Chattanooga-(WDEF-TV) At the height of Tiger Woods power game at the Masters, David Letterman joked that Augusta was going to make Tiger tee off in Michigan to make it fair. Now we’ve got the bulked up Bryson DeChambeau mashing 400-yard drives.
The ‘grip it and rip it’ game is now a staple of the Tour, and we got to see it in Chattanooga when Black Creek hosted the Nationwide Tour for eight years.
No sooner did Black Creek open in September of 2,000, and golf’s power game was about to explode.
Said Stein:”The month after we opened the PRO V1 was introduced.”
Club president Doug Stein says the PRO V-1 golf ball helped turn a lot of Tour players into bombers at Black Creek.
Said Stein:”That unleashed a huge jump in the average driving distance. When we designed the golf course, there were ten players maybe that could fly the ball 285-yards, and by 2003, when they came here, they all could practically. When we built 12, it’s uphill 462, that was just unheard of. A hole that long. And soon they were hitting driver-wedge. So I think ten is 339. So at that time rolling it on the front was a really good drive when we built the golf course. Within three years they were hitting three woods at it. Some of them. Driving it on there and flying it on there. There was a guy named Victor Schwamkrug who came here, who drove the 15th green from the practice tee, which was unheard of.”
The par five’s at Black Creek didn’t stand a chance during the Nationwide stop.
Said Stein:”Well sure, we knew that the par five’s were all in jeopardy. So yes they actually scored lower. They had a lower per stroke average on the 14th hole, which is a par five, than they did on 12 or 13, which are par fours. So they ate 14 up.”
Good thing Bryson DeChambeau is not blasting Black Creek with 400-yard drives, although Stein won’t be surprised if the field starts catching up to his length.
Said Stein:”They’ll all try to do it. They don’t want anybody to have an advantage. When John Daly came out and started averaging 300 yards a drive, he was hitting it 15 yards further than anybody else. Then Tiger Woods came on the scene, and he could it that far.”