Hal Hale Irwin, that beacon of wisdom and joviality tells Dan O'Neill that he's all for the USGA's new tiered rough, especially if it means they could narrow fairways even more.
“Well, I’ve suggested to them that I think it would be great if they narrowed the fairway even more and made the first cut relatively tame and then graduated from there,” Irwin said. “(It would) really put a premium on putting the ball in the fairway. Obviously there's a point up to the ropes where you can do that. Once you get outside the ropes, then it becomes very quickly trampled down.
“That could be what they're doing, trying to say, OK, the farther offline you are, the greater the penalty. There's a point to where that stops -- just happens to be right where the rope line is. Once you get down to where the grass is downtrodden, if you have no trees in your way, it becomes relatively a straightforward shot again.
“They say they're going to extend the ropes out farther than customary to accommodate it. I think that's good. That might try to harness some of these big long bombers that are going to pump it out there regardless of where it goes.”
This would all be so much easier if we just eliminated the short grass. It would cure the groove problem, the flogging problem and the distance problem.