To be forced into suspending a top golf tournament because a 35mph wind made the putting greens unplayable is a shock; particularly to those of us in ‘windy Ireland’ where we regularly play championship golf in 50mph winds or worse.
It was a shame to see such a great tee to the green, ball-striking golf course like Riviera, caught up in such a controversy. Of course, the wind wasn’t the problem, it was the too fast green surfaces. Greens should never be allowed to play above 10-stimps. Greens above that speed make a farce of the game.
A 35mph wind would be considered a balmy, gentle zephyr by regular competitors in the West of Ireland at Rosses Point where the locals would shrug their shoulders and say: “The wind is in a hurry today. Open the windows and let it blow itself out!” On a links it’s always windy, but we Irish just get on with it.
Too high green speeds are the evil of evils. Those who set up the courses on the PGA Tour should know better. When play is suspended to allow the wind to die down, it’s not fair on those who have already completed their rounds or have played a lot of holes. To water the greens to slow them down during a stoppage, alters playing conditions artificially and it is grossly unfair and is a breach of the rules.
It’s another example of rules bifurcation between amateurs and pros, and it shows (yet again) that the PGA Tour only cares about the word bifurcation where equipment is concerned. It is then, and only then, they want to be like the amateurs.
They just suspended play at the Genesis Invitational because of wind. Keegan Bradley wishes it would have happened a few mins sooner ? pic.twitter.com/9gkl82cjgR
— Austin Weiffenbach (@Austin_W_) February 20, 2021
A retired Head green keeper with vast experience says: “green speed pressure comes from the top end of the game. The everyday golfer, that’s more than 99%, cannot cope with anything more than 9ft on the stimpmeter, and they are the people paying for the course upkeep. It’s easy to speed greens up for big tournaments, but if there are slopes, or surfaces are exposed as on links, then anything above 10ft is not sustainable in anything other than perfect weather. They made a mess of it.”
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