Course design helped make the US PGA Championship a thriller

The toughness of the closing holes at the Atlantic Athletic Club helped create the thrilling finish to the US PGA

The closing four holes on the Atlanta Athletic Club's golf course have been nicknamed Calamity Lane. But this hints at a negative.

However, it is anything but, and any golf fan fortunate enough to have been at the final major of 2011 would have done well to find a spot down on that stretch, sat back and enjoyed the chaos.

So congratulations to all the people behind this year's US PGA Championship venue for doing what every spectator wants from a major championship golf course.

They knew that if they made the closing holes as difficult as possible then it would keep everyone guessing right until the end.

Just ask Jason Dufner, who blew a five-shot lead from the 15th to the 18th, although Keegan Bradley's putting also had something to do with it. Or Tiger Woods who, on the 18th, put his second shot into the green-side lake. Like almost a quarter of the field did.

And this is what we want.

Golf tournaments should not be settled with holes still to play. You need drama and excitement.

Who wants a procession at a major if it can be helped?

The final four holes at Carnoustie in Scotland are a prime example. It is a brutal way home which has destroyed many a player's dreams; such as Jean van de Velde who found the Brandy Burn in 1999 and lost the British Open.

And the Atlanta course, home of the great Bobby Jones, had the perfect set-up for maximum excitement.

Let's get the US Open there as soon as possible.


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Published: August 18, 2011 04:00 AM