Darren: "I don’t see what the obsession is with length, length, length all the time"

Open champion Darren Clarke has slammed US PGA chiefs for creating a monster par three in Atlanta this week.

The terrifying 15th, which offically measures 260 yards, could force the pros to hit a three-wood to a water-protected green and Clarke is not amused.

The Ulsterman said: “Rumour has it that the 15th is 265 yards off the back tee so that’s a cunning par three, isn’t it?

“At some stage they are going to realise that length is not the way to toughen up the golf course.

“The best par threes are often the short ones and at some stage somebody is going to figure that out.

“I don’t see what the obsession is with length, length, length all the time.

Clarke has no problem with 500-yard par-fours - there are two at Atlanta Athletic Club - but he reckons that single-shot holes should be a test of iron play and distance control.

He added: “Par threes of 150-160 yards long, there’s nothing wrong with that. The Postage Stamp at Troon is just 126 yards and now we get par threes regularly playing 240 yards long.”

If US PGA officials play the 15th from the back tee, Clarke said he could be forced to hit a three-wood.

He said: “It would be a three wood and hit it well or a reload because balls don’t float.

“That’s what it will be and I might not be the only one in that sort of scenario if that’s what they play it as.”

Told it was downhill, Clarke hit back: “It is. But it ain’t that much f***ing downhill.”