If golf were a mathematical formula, the world should be in equilibrium right now after events on the major men’s Tours this past week.
At Valderrama in Spain, fans were treated to one of the most gruelling courses the European Tour visits each year and a leaderboard where just 14 players were under par after 72 holes.
Meanwhile, in the Las Vegas desert, 75 of the 77 players in the limited field CJ Cup tournament negotiated the 72 holes in four-under-par or better.
Opposite sides of the same professional golf coin yet neither event felt completely satisfying.
The problem lies not with the players or the scores, of course, but the courses.
"The real question is whether professional golf on more compelling courses is MORE entertaining than what we saw at either venue over the weekend?" - Rod Morri.
Valderrama is as penal as any golf course any Tour visits each year and gives players almost no opportunity to show off skills beyond straight hitting.
Winner Matt Fitzpatrick neatly summed up the style of golf required to win at Spain’s most famous course in his post victory press conference.
“You can hit half-decent shots here,” he said, “finish behind trees and have to chip out. It’s a true test.”
It sounds more like a ‘one dimensional’ test than a true test but, for some, that is what makes for interesting golf.
As evidenced by any discussion about the evolution of equipment and its impact on course architecture, there are significant numbers of fans who think the answer is to make more courses more difficult, a la Valderrama, than regulate clubs and balls.
Now, if you’re not on that side of the debate it seems obvious that what was dished up on the PGA Tour this week should have been more to your liking.
The Summit Club is the polar opposite of Valderrama as proved by the scoring yet it, too, threw up less than compelling golf.
The names at the top of the leaderboard were fascinating because of the storylines of Rory and Rickie in particular, but the questions asked by the course at the Summit Golf Club? Less so.
Many will argue that as long as the product is entertaining in the end it doesn’t matter. And they may well be right.
The notion that professional golf is, at its core, no more than entertainment is one I subscribe to myself.
But the real question is whether professional golf on more compelling courses is MORE entertaining than what we saw at either venue over the weekend?
I would say yes. Watching Rory and Rickie at the local nine hole muni would be interesting. Watching them in Las Vegas was more interesting and it stands to reason that if that battle had taken place at Cypress Point, for example? It would have reached far greater heights.
Those who believe the course has little to do with the entertainment value are essentially campaigning for professional golf not to put its best product forward.
There is barely a business in the world that would subscribe to that theory and one wonders if in the long term it is something the professional game will need to address.