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Golf Australia Express : GA Express 285
IS THERE REALLY SUCH A THING AS “TOO EASY”? T oo easy. It’s a term heard far too often in golf, particularly by recreational players when talking about the way golf holes are designed and/or presented. An example: at my own home club, two new tees have recently been brought into play and both have small trees almost directly in front of them. In discussions with several members in the weeks since they were opened, my suggestion that the trees need to be removed has been met with what I find a staggering response. “That’ll make the hole too easy,” I’m told (often by golfers who struggle to break 90, of which I am often one). Leaving aside the unfathomable notion that a tree in front of a tee is a reasonable or sensible challenge to present a golfer, the response raises an interesting notion. Is there such a thing as ‘too easy’ in golf and, if so, what would that look like? I say no and here’s why. The reality is that if you put 18 flags in a dead flat football field the majority of club golfers wouldn’t sniff par. The greatest challenges in golf come less from the playing field and more from the natural inconsistency of golfers themselves. Hands up if you’ve never made bogey or worse at the easiest hole at your home course. Keep your hand up if you’ve never made a double bogey from the middle of the fairway with a wedge in hand. Or three putted from six feet. The best golf courses cater to this human element by allowing the golfer, within reason, a chance to recover from his or her mistakes. Courses like Royal Melbourne and the Old Course at St Andrews start by making the playing corridors extremely wide. Missing the 1st fairway (pictured) at the Old Course requires a very special kind of awful (apologies to Ian Baker-Finch) as there are nearly 100 yards within which to hit your ball. For the less proficient that means the second shot is guaranteed to be played from short grass while for the better player it means controlling where to hit it to gain the best angle to attack the flag becomes the challenge. Is it ‘too easy’? Based on the anecdotal evidence of those informal surveys at my home club, the answer would likely be yes. I once played at Barnbougle Dunes (another wide golf course) with my non-golfing other half and while simply getting the ball airborne can be a struggle for her she enjoyed the round because even her duffs went forward. Narrow courses bordered by trees and featuring long grass and forced carries don’t afford this luxury. They are clearly not ‘too easy’. In fact, I would argue they are ‘too hard’ and actually damaging to the game because they take the fun out of it for all levels of player. So next time you come across a hole that you feel is ‘too easy’ try this little experiment. Play it five times in a row and see if you can make five straight birdies. If you manage it, send your application off for Tour School immediately. If you don’t, never again claim that any hole is ‘too easy’. VIEW THE ROD MORRI is an award-winning writer and podcast presenter. He hosts The iseekgolf.com Podcast weekly. CLICK here to listen.
GA Express 284
GA Express 286