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Matt_Ward

How necessary is having "rough?"
« on: April 17, 2003, 09:14:00 AM »
There's been plenty of discussion on GCA regarding the use of "rough" and how such conditions have even been added to ANGC with its infamous "second cut."

I just have to wonder how much a course's reputation is based upon the severity of the rough. For exmaple, if a course "X" didn't have rough how much of its reputation would suffer as a result. Are there courses that feature an abundance of rough and therefore the game simply becomes who is the best archer and continues to hit boring repetitious drives.

Does rough inhibit angled play? I often think about how rough really lowers the aspects of golf design because it says play the hole in the following manner and limits creativity from both the architect and the player.

We are coming quickly upon the explosion of grass in the Northeast and I know of too many clubs that believe having 3-4 inch rough bolsters the claims of their facility. I tend to think that rough should at best be no more than a means to limit the ability of the player to control the shot -- not to force them to hack it out (see picture of Hogan at Olympic Club circa 1955 for a good example of what I have in mind).

I wonder from the group how much rough is too much? And, more importantly, how much of a club's standing is based on such an aspect?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

THuckaby2

Re: How necessary is having "rough?"
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2003, 09:30:35 AM »
Man, just more reason Geoff's new book should be required reading for discussions here.  He covers all this in great detail, and makes very logical sense, on pages 265-67, 179, 216-219 and 76 (this from the index).

I sure as hell can't add to what he says there... it's so damn perfect....

TH
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Bob_Huntley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: How necessary is having "rough?"
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2003, 09:33:43 AM »
Good point.

If the US Open was ever to return to Riviera C.C., and they had TYPICAL open rough, I would hazard a guess that no one would shoot an even par round, let alone go under.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

RJ_Daley

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Re: How necessary is having "rough?"
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2003, 10:21:47 AM »
I'd like to see a number of our superintendents comment on this matter from their perspective. †I haven't gotten Geoff's book yet, so pardon me if I am repetitive here. †However, I think the least studied or researched area of golf course turf grass maintenance practices is in the area of rough. †I mean, how to strike a balance between rough that is as Matt points out is a feature that takes away the player's ability to work and control the flights of the ball when playing out of it yet allows one to play their way to recovery; and a feature that is so penal that it is one stroke or more every time you get in it. †The architect must have an original intent as to where the rough comes in. †How wide to cut FWs and whether certain bunkers are inside or outside the FW cuts. †Then, what species of turf and what width to make the intermediate cut and at what height. †Finally, what grasses and to what degree of fertility the high rough should be. †While it is a sort of traditional aspect to desire the high rough to be wispy fescue, it is not really feasible in many climates of the country. †There are those that worry that native and high rough looks too scraggly and want some fertility to give it consistent color. †An abundant amount of rain can light it up to be so unplayable, even at 4 inches that it detracts from the enjoyment of the game in both physically not being able to play out of it, to hours added on to the game for players always looking for lost balls. †Where native grass areas under normal dry conditions look nice and fit a certain style of a region of the country, when they get too much water by irrigtation drift or rainfall, they loose the very quality that makes them desirable. †

The Nebraska and prairie courses are just such a problem. †they are great, and one can actually play from stuff that is a foot high when it is really dry and whispy. †But, let some water migrate from irrigation drift along with some fertility, and it is a pain in the rear. †Burning helps, but can promote the heavier blue undergrowth re-emergence post burn, compared to the original native fescue or prairie grasses. †I don't know about turf growth regulators effectiveness on rough areas as a means to keep it playable. †But, I imagine that if it works, it could be an expensive item to add to a budget.

I sure hope some supers will give some informative comments about this.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:04 PM by -1 »
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.

Mike_Cirba

Re: How necessary is having "rough?"
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2003, 11:47:07 AM »
I think the following article is wonderful and explains a lot of the reasons why things like "width" are desirable on multiple levels.

This article courtesy of the Golf Architecture Magazine

ROUGH JUSTICE - THE HISTORY, THEORY AND FOLLY OF ROUGHS

By Dr. Michael J. Hurdzan, ASGCA
Hurdzan/Fry Golf Course Design

Roughs, those areas of grasses cut higher than fairways and bordering them like a fur collar on a coat, have become a common form of hazard on golf courses; perhaps too common and to the point of ruining the game. A look at the history, theory and folly of rough might serve to refocus our thinking and restore some vital elements back to the game of golf - like strategy for example.

