"You can hit great, straight drives in the US Open and still miss the fairway."

John Huggan follows up on his Golf Digest interview with Geoff Ogilvy with a few more questions for the defending champion. Ogilvy touched on a similar notion about driving accuracy in the Q&A we did for Links (not online). I think he's onto something with regard to the effect of the 21-24 yard landing area...
JH: Ironically, the US Open isn't the one of the four your game would seem most suited to.

GO: No. I have thought a lot about that. I would have expected, for someone like me who is a little wayward off the tee even when playing well, that Augusta or the Open would be the best bet. But US Opens are so narrow that straight hitters almost lose their advantage. Everyone is in the rough. And I'm used to that and they are not.

You can hit great, straight drives in the US Open and still miss the fairway. So it almost works against those guys. I mean, I'm quite happy hitting seven shots out of the rough. I do that every day. They don't.

I'm not alone, though. Take a look at the leader board at Winged Foot.

Phil was up there and he isn't the straightest hitter. Everyone talks about how you have to hit it straight at the US Open. And I thought that too. But in hindsight I'm not so sure. No-one can hit it straight enough to hit every fairway in the US Open. It's so difficult, almost impossible really. You can be a great driver of the ball and still miss six fairways in a day. And you can drive badly and do that.

JH: What do you think of all the rough around the greens?

GO: I think some of the holes at Winged Foot would have been better served if balls were allowed to run away from the greens, rather than get stopped within a few feet.

JH: Which is what happened with your approach to the last green came up short.

GO: Exactly. That created quite an interesting shot.

Winged Foot is a stellar course though. I can't say anything bad about it because I won! I loved the fact that they had trimmed the trees so that you can see a lot of the course under the branches. That has been lost in a lot of places, but Winged Foot had that look about it.

It also has some of the coolest greens I have ever seen.