Forecaddie: Jack Nicklaus’ Muirfield redo to restore “what the game of golf is all about”

Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Forecaddie: Jack Nicklaus’ Muirfield redo to restore “what the game of golf is all about”

Forecaddie

Forecaddie: Jack Nicklaus’ Muirfield redo to restore “what the game of golf is all about”

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The Forecaddie was not surprised to hear Jack Nicklaus is updating Muirfield Village to keep up with modern distances. By the time new tees are installed prior to the 2020 Memorial, the course will have gained nearly 500 yards since its May 1974 opening.

Shocked, The Man Out Front, was not to read Nicklaus also wants to have all the latest agronomic bells and whistles installed between the 2020 and 2021 Memorials so that superintendent Chad Mark can provide Muirfield Village’s always legendary manicuring. New irrigation along with subsurface heating and cooling means big checks will be written to give players only the best conditions.

No, it was Nicklaus’ comments at the end of the press release that surprised even TMOF. After assuring members that he’s adding forward tees to keep the course flexible, the Golden Bear made clear he’s not waiting for the governing bodies to address change in the game. Or maybe the Golden Bear just wanted to make sure course setup analyst Rory McIlroy will keep coming to the Memorial.

The Forecaddie will let you decide:

“But my belief is that tournament golf should be a test to find out who is the best golfer that week. Far too many tournaments have eliminated the rough and firmness of greens, and that is just not my idea of what the game of golf should be. So I am going to stick with my old-fashioned beliefs about how the game of golf should be played and the way golf courses should be set up. How the USGA’s Joe Dey used to set up courses is how I learned and how I thought golf should be played. It’s the guy who drives the ball the straightest; the guy who plays the best iron game; the guy who is best around the greens and is sometimes challenged when he doesn’t play a good shot to the green; and the guy who putts well. The whole gamut of all shots is what the game of golf is all about. The game should challenge every facet of every club in the bag.”

There you have it. The Golden Bear has spoken.

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