A Thread for Contrarian Takes


Cantlay’s “routine” is even tougher to watch than Keegan Bradley’s.


I don’t think I will ever cheer for Bubba, but when he is playing well he is fun to watch. The creativity and ability to hit and try shots that others won’t is fun.

He just drives me nuts how he flip flops from “fun Bubba” to “I’m here to win tournaments not have fun Bubba” from week to week.
I don’t think he is a bad guy, I just don’t think I could ever root for him, other than in the Ryder/President’s Cup.

It boggles my mind every time I see a Volvik ball at Dick’s or in the woods on a course that he basically gave away a year of golf for $1 million. I found one on a golf trip and played with it in a scramble for the hell of it and it felt awful


Keegan Bradley’s routine makes me itch.

I watched him once from the tee at the Open in Hoylake. There’s even more tics and bullshit before he addresses the ball that you don’t see in TV. Once he’s set, he goes though. Unlike Cantlay, who is just getting started.


Spieth not making the RC based on points? LOf’ingL.

Even if Jordan does lukewarm over the last ~5 tournaments through the PGA, several HIGHLY unlikely scenarios will have to play out for him to miss the Top 8 in points. Three separate Americans will most likely have to win each of the remaining majors, and the guys behind him (Brooks, Rickie, Bubba, Bryson, Phil, Kuchar) will have to all outperform him down the stretch. And if a non-American wins a major, that pretty much seals it as well.

Your Jordan takes have shifted from somewhat out there to downright nonsensical.


Spieth’s lead on 9th place in the standings is only about $1 million. But his lead on 11th is about $1.4 million, and 12th is a staggering $1.8 million. (with money doubled in the majors).

I think it’d be pretty easy for Spieth to fall behind Koepka/Fowler/Bubba. Then it’s a question of if 2 of Bryson/Phil/Webb/Kuch have very good summer runs (or if someone gets on a mega-heater behind them). It certainly doesn’t require wins to make up the deficit, but it does require a few high finishes.

I’d file the chances as possible but not probable. Spieth will probably need a few more points, but he doesn’t need a win or necessarily even a top 3 to get those.


I’m not sure how any of this is contrarian. Regardless, the point above stirs a current pet peeve about modern golf discussion, which has some gaping logical inconsistencies:

First, pretty much every advocate for rolling back the golf ball is also a “par is irrelevant” advocate, i.e. one who scolds the “average viewer” for complaining that low scores dilute/reduce their enjoyment as a golf consumer. I can’t find one logical way to reconcile these two positions - either you support bifurcation/complete rollback in order to protect par and preserve some historical context, or you oppose restricting the golf ball because you gluttonously want to watch “great golf.”

Second, Woke GCA discussion hates rough and trees because they, allegedly, narrow the golf course and eliminate the chance for recovery. People that hold these GCA opinions also rave about modern courses such as Sand Hills, Ballyneal, etc., places with width that allegedly promote recovery. A lot of this line of thought is only partly true.

Trees (to be clear, not brush) can serve as a strategic hazard that can be avoided by brilliant shotmaking. Think: many of the most brilliant displays of shotmaking include a player avoiding trees (Tiger at Olympia Fields, Phil at Augusta 2010, I don’t have time but I’m certain there are others). For the amateur, carving punches around trees is, for the most part, still very enjoyable. Especially when the rough underneath them is manageable, trees shouldn’t be viewed as inherently evil - they can be, when well placed, an effective architectural feature.

Whereas fescue grass, a predominant hazard adjacent the fairways of many acclaimed modern golf courses, is really no different than rough - fescue is a near-automatic half shot penalty, results in hacking, and reduces the chance for recovery.

My belief is that the modern distaste for trees is really due to three considerations: (1) Trees block views, and modern architecture places great emphasis on a golf course’s beauty, which drives rankings and attracts out of state tourists; (2) trees were not largely a feature in early course design, because it is much easier to clear them in whole than to selectively leave certain, strategic patches of trees on a property, and our present society appreciates vintage stuff; (3) supers hate trees because the root systems absorb huge amounts of water and make it difficult to maintain difficult-to-maintain spots on the golf course.

Save the trees.


Did anyone see the way Cantlay bristled in his post-round interview when asked if getting put on the clock rattled him? It was ice cold there for a few seconds. So it begs the question…will he change his whole routine ala Sergio after the grip-regrip fiasco he went through years ago? He truly was hard to watch this weekend


What about if you want to restore shot values and better reward elite drivers of the ball and long iron players, without the need for 7800 yard courses or shorter ones pushed to the brink to protect par.


Agree with everything endangeredspiethes said. Great point about “woke” golf twitter who somehow don’t care about par and also want the ball rolled back.

