Shame on the LPGA Tour

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  #1  
Old 09-13-2020, 05:21 PM
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Default Shame on the LPGA Tour

The eighteenth hole of the Mission Inn course where they play the ANA Inspiration, one of their majors is a short par five with an island green. Most years they construct a sky box grandstand behind the green that prevents balls from going into the water over the green. This is simply a money grab giving the additional income preference to good, challenging and fair golf. Players can just pound their second shots into the green knowing the grandstand will stop it and they will get relief from a temporary immoveable obstruction.

It would be that difficult to construct the grandstand on the other side of the pond and allow the hole to be played as it was designed.

This year they went even beyond even that stupidity. Since there were no fans there was no need for a grandstand. But they built a wall where the grandstand would normally go to prevent balls from going over and into the water.

This year's event came down to the final hole. Mirim Lee was two shots behind. She hit her second shot into the wall, got a drop and chipped in to tie. Brook Henderson was one shot back. She hit her second shot so far over the green that it went under the wall and again got relief and got up and down for birdie to tie.

Admittedly, Nellie Korda who was leading did not play the hole well. She hit her drive into the left rough and had to lay up. She then hit a terrible wedge to 30 feet from where she two putted for par. But if it hadn't been for the wall, that would have been all she needed.

This would be like putting a wall or grandstand behind the 15th green at Augusta National.

I hope that in the future they see the error of their ways as build the sky boxes across the pond and allow the hole to be played as the designers intended. They would still receive the revenue from the sky boxes but insure a more fair outcome of the tournament.
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  #2  
Old 09-13-2020, 05:41 PM
retiredguy123 retiredguy123 is offline
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Many years ago, I attended an LPGA event on a relatively long golf course that I played regularly. I was surprised to see that the tee boxes they were using were not the pro tees, not the men's tees, and not even the women's tees. They had moved the tee boxes about 20 yards in front of the normal women's tee boxes. I think they select and design the LPGA courses to keep the scoring in line with the men's scoring to promote the game. They don't want to see women shooting in the 80's and 90's.
  #3  
Old 09-13-2020, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Dr Winston O Boogie jr View Post
The eighteenth hole of the Mission Inn course where they play the ANA Inspiration, one of their majors is a short par five with an island green. Most years they construct a sky box grandstand behind the green that prevents balls from going into the water over the green. This is simply a money grab giving the additional income preference to good, challenging and fair golf. Players can just pound their second shots into the green knowing the grandstand will stop it and they will get relief from a temporary immoveable obstruction.

It would be that difficult to construct the grandstand on the other side of the pond and allow the hole to be played as it was designed.

This year they went even beyond even that stupidity. Since there were no fans there was no need for a grandstand. But they built a wall where the grandstand would normally go to prevent balls from going over and into the water.

This year's event came down to the final hole. Mirim Lee was two shots behind. She hit her second shot into the wall, got a drop and chipped in to tie. Brook Henderson was one shot back. She hit her second shot so far over the green that it went under the wall and again got relief and got up and down for birdie to tie.

Admittedly, Nellie Korda who was leading did not play the hole well. She hit her drive into the left rough and had to lay up. She then hit a terrible wedge to 30 feet from where she two putted for par. But if it hadn't been for the wall, that would have been all she needed.

This would be like putting a wall or grandstand behind the 15th green at Augusta National.

I hope that in the future they see the error of their ways as build the sky boxes across the pond and allow the hole to be played as the designers intended. They would still receive the revenue from the sky boxes but insure a more fair outcome of the tournament.
It was still a great tournament as most of the LPGA games are. Their game is closer to our game. Though I still can't hit a 241 yard second shot to the green
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  #4  
Old 09-14-2020, 07:48 AM
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sports have become so politiclly correst in every aspect of the game. Men's golf years ago gradually adjusted to longer holes when possible for the longballers and now realize the mistake.
  #5  
Old 09-14-2020, 08:01 AM
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It was still a great tournament as most of the LPGA games are. Their game is closer to our game. Though I still can't hit a 241 yard second shot to the green
I'm not sure most of them can either. I've seen these women play and have played with a few of them back in the day. Of course they all hit it longer these days and there are a few exception but the ones I've seen play and played with hit it about 220 off the tee. Look back to when Anika played in that men's event. She went on a long term project to build muscle and develop more distance. After all that, she couldn't hit it close to her male counterparts.

I sometimes wonder if the television folks are giving accurate yardages.

I don't mean to take anything away from them. They are great players. It's just that I've never seen any of them hit it that long.

