Controversial Big Blue Wall won’t go up at 2021 ANA Inspiration


What was the most controversial thing about golf in 2020?

Was it Bryson DeChambeau’s bulked-up approach to winning the U.S. Open? Was it the cancellation of events like the British Open and the Ryder Cup? Was it a Masters in November?

What about the Big Blue Wall?

You remember the Big Blue Wall. If you remember the 2020 ANA Inspiration was played in September after a postponement from April and played with no spectators under COVID-19 restrictions, then you remember the Big Blue Wall.

Built to replicate a wall at the front of a hospitality tent traditionally on the back and left of the island green on the par-5 18th hole of the Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills Country Club, the Big Blue Wall kind of took the concept of the traditional backstop and went over the top with it. It was big, it was blue and the critics of the wall were numerous and loud.

We know now the 2021 ANA Inspiration in April will again be played with no spectators and no need for the 18th hole hospitality tent. But this time, the LPGA major will be played without the Big Blue Wall.

“No, we learned from last year,” said Alyssa Randolph, the tournament manager. “We have more time to really get together all of our branding pieces and celebrate the 50th anniversary.”

So what was the issue with the Big Blue Wall anyway? For years now, golfers trying to go for the island green in two shots – when the tees on the hole are played up to 485 yards rather than 535 yards – could use the hospitality tent as a backstop.

A shot with a hybrid or a fairway wood coming hot into the green to the left side of the massive putting surface could just bounce off the bottom of the tent, or lodge against the tent leading to a free drop rather the skittering through the green and into the lake at the back of the island. The eagle chip was hardly easy, but it could set up a birdie putt



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