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PODCAST: Can Narrower Fairways Help Golf’s Distance Problem?

LochenHeath Golf Club in Traverse City, Michigan, is a Steve Smyers design.

On episode 48 of the PostCast, Sean Fairholm and Cassie Stein talk with golf course architect Steve Smyers about his design career.

Smyers has been involved in design or renovation projects at Evian Resort Golf Club in France, Isleworth Golf & Country Club in Florida, LochenHeath Golf Club in Michigan, Cypress Lakes Golf & Country Club in Australia, and Interlachen Country Club in Florida.

One of the main topics of conversation is Smyers’ opinion on whether the golf ball should be rolled back and how golf course set up factors into the discussion. Smyers makes the point that the most crucial element to a professional golfer’s success is the ability for them to control spin, something that they can’t do out of the rough.

“Even if the rough just comes up to the equator of the ball, that is enough to make controlling your approach more difficult,” Smyers said. “It doesn’t have to be heavy rough, it just has to be enough to influence the spin.”  

What do you think of the idea? Would tighter fairways put a premium on accuracy and smarter plays off the tee? Give the podcast a listen and let us know your thoughts.


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