I havn't played golf in America, but the PGA Tour does not
even come close to visiting their best courses. From the
television, I'd say that Sawgrass, Colonial, Pebble and
Riviera are pretty good , and the rest are very very forgettable.
You're probably right that the Gold Coast courses eclipse
them. Part of the problem is the course setups: soft greens
render the course designs useless. The pros fly wedges into every
hole and stop the ball in their pitch mark.
Remember that the great American courses used to hold
tournaments: money, facilities and politics have changed this.
For example, Cypress Point was a Pebble Pro-Am stop until the
Shoal Creek controversy in 1990.
The only decent courses we see the Tour play are at the majors:
Augusta, some of the Open courses, and the occasional PGA course.
Such a shame considering the wonderful courses they have - lots
of them. Unfortunately, those courses don't have the
facilities to host a tournament, let alone a major. (one American
told me that to hold an Open or PGA now, you need at minimum two
courses worth of space just to hold the marquees, media tents
On the sandbelt, I'd guess that Royal Melbourne (both
courses), Kingston Heath, Victoria, Metropolitan, Commonwealth,
Woodlands, Yarra, Huntingdale, Peninsula (both courses) and
Spring Valley are all better designs than the week-to-week tour
Might not get many Americans, but at least it makes the
proposition more attractive. We know that we can't offer them
huge prizemoney, so we have to offer them something else,
something different. I'm sure that some of the pros would
enjoy playing two of the world's top 50 courses back to back.
I don't think its an issue of the courses being too hard,
rather, its a long way to go during their summer break.
Once upon a time, the Australian Open was the fifth major: the
world's top players competed because of the events prestige.
I'm sure that the golf courses back then contributed to that
prestige. It's sad that money has now become the main
determinant in where these guys play. It's all summed up by
Tiger Woods saying that there were "a million reasons"
why the WGC event last week was more important to him than the