I feel like golf has moved towards this over emphasis on the driver. Holes used to be designed with obstacles in the way. To navigate these obstacles, it often required cunning and certainly less than driver. A hole could be 370 yards, and yet it still required a second shot of 160 yards. A strong player playing this hole, might hit 4 iron from tee and 7 iron into the green. Imagine a 330 yard hole with a similar cross obstacle at 200 yards out. A strong player might hit 6 iron from the tee and 8 iron in.
At this rate, I could design an entire course, that tests every club in your bag (I’ve already made you use 4 different clubs in two holes), has no par 4’s over 400 yards, sits on less acreage because the holes aren’t that long, takes less money to maintain because of the smaller footprint, costs less to play because the upkeep can be done in less time with less people…but this place will be criticized because you can’t rip driver 14 times. That is how I have arrived that driver is over emphasized.
Now think what happens when you have an “all driver” golf course. Every hole from 300 yards to 420 yards for a strong player is driver – wedge. Bash driver, slash wedge. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Your total game suffers…you never hit mid irons. Your interest might suffer… no variety. I suffer, much longer course to take care of. Your wallet suffers, I need to charge more because the place is huge so you can hit driver. Callaway is probably the only one who is not suffering, they can sell more drivers.
What would be so bad about shorter courses where driver was merely a choice not a FORE gone conclusion? Like dogs, golfers are domesticated to certain dogmas (pun intended). No matter how many good ideas that are concocted, it’s pretty much impossible to work against the tidal flow of golfer expectation you have been programmed to accept. You believe it’s always driver. But I guess everything has to start somewhere.