And retiredguy123 is correct. I've been to several LPGA events and am sometimes shocked at where the tees are placed. I ran into a few of the girls at the Foot Joy factory when I worked in Brockton and they were playing at Ferncroft in Middleton, MA. Their response was. "Wouldn't you rather watch us make birdies?" I think that's what the tour has in mind when they do these kind of things. I just think that it's a shame that when Arnold Palmer and Desmond Muirhead designed such a great hole they decided to put that pond behind the green to make player think about whether they want to go for that green or not. Then the LPGA comes along and places and artificial barrier to allow them to just bomb it with no consequences. I felt bad for Nellie Korda. Even though she screwed up that hole, she probably would have won that tournament if not for that wall.
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Old 09-14-2020, 11:28 AM
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I too have played with a number of the LPGA players back in the day, there were several events close to where I lived and we sponsored a couple events so I participated in the pro-am. A couple I played with were Betsy King, Jan Stephenson, Nancy Lopez and others, yes their drives were in the 220 - 240 yard range but, as with men, the equipment was a lot different back then. As Nick Faldo (I think) stated in a broadcast, the pros play a game to which I an unaccustomed. I suggest that if you have the opportunity to play with them today, or go to a tournament with your laser so you can measure, you might be surprised. By the way, the LPGA has a chart on the top 132 driving distances and number 132 has an average of 235 yds off the tee. The Korda sisters average 271. The PGA has the same for the men and as expected, no comparison.
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  #7  
Old 09-14-2020, 02:35 PM
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Most of the gals are banging their drivers 250 260. Seems like their length is fine. Except for 18, none of the holes seemed that short. They sure have gorgeous swings and are a credit to the game.
  #8  
Old 09-15-2020, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by ONTAP15 View Post
Most of the gals are banging their drivers 250 260. Seems like their length is fine. Except for 18, none of the holes seemed that short. They sure have gorgeous swings and are a credit to the game.
18 is designed to be a reachable par five. The problem is that it is a risk reward hole. There's a chance of hitting the ball in the water on all four sides, especially the pond behind the green. My point is that the LPGA took out almost all of the risk by erecting an artificial wall. I realize that they were trying to recreate the condition that existed when they had sky boxes there, but they didn't have to have sky boxes there either. There is room on the other side of the pond for sky boxes. They could still make money from those luxury boxes and maintain the integrity of the hole.

One of the thing that is interesting to me with regards to the length these women are hitting the ball is the disparity of length among the field. While the men seem to be within 20 yards of each other from top to bottom, there are women that hit it close to 300 yards and some that barely hit it 240. It's interesting that they are still all able to compete.
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  #9  
Old 09-15-2020, 12:04 PM
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Default Tee boxes for LPGA events

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Originally Posted by retiredguy123 View Post
Many years ago, I attended an LPGA event on a relatively long golf course that I played regularly. I was surprised to see that the tee boxes they were using were not the pro tees, not the men's tees, and not even the women's tees. They had moved the tee boxes about 20 yards in front of the normal women's tee boxes. I think they select and design the LPGA courses to keep the scoring in line with the men's scoring to promote the game. They don't want to see women shooting in the 80's and 90's.
They don't put the LPGA tees ahead of the ladies tees for every hole. They sometimes pick a short enough par 4, and move the tees up, so the ladies can drive the green. The longest average driver on the LPGA is 285 yds (Maria Fassi), so they probably set up a hole at 275 yds. that day.

The ANA Inspiration at Mission Hills was set at 6,763 yds (and the winner was -15). On my home course the regular men's tees are 6,300 and the furthest back tees were 6,700. And yes, they set up the course depending upon what score range they like. The men do this as well, for example the US Open (Men's) likes to see the final score only a couple under par, so they move the tees back and grow the rough. Same with the women. Due to equipment improvements they have had to lengthen many men's courses in our lifetime. Some courses that were okay for the men 30 yrs ago can no longer host a men's event. John Daly was the first pro to average over 300 yds per drive in the 1990's. Now 71 players average over 300.

I like watching the LPGA just because their length is "reasonable". They have issues getting out of the rough. They sometimes have to chip out sideways, not able to hit a 6 iron 200 yds and still clear the trees. Their swings are much closer to my swing, they are not having to leap out of their shoes on every drive.
  #10  
Old 09-15-2020, 12:10 PM
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Default I think they wanted the same advantage this year as last

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Winston O Boogie jr View Post
The eighteenth hole of the Mission Inn course where they play the ANA Inspiration, one of their majors is a short par five with an island green. Most years they construct a sky box grandstand behind the green that prevents balls from going into the water over the green. This is simply a money grab giving the additional income preference to good, challenging and fair golf. Players can just pound their second shots into the green knowing the grandstand will stop it and they will get relief from a temporary immoveable obstruction.

It would be that difficult to construct the grandstand on the other side of the pond and allow the hole to be played as it was designed.

This year they went even beyond even that stupidity. Since there were no fans there was no need for a grandstand. But they built a wall where the grandstand would normally go to prevent balls from going over and into the water.