First the folly. There seems to be an attitude amongst organizations that hold golf tournaments to feel that they need to defend par, the honor of the golf course, or the tradition of their competition. These bodies must worry and fret that a competitor might post a score of perhaps 20 under par or better, and that this somehow would diminish the value of their championship, and having a deep rough will protect against that. The most obvious overuse and abuse of rough was once seemingly the sole purview of the US Open, but at Carnoustie in 1999 the practice was extensively employed, and even Augusta National started to grow rough to repel Tiger attacks. William "Hootie" Johnson, Chairman of Augusta National, said, "These young men are hitting the ball a long way. We (Augusta National) felt we could no longer let them swing from their heels." Jack Nicklaus added, "Now Augusta National looks like a U.S. Open Course". Tournament play might be one thing but many golf courses and country clubs are even trying to grow U.S. Open roughs for everyday play.

The theory of rough is that if a competitor is not "sure" with his shots and canít keep them within the narrow confines of the manicured heaven of the fairways, then his ball may come to rest in the manicured purgatory (because it isnít easy to get out) of the rough. Typically the fairways are 28 - 30 yards (25 to 27m) wide and mowed at Ĺ" (12mm), with perhaps a "friendly rough" (talk about an oxymoron) of 1 Ĺ" to 2" (37 to 50mm) high grass while the rough is mowed at 4" to 6" (100 to 150mm) high. "Real Rough" is usually classified as "jungle". At many competitions the rough has been so fertilized and watered, that forecaddies are required to spot the ball when it lands, and place a small flag by it so the competitor wonít lose his golf ball. Then the player is expected to thrash the ball out, for there is virtually no hope of hitting a real golf shot, and get on with his game.

The difficulty of rough for the golfer is, of course, trying to get the clubface on the ball to impart backspin, when it is nestled like an egg in a nest of leafy green vegetation. Competitors have injured wrists and backs trying to hack their way to freedom. When a ball is struck with virtually no backspin, itís commonly called a "flyer" because it travels farther on a lower trajectory. Perhaps these shots should also be called "runners" because it more aptly describes how the ball reacts when it hits the ground. The golferís misery caused by rough are compounded by todayís penchant for ultra fast greens, which in turn means they are flatter, with little or no frictional resistance to roll because of the micro fine mowing height of greens, with no grain, making it virtually impossible to stop even a shot with lots of backspin.

A shot from the competitive rough to a modern green is more luck than skill. In fact one only needs to look at the hot new golf equipment of recent times which include lofting irons, utility woods that promise being able to dig out the golf ball and give high trajectory shots that stop quickly, and golf balls designed with dimple patterns to produce high, soft shots. Many club fitters are encouraging customers to not even buy 2, 3, and 4 irons and instead substitute more utility woods and wedges to handle flat, firm greens and deep roughs.

In my 50 years of being around the game, I canít ever remember one person saying, "gosh, I love hacking golf shots out of ankle deep roughs," and I honestly donít expect to hear that in my next fifty either. Shots out of the rough are no fun and can even be downright discouraging, which isnít why we love and play the game. You might ask, "but isnít that the purpose of a hazard (of which I have just established it is) to impose a penalty on a wayward shot?" Of course it is, but when it is overused it will destroy any strategic qualities the golf course might offer and simply makes it a penal golf course.

In speaking again about Augusta National, Jack Nicklaus said, "Itís changed the nature of the golf course. The Masters has always been a more difficult golf tournament than any other; open fairways with hard, fast greens. Bobby Jones wanted it to be a second shot course." Ben Crenshaw said of the Year 2000 Augusta roughs, "I would say what it has done is to make the course less interesting. This course does not play like it did before (the added rough). It was the most vastly interesting course I had ever seen because it was not dictated to where you had to put your drive. There were some spots where you wanted to be in the rough."

The Old Course at St. Andrews has wide landing areas with virtually no rough and hence it offers multiple avenues between tee and green, which is the essence of strategy. Oh, sure there is a fair amount of gorse and areas of long grass, but these are not formalized on either side of the fairway like a noose around a condemned manís neck. Not only is there no design creativity in simply ringing a fairway with rough, it is boring, artificial, slows play, and puts a premium on mechanically hitting straight shots, instead of allowing golfers to invent creative, recovery golf shots.

At this point I trust I still have a readership, and that I have sufficiently established the theory and folly of rough. To further validate my points I believe it is instructive to now look at the history of rough.

In the earliest days of golf some believe it was a game first played by the Dutch on ice, and later by Scots on linksland, mostly in the late fall to early spring when native grasses were short and dormant after a season of grazing by livestock. In the spring and summer, grasses were at their optimal growth and since no mowing was done, the entire golf course or "green" looked like rough, making it easy to lose the expensive feathery golf balls.

