With players hitting further and further every year, the PGA has responded by increasing the size of Tour venues. This concept reached a new peak two weeks ago at the U.S. Open when Erin Hills, the site of the U.S. Open, became the longest course in U.S. Open history.
Despite its prodigious length, however, the Erin Hills event shattered many tournament scoring records. The winner, big-hitting Brooks Koepka, reached 16-under, with four others reaching double-digits under par, which is unheard of at a USGA event.
After last week’s Travelers Championship, a much shorter course which yielded a lower winning score (-12), Luke Donald, among others, took to Twitter to point out that, in this case, making a course longer did not result in a tougher tournament.
- The Tweet: One of the shortest hitters on the PGA Tour (275.7 yards, 194th), Luke Donald, posted to Twitter that he “loved” that the winning score at the Travelers Championship (-12) was lower than the winning score at the much-long U.S. Open (-16). Donald asserted his belief that “making courses long isn’t the answer.”
- The Stats: Donald’s long game has been a disaster this season, as he ranks 202nd on Tour in strokes gained: off-the-tee, a product of poor driving distance and accuracy, but his short game has been on, as he ranks fourth in both strokes gained: around-the-green and strokes gained: putting. He missed the cut at the Travelers, while not making the field for the U.S. Open.
Love that -12 won this week on a 6850 yard course, last week at Erin Hills 7650 yards & -16 wins. Making courses long isn't the answer!
— Luke Donald (@LukeDonald) June 25, 2017