This year's event came down to the final hole. Mirim Lee was two shots behind. She hit her second shot into the wall, got a drop and chipped in to tie. Brook Henderson was one shot back. She hit her second shot so far over the green that it went under the wall and again got relief and got up and down for birdie to tie.

Admittedly, Nellie Korda who was leading did not play the hole well. She hit her drive into the left rough and had to lay up. She then hit a terrible wedge to 30 feet from where she two putted for par. But if it hadn't been for the wall, that would have been all she needed.

This would be like putting a wall or grandstand behind the 15th green at Augusta National.

I hope that in the future they see the error of their ways as build the sky boxes across the pond and allow the hole to be played as the designers intended. They would still receive the revenue from the sky boxes but insure a more fair outcome of the tournament.
The backstop they put in this year made the hole the same as every past year when they had skyboxes. I think this was the goal. It does allow more people to go for the green, with no risk going long. Makes a "swing" hole, where a person not in the lead can make ground. It also makes it a great playoff hole.

But this is done on nearly all pro golf events, at least on some holes.

But I agree that it would make this hole more challenging if they were to put the skybox back into the hazard. But probably very expensive unless they put in some permanent mountings the first year. And this is probably a barrier to enacting any change.
  #11  
Old 09-16-2020, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoMar View Post
I too have played with a number of the LPGA players back in the day, there were several events close to where I lived and we sponsored a couple events so I participated in the pro-am. A couple I played with were Betsy King, Jan Stephenson, Nancy Lopez and others, yes their drives were in the 220 - 240 yard range but, as with men, the equipment was a lot different back then. As Nick Faldo (I think) stated in a broadcast, the pros play a game to which I an unaccustomed. I suggest that if you have the opportunity to play with them today, or go to a tournament with your laser so you can measure, you might be surprised. By the way, the LPGA has a chart on the top 132 driving distances and number 132 has an average of 235 yds off the tee. The Korda sisters average 271. The PGA has the same for the men and as expected, no comparison.
Lady long drive champion drove it 347 yards to beat 343 yard drive.
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Old 10-17-2020, 12:40 AM
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Originally Posted by retiredguy123 View Post
Many years ago, I attended an LPGA event on a relatively long golf course that I played regularly. I was surprised to see that the tee boxes they were using were not the pro tees, not the men's tees, and not even the women's tees. They had moved the tee boxes about 20 yards in front of the normal women's tee boxes. I think they select and design the LPGA courses to keep the scoring in line with the men's scoring to promote the game. They don't want to see women shooting in the 80's and 90's.
I think "many years ago" is the key phrase in that post. I attend about 10 LPGA tournaments a year and I can tell you that is not the case now. Granted they are not going to make the women play 500 yard par 4's or 650 yard par 5's as they don't have the stregnth of men, but be assured they are NOT playing in front of the women's normal normal tees.
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Old 10-17-2020, 06:16 AM
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Is this what is called mansplaining?
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Old 10-17-2020, 08:02 AM
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I think "many years ago" is the key phrase in that post. I attend about 10 LPGA tournaments a year and I can tell you that is not the case now. Granted they are not going to make the women play 500 yard par 4's or 650 yard par 5's as they don't have the stregnth of men, but be assured they are NOT playing in front of the women's normal normal tees.
The point of the OP was not the length that these women hit the ball. It's the fact that the tour took away one of the great design features of a hole that really makes it unfair to some players. As I said, if the sky boxes or artificial wall had been constructed on the other side of the water, Nelly Korda would have won that tournament.

I know that the goal of the tours is to make money but I'd like to see the features of the golf course left as they were intended.
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Old 10-17-2020, 08:10 AM
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After I retired from my main professional I accepted a position to manage a great golf course. In fact it was the 2nd designed course by Robert Trent Jones. I also worked in a number PGA Tournaments including the one a few years ago at Wing Foot and for years at the Buick Tourament at the Westchester Country Club. Given these I believe some major issues are (1) The equipment for both men and women's professional golf has been significantly up grades over the last few years however the Courses have not changed much so the sand traps that are 300 Yd's off the tee are, in many cases not in play as the drives are over 300 for men! In net the design of the aged courses remain the same while the equipment is becoming much better, (balls, clubs, etc). (2) The LPGA needs it's own courses and not use the course's originally designed for men. They have to adapt to tee's, traps, greens that men use and that is unfortunate I have some of the old wooden headed clubs and also the Big Bertha driver, and even the older "Heaven Wood" that was made for just a couple of years. When you compare the wooden headed clubs to the current state of the technology you get an idea as to why things are out of balance. I understand women's golf as my wife was an avid golfer and studied the game. When she passed away I founded the Women's Dutchess County Amateur, in her name as the men always had a County Amateur however the women did not. Next year it will celebrate it's 25th year and has raised thousand's for cancer research.
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