I love the weekend at Firestone.

Maybe as much as any tournament, save the Ryder Cup and Masters.

It’s because I love the course so much. No tricks, everything right in front of you. If you hit a bad shot, you need to create something out of the trees.

Good old fashioned golf, the way the game was meant to be played, IMO.

No elephants buried in the greens, no canyons three feet off the fairways and greens and no rock formations in the middle of the fairway.

I have to avoid the range this weekend or I have to listen to the riff raff call Firestone a well manicured muni.

Don’t laugh, I have heard it called that at least a dozens times over the years. Mostly by people who couldn’t break 100 there.

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11 Comments

  1. Mike Z

    I heard this exchange in the snack area of my local while while the Bridgestone was being televised between two casual golfers:

    Guy 1: That course looks easy. Every hole is straight.

    Guy 2: Yeah. Nothing hard about it.

    Guy 1: Who is that guy caddying for Tiger? I thought his dad was his caddy.

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      There you have it…LOL.

      A few years ago I heard a funny comment about the US Open at Winged foot.

      “It’s just a glorified public course. If they had it on a newer course they wouldn’t have to trick it up with rough and tough pins.”

      Reply
  2. meateater

    Who is the worst of the modern designers? Thanksfully, I don’t play too many of them, but I just played a brand new Palmer design that the local univesity commissioned. Big bucks project, great piece of land with no houses, condos etc. Hideous mess of a course. I honestly think a couple of guys picked at random off the driving range could have come up with a better layout in a couple of days work.

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      Palmer did a great job when he did them, now Ed Seay does most of the big dollar Palmer projects and he stinks.

      IMO, Ron Fream is the worst. Poor routing of holes, and the worst green designer of all time. Red Hawk is the most horrible golf course I have ever seen or played. Ask members at Seacliff in Huntington Beach what they think of the 1st, 4th, 6th, 17th and 18th greens. They loved them so much they are bulldozing them and building new ones.

      Bob Cupp, Johnny Miller/Robert Muir Graves, Greg Norman, Gary Player and Tom Weiskopf are not very good either. The problem with Norman, Player and Weiskopf is they think they can remake holes from Scotland on the side of a mountain in Vegas, Palm Springs and Scottsdale.

      The Norman Course at PGA West is so horrible, none of them members want to play it.

      Ben Crenshaw is great, but not many other modern guys know what they are doing. I think Pete Dye is great, but his sons Perry and PB haven’t a clue.

      Robert Trent Jones Sr. is great, Jones Jr. not so much and Rees Jones needs his head examined. The Open Doctor…LOL. At least he hasn’t screwed up too mnay old courses very much, but some of the ones he built from scratch are atrocious. Legend trail in Scottsdale makes my top 10 all time worst golf courses and that is saying something.

      Reply
      • Mark Y.

        I think George Fazio does nice work. I like Firestone a lot, and the North course is fun to play. I was at the tournament this weekend and one thing that really stands out (and you can’t really see this on TV) is the amount of pitch in the fairways. They are sloped, at times somewhat severely. It’s more of a shot-maker’s course than most people would think.

        Reply
  3. meateater

    Monte,

    Thank you for that. I was beginning to think I just didn’t get it. Your comment about trying to recreate scottish links holes in the desert is the crux of the problem with this university layout. They term it “Pinehurst” style, which somehow means gaping, ugly fairway waste areas with stupid little islands in them. Add in idiotic routing, a couple of unplayable par 4s and utterly forgettable par 3s and you have a mess. Oh yeah, it took 5 1/2 hours to play on a thursday morning.

    My mother in law belongs to an old course that was designed by Donald Ross. It’s just magic. Everything flows beautifully, it’s challenging but fair and absolutely nothing is contrived.

    Reply
  4. The Veal

    Any thoughts on Jim Engh out in Colorado?

    Reply
      • The Veal

        I like to think of him as the Lewis Black of course designers. Irreverent, occasionally foul and makes me laugh. Seriously, the only time I’ve laughed at a golf hole while standing on a tee happened at Redlands Mesa out in Grand Junction, CO. Just plain fun. Right up until that marshal said “that bunker’s not in play” at an elevated tee box on a long dogleg right. Yup . . . plunk. Said the marshal (and I quote), “Oh.”

        Reply

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