A Thread for Contrarian Takes


In the modern game, trees present perhaps the only architectural obstacle that consistently forces players to shape the golf ball. Wind does it on occasion, where players often hit little hold-up cuts into a hook wind (nobody hits a hook into a fade wind). Angles and green contours rarely do it, because the modern game is so aerial, and flights are so high, that it’s inefficient - players can get it closer to the hole more consistently by Tiger-launching it high than they can by working it into the contours.


Agreed. The Byron Nelson is a perfect example. For a tour event, Trinity Forest didn’t work. In large part due to a lack of trees. In one of the weakest fields of the year, it garnered one of the lowest scoring averages. (I get it, par doesn’t matter :roll_eyes:)


Agreed to some extent. The trees at PV are mostly out of play where the actual space for golf is fairly wide.


Calusa Pines is another one that sticks out in a sea of bland and boring glorified real estate developments.


Width and angles do not challenge pros nearly as much as many would like. The ball goes too high, spins too much, and lands too soft. The new age architecture courses require absolutely ideal conditions to challenge the pros. They need wind and the course to be firm. If either doesn’t show up it’s a birdie fest every time.


I wouldn’t say the lack of trees are the reason guys went low at Trinity Forest. The tour set it up soft so tour pros didn’t bitch and moan. Greens weren’t firm and they moved some tees up. To echo Stinger above me, they need wind and it to be firm. Trinity Forest had neither, partly due to mother nature and partly due to the Tour.


To continue beating this dead horse, I agree that Jordan isn’t playing his best golf…nowhere near it. That is obvious. I think he’ll rise to the occasion down the stretch, but let’s assume that he doesn’t. The current RC standings and the remaining tournaments are such that this discussion goes way beyond just what Jordan does. It’s simple math at this point. In addition to Jordan doing subpar, several other things have to take place for him to drop to #9 or worse.

First, Americans need to win all 3 majors most likely. Jordan’s biggest risk is that a separate American ranked somewhere in the 15-30 range wins each of the majors. Unlikely. No one outside the Top 40 is gonna pass Jordan without winning the US Open. And even then, it’s unlikely. Take a guy like Keegan Bradley at #50. He could win the PGA Champ and would still need to outplay Jordan in the other tournaments to pass him.

Add to that, FIVE guys have to pass Jordan. Barring a major victory, Jordan isn’t getting passed by anyone lower than Kuchar at 11. A guy like Harman at 12 can win any non-major and he still has to throw in a couple high finishes in other tournaments. That is mathematically and statistically unlikely.

Realistically, a non-American will win at least 1 of the majors. If so, that’s huge for Jordan not getting passed by 5 guys. And if an American who is already on the team (i.e., the favorites to win) wins a major, we’ve already assumed that those guys pass Jordan in this scenario, so it does very little for this argument.

Koepka, Fowler, and Bubba can pass Jordan without winning a tournament, but they’re going to have to have some high finishes. Bryson will have to win another tournament or finish Top 3-5 in one of the majors to pass Jordan. The same goes for Phil and Simpson. Kuchar has to do the same plus outplay Jordan by a decent margin.

Each of those on its own is certainly possible, and even likely. But almost all of them happening? Very unlikely. And even if they all happen, if Jordan goes Top 3 (which he tends to do) in a major or wins a tournament, this discussion is over. Even just a “meh” performance over his final ~5 tournaments puts Jordan about even with where DJ is now. From a math perspective, that is a level that is going to be VERY difficult to pass. And it’s going to take the longest of long shots for 5 guys to do it.


I’ll go really contrarian on this thread and say not only will Spieth not get passed in the RC standings, he’ll finish as the number one qualifier. That’s way more likely than him falling out.


They also grew the fairways higher to slow them down.


One more comment. Soly touched on this in the most recent podcast and the fried egg talks about this a lot also. Am I crazy to think that more narrow courses will lead to a more varied / non-bomber leaderboard? Look at the last 2 US opens at shinnecock. In 94 COREY PAVIN won and 2004 didn’t exactly look like a bombers paradise either (Maggert, Weir, Funk, Flesch, Dimarco all in the top 10). Forcing players to hit a narrow favor the ones who have the smallest dispersion. To me, this is the short guys which will lead to a varied leaderboard. I mean look at the winners of traditional U.S. Open setups since 2000: its a great mix of players and styles. On the contrary, last year the only two non-bombers I see in the top 10 are Harman and Snedeker (maybe Haas).

All in all, I am not buying into the theory that a wider, more strategic courses produces a leaderboard with more variety than a traditional U.S. Open course or a traditional, tree-lined tour course.


@DeepFriedEgg , Justin Ray just tweeted that Jordan Spieth has the lowest combined score in majors since 2015 at 74 under par. This leads the next best person, Brooks Keopka, by THIRTY THREE shots. Please tell me more about how he is overrated.


The fact that you dig up an old thread just to mention this one stat doesn’t really hurt my argument that Spieth is overrated.

The fact that almost half of those strokes under par came at Augusta doesn’t really hurt my argument that Spieth is overrated bc he’s good at ANGC.


But I thought wider fairways = diverse leaderboard


Ya lets take one jock’s opinion on his first walk around the course before the event is even played, great take.


Ted Scott didn’t mention anything as to why long hitters will have the advantage here. So, I am not sure how you came to the conclusion that width is not going to play a factor.


@JDWilson So we are ignoring Ted Scott’s opinion (who has seen every tour course in all conditions)? It’s a golf message board, all takes should be welcome

@scuff any other reasons for him to say this? I guess technology favors the bomber but that has been the case for every setup in the last decade


Yes. If the fairways are soft but the greens are running hard and fast. Taking wedge versus a 7-iron is going to make it easier for longer hitters.


A wedge is always going to provide an advantage over a 7 iron. Don’t see how soft or firm fairways make a difference there


Not ignoring but I think its pretty hollow to make a claim like that on your first time seeing the site. Now there’s a very good chance he’s right since you’d probably consider 7 or 8 of the top 10 odds guys bomber. I just think for Ted to make that claim first time seeing the course and then you to immediately connect it to width is disingenuous.


Soft fairways mean no roll out for people that are accurate but shorter hitters like Zach Johnson. Longer hitters can focus on hitting it high and not worry about the ball chasing through the fairway.

Longest carry distances of the year on Tour:
332.4 - Jon Rahm (1)
333.6 - D. Johnson (T2)
323.8 - Luke List (T2)
337.7 - Rory (4)
290.5 - Zach Jonson (157)