Using the analogy of what has happened in tennis, technology has killed the game. Modern rackets have replaced the skill of making a shot, with power, and as a result people got bored of watching strong players smash the ball and the resulting one-dimensional game. The public stopped going to professional tournaments and then stopped playing tennis themselves.
The simplest solution to the gauntlet thrown down by enhanced equipment technology is to add length to golf courses, to accommodate longer shots – look at the courses preferred for the PGA and European Tours as evidence. The next tournament golf course design is longer than the last and many classic courses cannot be used as they are not challenging enough for the modern professional game.
When faced with a new golf course design project, the golf course architect needs to balance how to increase the challenge for the best players whilst maintaining the playability and fun for amateurs of all levels.Island greens, narrow fairways with high rough on both sides, water hazards on every hole and 100 metres of unplayable rough in front of the tees, are not the answer - these just increase the frustration level for all. A golf course architect needs to be much smarter in their solution.
However, we can also do these. When giving the players multiple options and tempting challenges from the tee, many will feel uncomfortable and that will inflict their game. Make the players think by creating holes which need strategies, otherwise they will just try to play a long drive to the middle of the fairway. Short golf holes with well-placed hazards are always interesting. The best players expect birdies. They feel the pressure and sometimes play too aggressive with a double bogey as a result. Players with the ability to read the strategy of the hole and the undulations of the green will always perform well on a short golf hole.
Actually, we golf players should take part in this huge evolution to try to find better ways to play golf better but no only to walk longer golf courses.