At some unknown point in the last half of the 1800ís, the game became popular enough that efforts were made to keep summer grasses shorter, first by increasing the herd size of grazing animals, then using men with scythes and sickles, and still later by horse drawn mowers. Each of these progressions resulted in more precisely controlled turf heights and more discrimination about where they should occur. Obviously the animals didnít give a hoot so to speak, whether they were grazing on a tee, green, fairway or rough, and so they nibbled everything to the same height. The guys with the scythes and sickles were a little more cerebral about what they were doing, but not much, for their job was to cut the grass, probably once or twice in the late spring or early summer, everywhere, and probably at the same height. (If you have ever cut large acreages with these tools you can relate to the imprecision and difficulty involved.)

(to be continued)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Mike_Cirba

Re: How necessary is having "rough?"
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2003, 11:47:27 AM »
(continued)

The horse drawn mowers not only improved the speed and efficiency of mowing, but also improved the precision, for now there was a reel and bedknife that could be adjusted for height. However this also added to the expense and inconvenience of golf course maintenance for golfers, so probably some Club Secretary wanting to save money, gave the mow men instructions to only cut certain areas and let other areas grow. This miserly move was the genius (?) that gave golf the concept of rough.

When golfers complained about losing golf balls in the unmown grassy areas, they were probably told then, as now, "Well thatís part of the game, and you must simply learn to stay in the fairway." Also the compromise of being able to play golf in warm weather seemed worth the inconvenience of longer grass just off the fairway, and soon rough became internalized as simply part of the game. I estimate this to have taken place around 1875 and by the early 1900ís, when mowing machines powered by internal combustion engines were starting to be introduced, rough was an established and integral part of the golf course and became an accepted form of hazard.

Although 20th century golf course architects now commonly use rough as part of their design strategy, fairways then were usually 50 to 70 yards (45 to 65m) wide to give the golfer plenty of options about choosing the best line to the green. A major principle of strategic design philosophy was that individual and daily decisions should be encouraged on how to attack any given hole location, based upon the wind, dryness of turf, personal strength, and the most prudent and proper balance of risk and reward. One day might favor a drive to the far right of the fairway and the next day it might be to the far left on that same hole. Golf was a thinking personís game requiring inventing and hitting creative golf shots.

This wonderful form of golf is still found on many historic linksland courses, but it has been sadly lost on most modern courses. Strategic golf has been choked to death by rough, drowned by irrigation, and buried by trees. Allow me to explain.

Wide-open fairways with some bordering rough became a hallmark of golf courses with unwatered turf. By necessity the rough had to be pushed back to allow for the run of the ball once it landed on baked summer ground that were covered best by dormant grasses. Then starting in the 1920ís and in full swing by the late 1940ís and early 1950ís, fairway irrigation started to become a normal golf course fixture. Typically the irrigation pipe was a single line placed right in the middle of the fairway. But sprinkler heads only threw water effectively out to about 60% of their total precipitation pattern. This meant a sprinkler head rated to throw 90í (27m), only provided significant water out to 54í (16m), with the remaining 36í (11m) outside the radius only getting a fraction of what the inside got. This further meant that the greenkeeper had to either over- irrigate the inside 54í (16m) to properly water to outside 36í (11m), or more commonly he would correctly water the inside and hence underwater the outside. So now the middle 108í or 32m (54í or 16m either side of the irrigation pipe) of the fairway was nice and green in the summer drought, but the rest of the turf was still more brown than green.

At this point someone reasoned: (1) since we can now irrigate the fairway; (2) the ball doesnít run as far as it used to before irrigation; AND (3) if we let the grasses beyond the irrigated area grow higher they wonít be so brown; so (4) weíll simply move the rough in closer to the center of the fairway. This logic slowly reduced fairway width from 50 to 70 yards (45 to 65m) wide to a near 35 or 40 yards (32 or 36m). Since rough requires less care than fairway, the golf course management could also reason that narrow fairways would help hold down maintenance costs that were then spiraling upward.

Where environmental conditions of a site permitted tree growth, the next step in the evolution of rough, was usually for a group of skilled golfers, but amateur arboristís, to reason that if each hole was framed in trees, this would make the golf course even more attractive, and what better place to plant them than in the rough - usually near the fairway rough interface. Naturally these well meaning, but usually uninformed folks, either planted the wrong species or they didnít allow for the mature height and width of the tree canopy, or both. Soon shade and competition from tree roots made growing turfgrasses under these trees extremely difficult, and the usual solution was to again narrow the fairway by letting the turf under the shade or dripline to grow taller. Finally about 1960 and continuing on yet today, fairways have narrowed to the point where there is no room for a truly strategic golf experience, and hence most golf courses today, either accidentally or intentionally, are of the penal style of design. Risk and reward is almost non-existent except on linksland courses that havenít succumbed to the perversion and folly of rough.

