PJ BLOGGER

Birdies won’t come cheap at Barclays

In Uncategorized on August 18, 2008 at 11:09 am

Posted: Sunday August 17, 2008 11:11AM ET

In the beginning at Ridgewood Country Club, A.W. Tillinghast designed the short par- 4 known as the “five-and-dime” hole – and it was good. But it was also too long to reach the green with just one shot for players swinging the hickory- shafted clubs of the day at soft-as-oatmeal balls. But that was then and this is now, when 300-yard drives are the norm. The par-4 that now measures 291 yards and will play as The Barclays’ fifth hole (it’s No. 6 on the club’s Center nine) and earn entry into a growing PGA Tour trend: driveable par-4s. From the fans’ point of view, the decision to go for the green in one or lay up and wedge on in two prompts substantial debate (often out loud) and could make the “five-and-dime” (so named because players often used a 5-iron, then a 10-iron, now a wedge, to play it) the most fascinating Barclays hole to watch. There’s apparently far less debate among golf officials, players and architects, many of whom love the concept of driveable par-4s because of the “risk-reward” variables they present. Phil Mickelson agrees. Since becoming involved in course architecture, he said he’s noticed that with par-3s stretching to 250 yards and beyond, and some par-4s now exceeding 500, short-4s have gotten lost in the shuffle. So he loves the five-and-dime, which he tried to reach with both a driver and 3-wood during a June sponsor’s outing.

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  1. According to Ridgewood members, the name "five & dime" is based on the tendency for players to score a five or a ten on the hole, due to the challenging and well protected green. I am curious where this poster got his version.

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