Players: RCGA should stick to old courses

STEVE BUFFERY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:39 AM ET

Canadians Stephen Ames and Mike Weir had some not-so-subtle advice for the RCGA yesterday.

And that is, if you want to attract a higher-calibre field to the Canadian Open, play the tournament at one of the old, established courses in Canada, such as Hamilton, Shaughnessy in Vancouver or Royal Montreal.

Both players said that courses are the reason players choose to play at certain tournaments (outside the majors), more than purse money or even when it falls in the PGA calendar.

"When players look at their schedule, I think it's underestimated the importance of the golf course," said Weir. "When guys know they're playing an old championship golf course, I think it really adds some cache to the tournament."

Ames, the top Canadian at the Open this year, finishing at seven under, criticized the Angus Glen course all week, railing mostly about the soft greens. Many of his colleagues also complained about the pin placements on the greens, although it must be said that most complaints were about the design of the course and not the job done by tournament organizers.

COURSE, OF COURSE

"I think on the whole, if you ask 90% of the guys on the PGA Tour, their first answer towards what makes a schedule is always the golf courses. Ninety per cent of us want to play the old-style course. And I think we have a few of them here in Canada that definitely fit that criteria," Ames said. "I don't even look at the purses any more. I look at the schedule of golf courses and I pick what I enjoy playing.

"(Angus Glen) wasn't designed for a major championship or national championship. Conditions-wise and everything else, it hosted the event wonderfully. But all of us basically didn't enjoy what it had to offer.

"I think it's the direction the RCGA has to go towards, picking some proper golf courses for everybody to enjoy."

Weir said that most PGA players enjoy the older courses because of the tradition involved and the fact that they aren't just "bomber paradises" such as Angus Glen.

"There's different types of players that can win tournaments (at the older courses)," said Weir, "and not just bombers when you play real long courses that are open and you can just let it rip all day long."


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