If golf course management or a golf course architect wants to establish or restore the most exciting brand of golf Ė risk and reward Ė then efforts should be made to once again produce wide fairways. Push back the rough lines, cut down the trees and use rough as a hazard as sparingly as possible, and the game will be all the better for it.

by Dr. Michael J. Hurdzan

 
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Joe Hancock

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: How necessary is having "rough?"
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2003, 12:38:46 PM »
Diamond Springs (Mike DeVries w/ Kris Shumaker) in SW Michigan is a new course sporting no rough. They planted a mix of bluegrasses that is mowed at a relatively high fairway height, wall to wall. Intent had more to do with affordable golf than it did architectural merit or competitive influence. They built a course to be interesting from a design standpoint, yet fun and fast to get around.

Joe
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
" What the hell is the point of architecture and excellence in design if a "clever" set up trumps it all?" Peter Pallotta, June 21, 2016

"People aren't picking a side of the fairway off a tee because of a randomly internally contoured green ."  jeffwarne, February 24, 2017

Eric Pevoto

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: How necessary is having "rough?"
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2003, 01:01:21 PM »
I'd also like to hear from superintendents.  How much trouble is it to keep rough cut down so that balls are playable.  I'm not talking about natural, or tall grass areas like those described by Mr. Daley, but rather the cut immediate to the fairway.

IMO the most troubling aspect is when it's thought that the rough should be some uniform 3"-4" blanket around each fairway.  The loss in width is not just the narrowing of the fairway, but the loss of playing area, options, and variety.

From a playability standpoint, shouldn't the rough just be another option?  If the risk was a questionable (but playable) lie, depending on the shot, I might be willing to play into the "rough" to get a better angle.  Similarly, higher handicap players might prefer the "fluffy" lies versus the tightly mown fairway.

Conversely, I'm not going there if the risk is that the next shot is a hack out with a wedge.  And we all know what lush, deep rough does to the foozler (love that word).
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
There's no home cooking these days.  It's all microwave.Bill Kittleman

Golf doesn't work for those that don't know what golf can be...Mike Nuzzo

Joe Hancock

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: How necessary is having "rough?"
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2003, 01:27:00 PM »
Golf course superintendants have the unenvyable task of balancing what is good for the course and what greens committees tell them they HAVE to do. I would say that most super's would prefer NOT to maintain roughs at 3-4 inches, but rather at 1.5- 2 inches. Mowing wet, heavy long grass is a pain.

I would be interested to know the evolutinary role of rough in the game of golf. Did rough become the gnarly, long, overwatered beast in the last 30 years, or has it been around forever? Can deep rough immediately adjacent to fairways be traced to the onslaught of automated irrigation systems that came into vogue in the early 70's? Did any of the Golden Age archie's use rough as a primary defense or design element? How much responsibilty does the USGA or PGA have in this matter, based on their tourney set-ups?

If more supers would dry out the course...and if square grooves were a thing of the past....1 or 1.5 inches of rough is enough to keep the spin off the ball. That would create havoc with holding greens and bring hazards back into play, without the rough being a "hack it out" type of penalty. But alas,"we want it deep and difficult", sayeth the greens committee....

Speed of play? Naw, this is post is starting to resmble the modern day rough....too long!

Joe
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
" What the hell is the point of architecture and excellence in design if a "clever" set up trumps it all?" Peter Pallotta, June 21, 2016

"People aren't picking a side of the fairway off a tee because of a randomly internally contoured green ."  jeffwarne, February 24, 2017

Mike_Cirba

Re: How necessary is having "rough?"
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2003, 01:29:51 PM »
Shivas;

Two things;

I liked your description of "having a few patches here and there that get a little nasty".  That type of randomness and irregularity creates interest and strategy, I believe.

I think that is a lot of what Hurdzan is arguing against.  That predictable, bowling-alley cut of rough(s) of increasing depth that line so many of our courses and which are boring and serve as only being punitive.

However...my other point is that I can definitely see two guys in the 20s purposefully playing the 17th at NGLA by going in two different directions.  Let's not forget that the "far left side" is quite the carry, and in those days, was even more so.  By contrast, the guy playing safely over the right is going to have a touchy, almost blind approach over the big inverted bunker.  

