Frustrated Ogilvy critical of PGA of America's course setup

Frustrated Ogilvy critical of PGA of America’s course setup

CHASKA, Minn. — Sunday marked the end of a frustrating season for Australia's Geoff Ogilvy. A winner at the season-opening Mercedes-Benz Championship and the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, he was never a threat in the majors.Asked to grade his year, he said, "I'd give myself a D, for Do Better."However, before flying home to Scottsdale, Ariz., on Sunday afternoon with his family and Phil Mickelson's caddie, Jim Mackay, he took a few parting shots at the PGA of America and Hazeltine National."In 2010 we're going to be playing on real golf courses, so…"The host sites for next season's majors are Augusta National (Masters), Pebble Beach (U.S. Open), St. Andrews (British
Open) and Whistling Straits (PGA Championship).Ogilvy said that the 2004 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits was the most enjoyable PGA Championship he's ever played. "It's probably the least likely place where we play where they could ruin the setup," he said. "There are some very long tees we didn't play last time, but as far as propagating and harvesting absurd rough, which they seem to have done the last two years in the PGA, I just don't think Whistling Straits is a place where they are going to do that. I really enjoyed that PGA, but the others ones have been harder to enjoy because if you miss the green by a foot, you can have nothing."In an era of extreme this, and high-octane that, Ogilvy is an old-school purist when it comes to golf course design and setup. A traditionalist in a time when more and bigger are almost always considered better."The difficulty of your shot should be the position the ball is in, not the lie that the ball is in. Some shots that bounce next to the green, yet don't get into a bunker, are in this," he said, holding his hands six inches apart to show the depth of the rough.His argument is that a slight miss is often more penalizing than a shot that flies farther away from the intended target. "I think you should have hard shots from good lies, not easy shots from bad lies," he explained. "So if your greens are not good enough to defend themselves without six inches of rough, then the greens aren't good enough. You don't need six-inch rough at Augusta, or at Oakmont, although they grow it. You don't need it at Pinehurst, or Royal Melbourne, or Shinnecock Hills. And if you don't have greens like that, then just let the guys make birdies."The Aussie feels that the PGA of America would do well to follow the new philosophies of the USGA when it comes to preparing a course to host a major. "The U.S. Open seems to be going in the right direction; the PGA
Championship seems to be going in the other direction," he said.  "Last year at Oakland Hills the story was all about the rough. I'm sure
everyone is not as pissed about the rough this week, but it's not very
nice. It's odd that the PGA hasn't changed but the U.S. Open has."Just before going wheels up, Ogilvy wrote on his Twitter page, "I am thinking we should all pool together and buy the PGA a lawn mower for Christmas."I wonder what the PGA of America will be buying him?