out of touch. Yes, Fazio's chipping areas around green are the most interesting part about Mirasol. Yesterday, Hamilton did some chip and runs just like the British Open. And yes, the ground game can be employed at Mirasol, unlike many Florida courses. But with that exception, Mirasol is just another FLA course, full of water and big bunkers. Like a meal at the Keg in Canada -- or Chillis for my U.S. readers -- Fazio's Mirasol is not bad -- but it is rarely ever very exceptional either.
A U.S. Open though? Who is Miller kidding?
Take a look at the photo below and you'll see the real reason behind Mirasol -- and it has nothing to do with holding U.S. Opens.
And here's an exercise. Pick the course that doesn't belong. Shinnecock. Bethpage Black. Pebble Beach. Pinehurst No.2. Mirasol. See what I mean?

Example

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