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paul cowley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Unfair Rough...something needs to be done.
« on: May 10, 2006, 06:45:06 AM »
Bunkers are defined as hazards and have their own set of rules for play and general rules for their maintenance....these standards have evolved for many reasons, but probably foremost they have evolved to provide some standard of fairness and equity among players.......well then why are we not applying these same standards and logic to areas maintained as rough?
Oh, I know all the thru the green stuff, but is it really fair that your opponent can be standing right next to you and have a better lie?....we don't tolerate these inconsistencies in bunkers, why in the rough?

Maybe a few new standards are in order to rectify these inequities, similar to ones developed for plugged balls or casual water..... or, under certain conditions, the ability to lift, clean and place your ball.

I'd prefer to leave what these standards might consist of to bigger minds than mine......but I do want to go on record and state that rough as we know it today is unfair...... and something needs to be done about it.

paul cowley...golf course architect/asgca

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re:Unfair Rough...something needs to be done.
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2006, 06:48:53 AM »
Paul:

Clearly the clubs in your neck of the woods are behind the times.  I know of several clubs in Chicago which resodded bluegrass roughs to get them "more consistent".  I think some clubs look at bunker renovations as a chance to get consistent sodded rough around the bunkers, too.

Crystal Downs' green committee even discussed resodding areas around greens a few years ago to make the lies around the greens more fair.  I told them what MacKenzie would think of them.

Mike_Sweeney

Re:Unfair Rough...something needs to be done.
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2006, 06:52:45 AM »
Paul,

Read this months Golf Digest on the Massacre at Winged Foot in '74 and get back to me. 6-12 inches of rough, and Sandy Tatum quoted as saying he would not change a thing today!

BCrosby

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re:Unfair Rough...something needs to be done.
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2006, 07:00:37 AM »
Paul -

Some hypotheticals:

There are two small bunkers on the right side of the green. You and I both slice our approach shots. Each of us hits an equally bad shot. You land in a bunker, I land 18 inches away in the grass between the bunkers. Is that unfair? Is that a design problem?

On to the next hole. You and I both slice our drives. Each of us hits an equally bad shot. You end up in the rough, my ball 18 inches away rolls into a creek. Is that unfair? Is that a design problem?

Or how about on the next hole. We each push our dirives a little. You find the fairway. I am 18 inches away in 4 inch rough. Is that unfair? Is that a design problem?

I think the answers to the above are "no" and "no". It would follow that inconsistencies in rough are likewise not a problem. (In fact, they might be a good thing.)

The whole thing about fairness and "punishment needing to fit the crime" leads you down a road from which there is no escape.

I acknowledge that mine is probably a minority view. But I have important allies. As Tom notes, this issue is one that MacKenzie has some pretty clear views about.


Bob
« Last Edit: May 10, 2006, 07:09:23 AM by BCrosby »

Matt_Sullivan

Re:Unfair Rough...something needs to be done.
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2006, 07:07:50 AM »
Bob, I'm not sure you would be in the minority; or, at least I am with you. The ups and downs you describe are the very essence of golf and integral to its charm. The condition of the course may well be unfair from time to time, but golf wasn't meant to be fair

paul cowley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re:Unfair Rough...something needs to be done.
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2006, 07:23:40 AM »
Bob and Matt...I'm with you too  ;) [I'm just trying a different tack to highlight what concerns me about certain aspects of the modern game....in this instance, the trend towards 'fairness']......as exemplified in TomD's previous post.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2006, 07:26:44 AM by paul cowley »
paul cowley...golf course architect/asgca

Dan Herrmann

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re:Unfair Rough...something needs to be done.
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2006, 07:47:12 AM »
Paul,
If only you could have played on the munis I grew up on in Tonawanda, NY (north of Buffalo)...  You knew you were going to be penalized in the rough, so you worked your hardest not to hit it there.  Mud, dirt, clods of who knows what - all were travails to be overcome in the rough.

Of course, the fairways weren't that great either, but it was fun, especially when you'd never set foot on a place like Augusta (which seemed like Oz to a kid).

Come on - the rough is supposed to be a bad, bad place.  Sure - I hate getting a bare lie, but I'm the one that put it there.  


