The intent of the best modern golf architects is to reestablish these ancient and honored principles. The fact that a modern course measures 7,200 yards from the very back of each tee does not mean that it must be played from that position alone. Rather, the extra length provides room for each tee to be adjusted according to the climatic conditions of the day.
Larger greens afford not only a larger target for the pro and duffer alike, but also a greater variety of pin positions for everyday play as well as for the championships. If the pin is placed in a tough position for a championship, the fainthearted pro can still play for the fat part of the green. At least he will not be in a trap tucked around a small green. After all, par is the standard of excellence; a birdie is extra special and should involve the element of a heroic challenge, where a miss would be penalized.
It is true that with the recent proliferation of new courses some architects have confused greatness with severity. Some green-keepers and tournament chairmen have also misused the flexibility provided by good architecture and have added a trick of their own: more and higher rough at tournament time.
However, the overall trend of modern golf architecture, first conceived by my father and implemented in collaboration with his near namesake, Robert Tyre Jones Jr. at Peachtree in the late 1940s, should not be condemned because of a few abuses at an occasional championship.
ROBERT TRENT JONES JR.
Palo Alto, Calif.