After watching the PGA players tear up Montreux Golf & Country Club last week at the Reno-Tahoe Open, I'd love to make a suggestion.
Toughen up the course. Force the players to hit more than wedges into a lot of these greens.
The first thing that needs to be done is to tighten up the fairways. The fairways at Montreux were/are much too generous. Narrow the fairways and make the rough longer and tougher to get out of.
The second thing that needs to be done is to make the par-5s tougher. All four of them played under par last week, and all are reachable in two. The 584-yard 11th might be a tad more difficult than the others because of the wind which blew into the faces of the players one day early in the week.
Call me old school, but I don't think you should be able to roll a ball 40 or 50 yards on the ground to get on in two shots like Jonathan Kaye did on No. 17 on Sunday. I think on a true par-5 you should almost have to carry the ball to the green in the air.
On No. 9, there is trouble on the right with water and a bunker. I'd love to see another bunker in the front of the green or water going all the way across. Also, put a couple of fairway bunkers out there, forcing the players to make some club-selection decisions. Make it a risk-reward sort of approach shot.
On No. 11, there are a few bunkers alongside the fairway, but nothing in the middle of the fairway to really stop a player from just bombing the driver a zillion yards. These younger players are so good and hit the ball so far, they need to be made to think off the tee a little more often.
The 17th has some water on the left, but never seemed to come into play for most of the pros. Hitting to the right side of the green is tough because you have to carry a deep bunker. The hole needs a bunker on the left so pros can't run the ball up on the green from 280 yards away.
The 11th is a dogleg right and places a premium on an accurate tee shot. There is a small pot bunker that guards the front left of the green. I'd love to see them toughen up the landing area on the fairway by bringing the trees more in play or adding a bunker.
When Jack Nicklaus designed this course, I don't think he envisioned so many players being able to get home in two.
And, while we are on the subject of the RTO, let's talk about the upcoming vote which will decide the tournament's fate EVEN THOUGH there is a signed contract with the PGA Tour to have the event next year.
Some of the members, many of whom don't even live there year-round, complain because the tournament takes away two weeks of playing the course during the season which was shortened this year because of heavy snowfall.
I realize these people plunk down a pretty big chunk of dough to live and play at Montreux, but we are only talking one week here. Members can play the course the week before the event, they just can't take their carts on the fairways. And, Montreux resident/members can play at Arrowcreek which is just a couple of miles away in that same two-week span.
Personally, I feel the members and residents are being selfish. This tournament brings money and notoriety to the region. It raises money for local charities.
Is there more noise? Yes. Is there more traffic? Yes.
I think it's a matter of rich people not wanting to let people into their little paradise. Why is it that rich people can be so selfish, and why is it that people that don't have a lot have huge hearts?
Come on Montreux step up to the plate and do the right thing.
Darrell Moody can be reached at email@example.com, or by calling (775) 881-1281