Brandel Chamblee - September 16, 2011


In looking at Justin Rose’s first round 63 in the BMW Championship, Chamblee felt that Rose played some beautiful golf that included 14/14 fairways and 16/18 greens in regulation and he put himself in great positions to make putts. What is interesting about this round is that Cog Hill has historically been a course where great ball strikers have won and Rose did exactly that on Thursday.

In comparing modern and classic architecture, it is penal vs. strategic. Classic courses promote multiple options on holes and encourage strategic planning while modern courses promote difficulty and seem to strive for ways to punish players for bad shots. There is room for both in the marketplace but Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw are currently pushing a revival of the classic course philosophy. He is not sure of Phil Mickelson’s agenda behind constantly criticizing Rees Jones but he figures there is something to it when Steve Stricker joins in the criticism. Mickelson has never played well at Cog Hill before or after the Rees Jones redesign but Stricker won at Cog Hill in 1996. He would not recommend going out and criticizing a course and/or its architect/redesigner. He said that Gary Player is a good example of how to behave in that he never criticized a course that he played on no matter how bad it looked or if he hated it. Mickelson is not only hurting Rees Jones with his comments but he is also hurting the city of Chicago, the Jemsek family who owns Cog Hill, and many more people other than just Jones.

Looking at the possibility that 16-year-old Lexi Thompson would have to petition the LPGA Tour for membership again if she wins this week, he feels that Lexi’s game is certainly mature enough and let the parents be parents. If her parents feel that Lexi is mature enough to be professional and then she wins, the LPGA should trust the judgment of her parents. However, this policy has created good storylines with not only Lexi Thompson but also Michelle Wie. More than ever, kids today are more prepared for professional golf careers thanks to organizations like the AJGA. What may be best for the LPGA Tour is to let Lexi Thompson play as a member and maybe if they had done that with Michelle Wie, Michelle would not have gone through some of the struggles that she went through from playing an inconsistent schedule which also allowed her to play on the PGA TOUR.