A Thread for Contrarian Takes


Then I was incorrect in my assumption but it’s also not clear what this group thinks. The Twitter conversation between Andy/TFE and Sean Martin sure seems to indicate that just adding up total strokes “would be great” but Sean correctly pointed out that this is a very dumb idea. That’s not getting rid of scoring entirely but it’s close to it because it requires a bunch of mental math that no one wants to do. So I’m very curious what an alternative would look like.

How is this possible though without doing a bunch of math in your head? Par makes scoring so much easier.

I’m mostly in this conversation because I think the “par is irrelevant” crowd really needs to rein in their take or at least define it properly because that blanket statement isn’t helping the debate. I have not seen this done anywhere. I know Soly has an old blogpost from four years ago that covers one aspect of it but Andy seems to have taken it a step further with the scoring. Perhaps an update is needed.

My opinion = The par of a hole or course? Absolutely irrelevant. Score to par in determining the competitiveness of a championship? Irrelevant again. Par as a benchmark and method for scoring? Very relevant.


I don’t really understand. You are comparing par for a course to cheating in baseball?

Totally with you when it comes to courses being an appropriate test for the player. In the end though, no one becomes a hall of famer for beating a course’s par.

What is your take on tourneys that end double digit under par? Is that just not intriguing regardless of the story lines and competition?


I’d retweet this take.


What? No. You asked why par matters - I explained that I think it matters because it reflects the competitive balance between the player and the course, and that balance is central-enough to the game that it should be protected. This is similar to the balance that Baseball intends to protect between a pitcher/hitter - certain evolutions in baseball occurred over the years that tipped that balance, and baseball regulated them out of the game.


I’m less intrigued by them, yes.

Do you have as much fun playing the front tees/a short, open muni, where you hit driver near the green and chip on every hole? (Which dramatically increases your chance of making birdie, in most cases)

Or is it more fun when a course requires you to execute difficult approach shots into the green?


Ahh. Understood. You were comparing where the sport was headed and how changes were made to maintain competitive balance - got it.

This isn’t something you do not know, but golf is unique in that maintaining a competitive balance of “Par” between the course and elite players is utterly impossible. The entire infrastructure of the game would need to be uprooted, US Open conditions every week, and some ridiculous course set ups. Not to mention how boring tournaments would get when 3 or 4 birdies per round is excellent.

To be honest, not being an elite player (a sloppy 1.9), I prefer to play courses that are not taxing. I’d love to have 8 or 9 birdie looks per round vrs. 1 or 2 legit looks + danger lurking. To everyone there own on that - there is something to be said about playing well at a tough track. It just doesn’t happen that often for me and I leave dissatisfied more then not.


Just one last little clarification:

First, I typically think of par as it relates to shot lengths, rather than what sort of score dispersion the hole generates. Naturally, those holes that require multiple, longer shots generate higher scores, as longer shots are harder to execute, but I don’t favor any artificial protection of scores (with penalty shots, etc.).

Second, I don’t believe I’ve asserted that “par” should represent the standard for championship golf on a week to week basis; Rather, I just believe that par, and where players score in relation to it, is a relevant (not complete) data reference point in the distance debate (which seems to be where I break from Soly and others that whisper ‘par is irrelevant’ ad nauseum).


Was chatting with a friend yesterday abou the US Open outcome and I threw this one out:

Brooks Koepka is the Andy North of the bomb and gouge era. 3 wins/2 usos - basically a non factor outside of the national championship the last 2 years. His resume makes Bubba Watson look like an all timer.


He went T11, 1, T6, T13 in the majors last year and had a second in a WGC and a second a couple weeks back despite missing a good chunk of time with a wrist injury. I’d hardly call that being a non-factor.


He’s had 3 wins and 3 2nds since his last missed cut too…

I guess that’s why this is contrarian takes not good takes


He has won everywhere he has gone. Won 4 times on the Challenge Tour, 3 Times on the Euro tour and 3 times on the PGA Tour, including 2 majors.

He is still only 28 and didn’t play full time on the PGA tour until, what, 2015? Not bad


This might be fair if his career ended today but he’s essentially already had Andy North’s entire career in just 5 years on Tour. It’s very likely he far surpasses Andy’s achievements on the course.



5-Star User Name right there man.


Most impressive thing he’s done, IMHO, is make 16(ish) straight cuts in majors he’s played in. 2nd amongst active players to Stricker. Koepka’s a baller.


Smylie Kaufman will keep his card after this year. That’s my contrarian take of the day.


by winning a tournament or by the Web finals?


Yessssss, we should make a call on how. I would love that.


Full blown contrarian take would be that he finds the winner’s circle. So we have to go with that.


Is Bryson Descambeau the best 24 year old american?? Something to think about


@Stassgaard definitely putts with his glove on