Well, maybe a slight exaggeration. But, after all the hype about the sign on the first tee, the 525 yard par four and so on, the Black is hardly proving to be the ogre it was painted. A 64 from the short-hitting Mike Weir in the first round; the lowest 36-hole total in US Open history and the cut made at only four over par? This isn’t the carnage we were led to expect.
If this isn’t proof that, given soft greens that will allow shots hit with even the longest clubs to stop on a sixpence, the pros will burn up any course, I don’t know what would be. How many times must we say it? Length is no defence. Nor, it would seem, are 20 yard wide fairways or deep rough.
Once again, we see that the only way to make a course tough for these guys is to keep the greens hard enough to prevent them lobbing their darts at the pin. Of course, that’s hard to do amidst a monsoon, so perhaps it’s time to stop fighting Nature. Try to keep the golf course firm if conditions allow; if they don’t, accept the birdie barrage. If you stop talking in par terms and think about threes, fours and fives, it won’t hurt so much. Promise.