Monday, April 28, 2008

Nelson Players Loved New TPC Four Seasons ... or Did They?

The DFW media's coverage of the Byron Nelson Championship over the past week was full of praise for D.A. Weibring's redesign of the TPC Four Seasons course. And the local media reported that the players in town for the tournament were raving about the redesign. For example, from Dallas Morning News columnist Bill Nichols:

Players hailed the remodeling job of D.A. Weibring's Golf Resources Group. They praised the smooth greens, lush fairways and uniform rough.

Nichols had plenty of quotes from players to back up that assertion. But were the PGA Tour golfers really so happy with TPC Four Seasons, or were they just putting on a good face during tournament week?

SportsTicker's Andrew Both claims that behind the scenes, many golfers were highly critical of the redesign:

But despite what the Texas media has reported to be a generally positive player reaction, the cold reality is that many players are far from enamored of the course changes made by D.A. Weibring and his team.

Players are told by the PGA Tour not to say anything negative for public consumption, and most dutifully trotted out the positive spin last week when asked for their thoughts.

Behind the scenes, however, it seems it was a different story.

See, I told you that's what he said. Continuing directly from Both's column:

"I spoke to a dozen players and not one had anything positive to say about the changes," said one caddie, who did not want to be named. "The course certainly looks better but everybody thinks they have made the greens even worse. The slopes are too severe, especially on some of the holes where you're coming in with a long iron.

"There's no way they’ll ever get a great field here again, which is a shame, because the tournament could not treat us better. The bottom line is that players set their schedule by the quality of the course first, and schedule second. Even a better date on the schedule won’t help much if they don't like the course."

Ouch. Both essentially says, don't worry about getting a great field again, Nelson, because you never will.

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