Who is Nick Taylor? Apparently he is a professional golfer on the PGA Tour who is a Canadian golfer and former alum of the University of Washington. Winner of the 2007 Canadian Amateur Championship. Well, he just won the AT&T Pro AM held at Pebble Beach. Taylor went ahead to shoot a total score of 268 (-19) to win the tournament outright. That is only 4 strokes better than Tom Watson's win in 1977 only 42 years later. But let's not forget that the last time he won a PGA tour event was 6 years ago. What makes it even special is that Taylor only averaged 292.4 yards off the tee for this week. It's funny to me because I thought distance was detrimental to the game? I was under the impression that the longer hitters are ruining the game for golf? In my opinion, I don't think so. By the recent distant report, the longer hitters have such an advantage and should be winning every tournament. Let us take a look at some of the notable "bombers" on tour that played in the field this past week and see how they did.
Phil Mickelson: -14 (3rd)
Dustin Johnosn: -3 (T32)
Harold Varner III: Cut
Scott Stallings: Cut
Cameron Champ: E (T55)
Now these are guys that are currently averaging over 300 yards during the 2020 season and are considered to be the guys that are "detrimental" to the game in regards to distance. In my opinion, it just kind of shows you that having distance isn't always going to give you the advantage to set you up for success and win more tournaments. Now, it may give you the opportunity to have a shorter club in your hand coming into your approach shot; however, winning tournaments all comes down to accuracy and consistency. If you are playing a tournament through four days and stay consistent and accurate, I can guarantee you that you will have better success than someone who is averaging 300+ yards but is struggling with their approach game and flat stick. And the 3 courses did not play that long either for a professional course. So to me it sets up well for a shorter hitter to see success.
Spyglass Hill G.C. - Pebble Beach, CA | Par: 72 | Yardage: 7035
Pebble Beach G.L. - Pebble Beach, CA | Par: 72 | Yardage: 6816
Monterey Peninsula CC - Pebble Beach, CA | Par: 71 | Yardage: 6958
If you haven't figured out by now, the AT&T Pro AM is played on 3 courses throughout the tournament. 2 rounds on Pebble Beach, 1 round on Spyglass, and 1 one Monterey Peninsula which only one of the courses being over 7000 yards. I defiantly believe this tournament was a good one to be played right after the distance report that was released. It is some solid proof that distance is not the issue. It is a course set up issue and we have discussed this multiple times. Rough needs to grow and the fairways need to soften up. And at the end of the day, golfers are just getting better and field is getting that much stronger. I love seeing "random" tour pros taking the throne when the field is filled with every big name. It just shows golf is in a great place right now and we need to keep that in mind.
So I will just leave you with that. So continue to keep grinding and get out there and swing some sticks. But most importantly, Enjoy The Walk!