BCrosby

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re:Unfair Rough...something needs to be done.
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2006, 07:48:17 AM »
Paul -

The concept of proportionality is an interesting one. The USGA throws it out there from time to time. It one of those things that has enormous surface appeal - "Of course the punishment should fit the crime..." - but as you dig down into the concept it gets loopy and falls apart. At least when applied to golf design.

As you say, it hangs around precisely because so few people take the time to dig into it.

I think the real issue in these debates - the thing that will not say its name (to paraphrase Oscar Wilde) - is difficulty. How hard do you want to make the course?

It's got nothing to do with fairness or justice or equity or anything else that has to do with morality.

Bob

« Last Edit: May 11, 2006, 09:49:09 AM by BCrosby »

Dave Bourgeois

Re:Unfair Rough...something needs to be done.
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2006, 08:03:16 AM »
I played Beechtree last year and would much rather have hit into a bunker than the rough around the edges of the bunkers.  Is that fair?  I don't know but it is what it is, and I decided that I really need to play to stay out of those general areas.  

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re:Unfair Rough...something needs to be done.
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2006, 11:18:26 AM »
Bob Crosby:

I read the other day an interview with Mike Davis (the new USGA director of championships) who says he is going to three cuts of rough at Winged Foot so it will be more fair.

I've said before, proportionality for good players is a disaster for the average (bad) player.  I also hate it on aesthetic grounds -- because having parallel cuts of rough along the sides of the fairway is terribly unnatural looking.  But once they see it on TV this summer, you can bet a lot of clubs will want to introduce another "cut".

BCrosby

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re:Unfair Rough...something needs to be done.
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2006, 12:10:02 PM »
Tom D. -

W. Driver himself used the word "proportional" recently when talking about the WF setup.

It is one of those ideas that seems self-evidently reasonable.  But then falls apart when you look at it more closely.

Sort of like the USGA bromide that we make our setups hard in order to identify the best players.

Bob


 
« Last Edit: May 10, 2006, 12:16:34 PM by BCrosby »

A_Clay_Man

Re:Unfair Rough...something needs to be done.
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2006, 02:53:57 PM »
With most places constanty crying about speed of play, it is surprising more courses don't do away with the damn stuff anyway. Afterall, how many courses even get to sniff at a pro event or usga championship? Golf with less rough is so much more enjoyable and more creative = FUN WITH NO ROUGH.

Patrick_Mucci

Re:Unfair Rough...something needs to be done.
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2006, 02:58:09 PM »
Paul Cowley,

Managing a living organism is a tall order, especially when Mother Nature exerts her influence.

In the Northeast, the spring has to be the most difficult time of the year to deal with rough, as a golfer and as a club.

Patrick_Mucci

Re:Unfair Rough...something needs to be done.
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2006, 03:00:43 PM »
Tom Doak, et. al.,

Is the theory of "proportionality" tacit admission that their fairway widths are too narrow ?

Jay Flemma

Re:Unfair Rough...something needs to be done.
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2006, 04:05:19 PM »
I agree with the sentiment that proportionality is overrated.  I have to break ranks with Tom D about that to the extent he says solving the paradox of proportionality is the most important thing.  I still believe in rub of the green.  I for one love the challenge of an uneven lie, a cuppy lie, a bad lie, etc.  If I miss I miss...it'll all come out in the wash next time...besides...if I pull off a good shot inthose conditions, it psyches my opponent out...he was counting on that half-stroke and now it's gone.

JohnV

Re:Unfair Rough...something needs to be done.
« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2006, 04:17:44 PM »
Paul,

One definition of rough is :
Quote
having a broken, uneven, or bumpy surface <rough terrain>

Hardly sounds like it should be consistent to me.

The toughest lies around this part of the country for me right now are the bare dirt patches in the rough about 10 feet off the green.  It screams bladed shot to me.  But, I'll live with it.

RJ_Daley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re:Unfair Rough...something needs to be done.
« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2006, 02:02:03 AM »
oops, I just sliced my tee ball and landed 10feet into the consistent smooth. :P
No actual golf rounds were ruined or delayed, nor golf rules broken, in the taking of any photographs that may be displayed by the above forum user.

paul cowley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re:Unfair Rough...something needs to be done.
« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2006, 09:46:21 AM »
guys....please don't confuse me with the poster boy for fairness [or take my musing seriously] :)
« Last Edit: May 11, 2006, 11:07:41 AM by paul cowley »
paul cowley...golf course architect/asgca

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