Two-time major champion Tony Jacklin has launched an extraordinary attack on modern professional golf, branding it “boring”.
Jacklin, 75, also hit out at the current crop of top players, describing them as “robotic” and “not that talented”.
In a blog posted on his website, the former Ryder Cup captain said: “It’s boring watching golf these days. It’s just not very interesting any more. The game has become all about smashing the ball as far as you can and about putting contests.
“You see the distances the modern-day player is hitting the ball and the fact they can use wedges to get the ball out of the rough and get it on the green. If they were hitting it 50 yards shorter and having to hit five-irons for the second shot, they wouldn’t be getting the ball on the green from the rough.
“The game is upside down with new technology. The modern players simply don’t need it. It was brought in to help the amateurs, not the pros, but I’m bound to think that the ball is the biggest culprit. They’re hitting nine-irons now where the top players were hitting five-irons 50 years ago.”
Jacklin also complained that lengthening courses has resulted in higher maintenance costs and longer rounds.
However, he was particularly scathing in his criticism of the game’s current group of top players.
“I don’t consider these elite guys are that talented and nobody looks like they’re having a good time,” added Jacklin. “They’re all just going about their business. A 30-foot putt goes in but they don’t smile, there’s no fist pumping and it’s all just very matter of fact.
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“The players have become too robotic. There’s no emotion. I watched Patrick Cantlay in the BMW Championship last week and he was miserable all day long. The guys these days don’t interact with the galleries at all.
“It’s the same people every week getting millions of dollars. Who cares any more? It’s all very predictable.
“It’s not like when Arnold Palmer or Seve Ballesteros were in their pomp. It used to be a real spectacle to see those charismatic players in action. Tiger Woods still pulls the biggest crowds and he’s got a bit more oomph... but generally speaking there’s little emotion shown and I don’t think that’s good.”