Andy from the fried egg always talks about how recovery shots are the most fun to watch and most interesting. Well trees have created many of those incredible recovery shots. Tiger at hazeltine, Phil on 10 at the players, even Spieth at Bridgestone last year. I can find way more great recovery shots involving trees than not. And when I’m playing, the only time I feel like I am absolutely forced to create or shape a shot is when trees are in the way. As said before, fescue is more problematic than trees for the average golfer. Makes balls impossible to find and impossible to play out of half the time.


I think you’re making my point. None of us want to see classic courses made irrelevant by modern technology, but to make that point we have to concede that par is an important barometer for how we view the game.


It’s not par though it’s the ability to hit shots up and down the golf bag, a course that is tricked up but is driver short iron and yields -2 is not a better test than a course that tests players all the way through the bag but yields -10


I don’t think there’s a meaningful distinction between “testing golfers through the bag,” “restoring shot values,” and “protect par,” at least in the sense that I mean it.

Sure, there are ways to artificially raise scores through penalty shots, and par is irrelevant in the sense that whether a hole is designated as a 4/5 doesn’t materially impact the outcome of a competitive event, but that’s not really what we’re talking about, or what I’m asking.

Show me a golf course where players that consistently have wedge in their hand score higher relative to par than a course where players have long irons into greens - it doesn’t really exist. It’s just an ideal.

So, if we we argue that the ball should be restricted in order to restore shot values, I think we are simultaneously arguing that par is important to the game.


To take your points one by one. I don’t care about protecting par, I don’t want to see guys hit driver wedge on virtually every hole. It is very boring to me. I think I heard DJ hit nothing higher than a 7 iron last year on any par 4.

Second: some trees can be strategic but the vast majority of them are not. I would prefer taking down all the trees rather than having 1-2 holes on the entire course be strategic because of trees. Trees for the most part have very little to do with strategy. Yes the recovery shots are great in those rare instances but you don’t have to rid of every tree, just the vast majority.

Also I don’t hate trees because of the views, I hate trees because the course gets extremely narrow and I’d rather watch players shape it around than hit it dead straight every time


They are irrelevant not because of par but because players hit driver and then wedge. The strategic element of the hole isn’t gone. The risk reward factor is not even considered and the intent of the hole is gone. Think about 13 at Augusta, they are taking the tee back 50 more yards to restore the intent of the hole. Not every course has room or money to do thatstrong text


See nobody bitching about the trees at PV… when done well I think trees #fuq


Strongly agree.

I think some care needs to be taken when discussing the merit (or otherwise) of trees.

I played Swinley Forrest for the first time this year where each hole is tree lined, so for the most part you can only see the hole you’re playing. The cosseted atmosphere adds to the aesthetic of the course and provides the routing with a sense of adventure as you wind through the forest. The point is that the fairways are still 50 yards wide, with another 20 yards of heather each side before you get to the trees. The trees do no therefore hinder the strategy of the course, and one only encounters them if you manage to drive it 45 yards+ wide, BUT the course would be worse without them.

P.S - Swinley is 11/10 good.

P.P.S - This post is 5% about trees and 95% a humblebrag about playing Swinley #sorrynotsorry


A lot can change over the course of 3 months, especially with 3 majors coming up.

The top 12 earlier this year included Kuchar (5), Harman (6), Haas (9), Hoffman (10), Z. Johnson (11) and Chappell (12).

Kuchar and Harman went from in to out pretty quickly. Other guys have gone from on the bubble to long shots.

Maybe Spieth will turn it around and prove me wrong. I just don’t see it at this point. There are a lot of guys right behind him who have been playing much better golf this year.


Look, I understand the distinction that you’re trying to make: the ball should be restricted to restore shot values, and to protect the strategic intent of the whole rather than to artificially protect par. @ANTIFAldo explained this distinction in another thread rather beautifully. Fine. I even agree with it. My point is that by restoring shot values, you inevitably protect par - it’s the necessary result of restricting the ball and protecting the course.


Golf is a game of makes and misses; execution and non-execution; golf is hard because shots are difficult to execute consistently. When shots are longer, requiring longer and lower lofted clubs, they are executed less frequently, leading to higher scores (this is why Barstool’s idiotic Shinnecock stunt proves nothing).

Why do we all agree that this aspect of the game is important, but simultaneously agree that par is an irrelevant distraction that should be discarded?


I can’t imagine a world where there is any buzz about lengthening courses or rolling the ball back where the Masters winner is consistently at -6 to -10 and the U.S. Open winner is at +2 to -2. If you want longer courses and a shorter golf ball, that’s fine. But there is no way in hell anyone is having this conversation if par was being protected (which somehow the same people pretend to not care about).

I don’t understand the mental gymnastics that it takes to believe that par doesn’t matter, but also golf needs to be harder for the pros.