Gary Player spoke out Sunday about technological advances to the golf ball and equipment after Ross Fisher torched The Old Course at St. Andrews to the tune of a new course record.
Fisher shot 11-under 61 in the final round of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship – and that included a three-putt from the Valley of Sin at the par-4 18th. Soon after, Player took to Twitter to express his sadness for what he believes is modern equipment making courses like The Old Course defenseless.
“Whilst delighted for all the players, it’s quite sad to see The Old Course of St. Andrews brought to her knees by today’s ball and equipment,” Player wrote.
The nine-time major champion and Hall of Famer also watched Sunday as Victor Dubuisson shot 63 (with a late bogey) and winner Tyrrell Hatton wrapped up a 24-under performance over two rounds at St. Andrews and a round each on Carnoustie and Kingsbarns.
The Old Course has already been significantly lengthened once, prior to the 2010 British Open. That year, Rory McIlroy shot 63 at the Open, and in the next five editions of the Dunhill Links six players carded rounds of 62.
Golfweek‘s Geoff Shackelford addressed Player’s comments on Golf Channel’s Morning Drive on Monday morning, and said he thinks that we could see equipment being regulated by governing bodies at some point.
“I think that those kinds of rounds get the attention of a lot of people and make them wonder if something’s out of balance and if the skill factor has changed,” Shackelford said. “And I think when you look at the numbers this year, where we are with distance spikes, and then you combined things like this, it certainly gives them something more to point maybe to the person who’s kind of wondering if this is a good thing or not.
“And they’ve been very quiet lately, so my suspicions are up that I think the discussions are going on.”