“Torrey Pines-Changes Coming”
The PGA stars come out tomorrow morning in the Farmers Insurance Open Golf Tourney. Phil Mickelson, Jason Day, Ricky Fowler and so many others.
They will play the tremendously long South Course, then will play on the tough North Course.
If you like golf, you’ll enjoy the San Diego weather, the players, the galleries, and a final look at the North Course.
Tom Weiskopf, a super-star from yesteryear, now a golf designer, begins work in two weeks on a new-look North Course. February 15th till August 15th will see a re-design of the beauty of the North.
The leaderboard says it will cost 12.8M to re-do, reinvent, revitalize. Weiskopf told me yesterday, he wants what will be new, to be a “turn of the century’ personality course.
Yes the Pines will get to host the US Open in 2021 again, and yes there is a USGA philosophy, preserve par, make it an obstacle course not just a golf course. But that’s the USGA, and the new North will be tough, when it is done for the pros.
But Weiskopf’s vision is to make golf on the North an enjoyable day, so much so that golfers will want to comeback, to experience it, its layout, its beauty time and again.
The man who has designed 68-courses in his second career has grand plans once they break ground.
The size of the greens will be increased by 25% minimum, no more postage stamp locations. 4-pin placements will be part of the change, two very tough, for the pros, and 2-much more moderate for you and me.
They will change the slope of the greens, to give it a firmer grip. They will cut 5-acres off the fairways, more to preserve watering, than anything else.
The 58-bunkers will be transferred, and most all will be only 2-3 feet deep. The bunkers will be moved to just one side of the fairway, rough on the other, rather than locating the sand traps everywhere.
Torrey North will also have its tee boxes changed, five different sets. The PGA guys will tee off on a 7,100-yard course. The average golfer will play on a 6,600 course. The tee box will shorten to a 6,100-yard course for seniors and 5,700 for ladies.
Weiskopf has played around the world. He won here at the Pines in the 1960s. He’s designed the TPC course in Scottsdale. He loves the game, but wants the new layout for everyone.
“Length should not determine the outcome of a round”. He thinks the strategy of shot-making should be the difference.
Yes he knows the patrons love to play the dimensions for pros play, but he also knows 92% of the golfers across America, don’t break 90. Only a half percent of the duffers break 80, according to PGA stats. That’s why he wants Torrey to be fun, and be beautiful.
Yes the USGA is demanding in what they want in the open. And yes he knows, if you win the open, you are part of history. Jordan Spieth won it last year and finished 1-over par.
“It’s part of their goal, it definitely is their attitude” come US Open weekend. That’s okay, but he wants something even better.
The beauty of this weekends stop on the PGA tour is like a Chamber of Commerce postcard for the nation to see on network television. A year from today, when they tee off on the North Course, it will be even better.
Torrey Pines will shoot a birdie on the design. Tom Weiskopf will see to it, no bogeys in its layout.