Shackelford: 8,500-yard crowd remember Torrey, J.B. & what you ask for

Jan 28, 2018; San Diego, CA, USA; J.B. Holmes plays his shot from the fifth tee during the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament at Torrey Pines Municipal Golf Course - South Co. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Shackelford: 8,500-yard crowd remember Torrey, J.B. & what you ask for

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Shackelford: 8,500-yard crowd remember Torrey, J.B. & what you ask for

Over the years the common refrain for dealing with distance gains has suggested higher rough and longer courses. Or, just narrowness and rough–anything but tweaking the rules already in place governing ball distance.

In recent months, the 8,500 yard number has been floated as the yardage needed to restore long irons and protect the golf ball from those who want to do it harm.

This absurd, acreage-engulfing number apparently stemmed from Erin Hills which apparently resonated with some. Most felt a sense of irrational scale and emptiness post-U.S. Open, realizing the unproductiveness of chasing a larger footprint.

Torrey Pines South is a five-and-half-hour course in benign conditions, but takes the world’s best nearly six hours if there is any decent wind, the usual stout rough and speedy greens.

The South is just a touch over 7,600 yards with a only few long walks to post 2001 back tees–1 to 2, 9 to 10, 12 to 13, 14 to 15–nothing like many lengthened courses where players can spend up to 20 minutes of their round just walking to added tees.

And while this should not have to be pointed out, it takes longer to play an 8,500 yard course than a 7,500 yard course and definitely more time than touring a 6,500 yard course.

The 2018 Farmers could not be completed Sunday under sunny skies even with an earlier start than Saturday. And while J.B. Holmes is legitimately mocked for his rude final hole pace, do not lose sight of the overall pace issues faced by 77 elite players: longer and narrower is not a healthy solution.

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