No less than Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson took pot shots at Kiawah's Ocean Course during the PGA Championship. "It would be great if we could utilize the ground and run the ball up [here], but that's gone," said Woods. "Paspalum fairways and with this much rain, that's no longer in the equation."
Lefty pointed out two problems. "One, most every hole plays in a decent crosswind; and two, you're not able to really play the ball on the ground here. You have to play it through the air, because the greens all repel off. You can't really roll a shot up."
Whining pros or objective observations? I don't really care, so long as they keep it up. I'm an architecture geek, so I love it when the pros speak on record about the merits--or flaws--of a big-time golf course. I may not agree with them, but it's a hoot to find out what they're thinking.
I get that there are folks who resent the pros ripping a course. How dare these spoiled brats bitch about a challenging, scenic, perfectly groomed layout, especially given all the money they're playing for? Besides, the course plays the same for everybody. Just shut up and get on with it.
That's not my view, however. Whether it's Phil taking Rees Jones to task for his work on Cog Hill No. 4 (pictured) and Torrey Pines (South), or Dave Hill famously scolding Hazeltine National ("All it lacks is 80 acres of corn and a few cows"), I'm a freedom-of-speech fan. Tell me I'm wrong.
(Photo: Courtesy of Cog Hill Golf and Country Club)