Top golfers and golfing architects have criticised a redesign of the famous 17th hole at St Andrews ahead of this week's Open.
But on the eve of this week's Open Championship at the course, a row has broken out about a redesign of the picturesque hole which is considered by many to be the world's hardest par-four challenge.
The Road Hole - the 17th of the Old Course - was lengthened by 40 yards after officials at the Royal and Ancient Club (R&A) became concerned that it was becoming too easy, due to modern club and ball technology which allows today's golfers to drive the ball for longer distances.
Now, in a two-pronged attack, leading golf course architects have warned that such changes are damaging the sport's heritage, while top players have said that the redesigned 17th may encourage conservative play and dampen excitement.
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