Geoff Ogilvy pens a Scotland On Sunday guest column about rough.
Rough is golf's most boring hazard and too much of it on any course can only lead to less interesting play. Rough misses the point of golf.Fast forward...
It's commonsense really. Golf has to be more interesting if we can stand on tees and decide for ourselves what club to hit and where to hit it.And...
Take the fourth hole here at Carnoustie. In the first round last Thursday, the pin was tucked away behind the bunker on the left side of the green. So the ideal spot for the drive was actually ten yards or so into the rough on the right. Which was where I chose to hit. I was prepared to accept a less-good lie in order to create a better angle for myself. In the end, I pushed my drive a bit and ended up on the 15th fairway, which gave me an even better line in. But the fun part of the whole process was the standing on the tee and working it out.
Don't get me wrong though. I'm not anti-rough necessarily. Rough like we have here this week gives the talented player a chance to recover.
Which is great and as it should be. The recovery shot might be the most exciting thing to watch at this level. But it disappears completely when the set up is overly penal. When that is the case, there is no point in being good at recovery shots; you'll never get to try one.
Look also at the 69 Tiger Woods shot in the third round of the US Open at what was almost a rough-covered Oakmont last month. We had the best golfer in the world - one of the two best ever - playing close to his best and he could manage only one under par? All that proves is that there is something wrong with the course.
Happily, none of the above has been the case here at Carnoustie, even if I did miss the cut. Take a close look at the way this great links has been set up this week.
This is the way your own course should be presented for the club championship. The rough is an annoyance but not the end of the world.
You have to hit two good shots on any hole to make a birdie. The greens are running at a speed where you can put the pin in almost any spot on almost every green. It has been a fascinating test.