Rough Stuff At Open Championship

Justin Rose looks for his ball in the rough on the 14th hole during the second round of the British Open Championship at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club. (Stefan Wermuth, Reuters/Action Images)
Justin Rose looks for his ball in the rough on the 14th hole during the second round of the British Open Championship at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club. (Stefan Wermuth, Reuters/Action Images)

You may have noticed, if you’ve been watching television coverage of either the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open last week or the Open Championship this week, that the Brits have an obsession with high rough.

They love it on their links almost as much as they love mayonnaise.


If you’ve played any of the famous links in Scotland, England or Ireland, you’ve probably experienced the high stuff that looks fantastic framing holes that bump and roll through dunes. But if you’ve ever tried to hit a golf ball from it – that’s assuming you found your ball in it – you realize it’s hateful stuff.

It’s bad for your score, your wrist and your supply of Titleists.

It’s been strangely reassuring to watch some of the world’s best players try to hack and chop their way out of the stuff. I watched Jim Furyk try to gouge his ball out of rough along the right side of the 12th hole and he wound up in the stuff on the left side, his wedge turned like Linda Blair’s head in The Exorcist by the high grass.

Henrik Stenson snapped a wedge in frustration after dealing with the stuff Thursday. The list could go on and on.

In the spring, courses have been known to give updates on how the rough is progressing. The idea of graduated rough has a different meaning over here. It’s not graduated. It has a full doctorate of high grass degree.

Don’t get me wrong, I love links golf despite my raging inability to answer the questions it asks of my fragile game. But would it hurt to give it a trim once in a while?

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