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Webb Simpson: Better course design the answer to golf’s distance debate


MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Webb Simpson has an answer for golf’s distance debate and it doesn’t have anything to do with high-tech golf balls or clubheads, Bryson DeChambeau’s diet or gym memberships.

For Simpson, who it should be noted is not among the PGA Tour’s longest hitters, the answer is clear – better golf course design.

WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational: Full-field tee times | Full coverage

“You would solve a lot of problems on this length issue if architects would get a little more creative on doglegs, where they’re placing these bunkers, tightening fairways, making greens smaller,” Simpson said Wednesday at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. “We play too many courses where you get to a hole and hey, it’s 290 [yards] to carry a bunker. Well, guess what, 30 guys on the PGA Tour now, they’re not even thinking about that bunker whereas 20 years ago it was really in play.”

Simpson used next week’s PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park as an example of how better golf course design, and not more rules and regulations, is the answer to increasing driving distances.

“I’m looking forward to next week, the rough’s going to be up, I’m sure, it’s a major championship,” he said. “There will be a premium on fairways, but it’s not necessarily a point A to point B golf course like [TPC] Southwind is, where you miss your target, it’s very penal. It’s more of just tree-lined rough, kind of old-school.”