SI's roundtable on golf
SI has posted an interesting article on the state of golf. The roundtable discussion includes gadfly Geoff Shackelford, Brad Faxon, David Fay and Callaway flack Larry Dorman.
The article has several nice back-and-forth debates from the participants, like this one:
SHACKELFORD: But isn't the USGA bothered by low scoring? Jeff Maggert said last year that he knew the USGA would 'panic' after the first two rounds because 17 players were at or below par. Today's courses, players and equipment are better. Naturally scores should evolve.
FAY: They have evolved. Look at Ben Hogan. He won two of his four U.S. Opens at seven over par. We're not clinging to par, but we want par to have meaning.
I have no problem with protecting par, but embarrassing players like at last year's U.S. Open at Shinnecock, is crossing the line. Fascinating that Fay wouldn't bite when Shackelford needled him about Tom Meeks' comments on Ernie Els following last year's tournament.
Faxon doesn't offer much insightful, but he does take a shot at Jack Nicklaus:
SI: Why is everybody talking about the ball? Deane Beman, Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player -- they all say the ball needs to be rolled back in the pro game.
FAXON: If Jack Nicklaus had a successful ball, he would never say another word. But he's never sold a ball that's made a dime. There are so many other, more important things to worry about. Like allowing the putter to touch a part of your body other than your hands....
Apparently Jack would have been all for a long ball, Faxon says, if only he had been schilling for one. Faxon is also very clear on his take on a so-called "tournament ball."
FAXON: Absolutely no way. It's a pipe dream. No amateur I've played with is going to buy a ball that goes 20 yards shorter, so they wouldn't use the same product as the pros. Bifurcation would never work.
The whole debate is worth reading. Check it out.
And let's hope the USGA doesn't screw up Pinehurst.