Sawgrass and Rough

With stories mentioning the restoration of "shot values" (whatever they are) to the TPC Sawgrass when the "layer of Gore Tex" is installed this summer, I could not help but wonder if the changes will mean the Tour will take down the US Open style rough. (See the recommended questions for Commissioner Finchem.)

Last year, Tom Kite made a strong case for the rough stripping the course of its character and even difficulty in Ron Whitten's Golf World cover story:

"It was probably as strategic a golf course as maybe we've ever seen," he says. "It reminded me a lot of St. Andrews in that there were so many options and ways to play it. It was designed to play firm and fast, and you knew you were going to have to play some creative shots. But now it's like the U.S. Open, with lots of deep rough, trees totally out of play. Nobody hits it into the trees anymore. Nobody ever misses a green by more than two or three yards anymore, because it doesn't roll anywhere, it just hits that wall of rough."

The problem is that they overseed the course in winter, says Paul Azinger. "Whenever you overseed in Florida, you have to water it to keep it alive, and that makes everything softer and easier," says Azinger. "I'm not suggesting that it's easy. I love the course, but it's not what it was, not what Pete Dye intended it to be. It's just not that hard anymore."

Why do I have the funny feeling the rough will not go?