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The Pros and Cons of Re-designing a Golf Course

By June 6, 20112 Comments

Redesigning a golf course is never an easy job and it can, as we have recently seen, potentially involve a lot of risk. The greatest risk of all is perhaps the wrath of the players who are so used to playing on it, the players who have become so accustomed to every nook and cranny of it over years of playing time.

The Wentworth Club
Ernie Els became the latest victim of such wrath last week as Ian Poulter had some strong words on his changes to the course after finishing 18th in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in Surrey.

“I don’t like this golf course. Period. End of story,” he scathed. “It’s a very difficult golf course, especially now it’s been redesigned.”

Ernie saw red upon hearing Poulter’s comments and told him to “think twice” before he says anything like it again. “He has done a lot of damage to the flagship event,” he blasted.

If I was Mr Els, I would probably have expected such comments, since it’s obviously impossible to please all of the people all of the time. If a player has a bad round, or even just a bad hole, it is naturally easier to blame external influences above internal shortcomings.

But it just goes to show that, no matter how confident you are of your own work, somebody else won’t like it. There are pros and cons to everything – and that doesn’t change when it comes to redesigning a golf course.

The greatest pro is, surely, the antithesis of the greatest con: receiving the adulation of golfers who approve of the changes you have made. Lee Westwood, amongst many others, praised the very alterations that Ian Poulter so furiously criticised.

At the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference. Some players will enjoy the changes and some players will inevitably loath them, especially if they hit a couple of bad shots.

Reputation is therefore always at risk when alterations are made. It can be both a pro and a con of a redesign, depending perhaps most heavily on how certain players perform on the day.

Due to the unpredictable nature of the beautiful game of golf, anything could happen on the day. If a round doesn’t go to plan on a redesigned course, then it just gives the players something other than themselves to blame it on.


  • Rory Rory says:

    I have played the West Course many times and once since the 18th has been re-done. I got on in two and my old man, who plays off 23, got on safely in three.

    Poulter doesn’t know how good he has it…he tours the world playing golf for bags of money and then moans because he cant play a certain course. Maybe he should spend more time on the range and less time in front of his vanity mirror if he wants to play well at the PGA next year.

    As for Westwoods reaction on the 18th in the playoff with Luke Donald…if Tiger Woods had reacted like that he would have been greatly chastised. I think Westwood is a good enough player to play a knock down shot and take the spin off the ball so he only has himself to blame.

    Stop blaming the golf course you spoilt brats!

  • Avatar Stuart Hills says:

    Poulter is a fool. The West course is a gorgeous golf course and if you look at the scores that have been recorded during the PGA at Wentworth it is clear there are guys out there who can score well on this course. I found the West Course to be very enjoyable indeed and I believe Poulter is just too full of himself to admit he doesnt play well here. I am lokoing forward to playing the course again now that the changes have been made to the 18th…it looks like a stunning hole now and Luke Donald proved it is playable in the playoff against Westwood so here is my message to Poulter and the naysayers:


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