How's this for a strange take offered by the New York Times's Charles McGrath not offering tiered rough on Winged Foot's three most birdieable holes.
[Fay] explained later in an e-mail that he was looking for "the mythical half-stroke penalty": the shot that has a chance of getting to the green but that probably won't stay there. Fay added that the U.S.G.A. would also be flexible; on some of the easier holes, like Nos. 5 and 11, the rough might be six inches, and on 6, a 321-yard par 4 that some of the boomers may be able to reach off the tee, he intended to let the grass sprout to eight or beyond. "They're going to need a scythe to get it out of there!" he said happily.Ah, spoken like a frustrated golfer.
You know, somehow the word flexible in the context of harvesting rough to stop birdies, just doesn't quite work, does it?
Length, he added, wasn't everything, explaining that the Winged Foot doglegs are so severe — in some cases, golfers can't see the green from the tee box — that a player who can't shape his drives may run out of real estate. "Look what happened here at the P.G.A. in 1997," he said. "On the last day you had Davis Love, one of the longest hitters in golf, and Justin Leonard, one of the shortest."To which, McGrath counters with this:
A couple of days later I spoke to Rick Smith, Phil Mickelson's swing coach, who said of No. 9: "You've got to blast it there. On the other hand, you're better off in the fairway with 240 in than being in the rough. If guys are struggling, they're just going to hit something accurate." About the driver question, he said: "Initially, Phil felt he wouldn't use both, because the fairways are so narrow — only about 22 yards. But with the length of some of those holes, he's reconsidering, and depending on the conditions, no question he might bring along the other driver."
Sounds like Phil may be flogging!
The story also has Fay predicting Tiger will only driver around 4 times around. Wanna bet?