ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Lots of talk about the new tee at the Old Course’s 17th hole, which has been stretched to 495 yards with a new tee across a dirt road and cut from the Royal & Ancient Golf Club’s practice ground.
Lost in the Road Hole hubbub is a fairway that is just 14 paces across at one point, a set-up move which drew the ire of players when the Open Championship was played here in 2005.
Despite the R&A’s efforts to put a mid- to long iron back into player’s hands for the approach to the narrow green players have been largely supportive of the new tee.
“You’ve got to hit a tee shot and the way I look at it you always want to make sure that the guy that wins the Open Championship is tested at some stage coming down the stretch,” Padraig Harrington said.
And the guy who won one of his claret jugs at Carnoustie, which is Grand Slam golf’s most demanding home stretch, should know.