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Matt_Ward

Re: How necessary is having "rough?"
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2003, 01:29:54 PM »
Eric P:

Just keep in mind this -- sometimes the biggest culprits on why certain courses have "hay" for rough often times comes from members of a specific club. They actually think that having such "hay" right off the fairway adds to the character and appeal of the course. How "right" they are. ::)

Shivas:

As Ron Reagan would say -- there you go again! When you have a properly designed course the nature of playing angles and pin locations becomes the necessary ingredient in building a course that sustains maximum interest.

If properly designed there are built-in rewards and penalities that determine your success / failure. I never understood how rough can adequately penalize players appropriately because a ball being two feet to one side may have a shot while the other may require a full hack-like swing with a SW to get back to the fairway.

The worst culprits in these equation is playing courses lined with lumber in tandem with high rough. Nothing like putting the old thinking cap on that type of situation. ;D

My guess is that if you knocked down the high "hay" that many top 100 courses have the overall assessment of these courses would show how limiting their design is and what "extras" had to be included to keep their standing as high as they are.

P.S. I do give credit to the USGA in recent times by trying to preserve some sort of consistency with the aspect of rough for the Open. Leaving such a detail to the vargaries of the host club's leadership was certainly a lesson learned.

One last thing -- when you have "hay" around the greens there is no skill in attempting to extricate your ball and land it near the flagstick. It's hit and hope many times -- give me a clean lie but one where I must thoughtfully examine the different shotmaking possibilities available and you'll likely find who really is the better thinker and executor of shots IMHO.

In the final analysis -- isn't golf a      of skill and not luck? Doesn't hay / rough accentuate the aspect of luck to a far greater degree than what is appropriate?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

SL_Solow

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: How necessary is having "rough?"
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2003, 01:33:54 PM »
Shivas;  Don't forget the influence of automatic irrigation systems on the move to narrower fairways.  Automatic sprinkling was generally restricted to 2 row systems.  The dramatic difference in appearance and playability between the irrigated and unirrigated portions of the course led to a natural narrowing of the preferred playing areas.  One could surmise it also reduced roll thus eliminating the necessity for wider fairways.  Form follows function?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Matt_Ward

Re: How necessary is having "rough?"
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2003, 01:52:32 PM »
Shivas:

Touche!

However, I submit that golf is about showing dexterity in playing shots and in some cases inventing them as the situation calls for. When you have "hay" around greens it's meant to limit options and be penal -- as Ray Floyd said a number of years ago about such rough conditions near puting greens on what method he used -- Ray just turned and said "there's no method -- just swing and hope."

I am not naive that one should expect "total fairness" within golf -- that's not the nature fo the      and anyone believing otherwise has their head far up their you know what.

But as someone previously pointed out modern irrigation caused the shrinkage of fairways to the point where you have on a number of private clubs a bowling allet type effect. The      becomes one of following 'ONE' particular      plan -- over and over and over again. How exciting! ::)

One of the great strengths about ANGC was when course had no rough. It was designed to showcase the ability to work the ball -- getting to the proper location and throwing clear but subtle hints to the player that being in the right spot will be rewarded. Rough has no discerning quality to it and is used by certain clubs to "pump up the volume" about their course. I submit that if you knocked back the  hay / rough to what was also mentioned as 1.5 - 2 inches you would find that such courses are no where near as good as they were thought of by so many people.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Mike_Cirba

Re: How necessary is having "rough?"
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2003, 02:03:27 PM »
Shivas;

Perhaps the disappearing, 4-letter word Matt typed wasn't "game". † :o ;) ;D
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:04 PM by -1 »

CHrisB

Re: How necessary is having
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2003, 02:08:00 PM »
I think we should invert fairway and rough cuts, so that down the middle of the entire hole is deep, nasty rough, with the sides and in the trees cut to fairway height.

Seve would win every tournament :)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

SL_Solow

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: How necessary is having "rough?"
« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2003, 02:19:10 PM »
Shivas;  sounds like the alternate fairway concept on drugs
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

CHrisB

Re: How necessary is having "rough?"
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2003, 02:19:50 PM »
Actually, I'd love to see a course like Pebble Beach with no rough on it.  The alternate (lower right) route on #9 would be recaptured, and imagine the 2nd shot from the far right side of #6 up over the cove and cliff!  On the ocean holes, there would be no buffer between the fairway and hazard, which would make those holes only more dangerous.  Those bailing out way left on 9 and 10, for example, would face tough shots because of the angle coming back toward the ocean and the good bunkering around the green, and knowing that a shot coming in too hot from that angle would have nothing to keep it from bounding over the green into the hazard.  And imagine some of the shots you'd have around the 14th green if it had fairway everywhere instead of rough.  The small sloped greens combined with good bunkering throughout means the PBGL is just as good of a course, if not better, without the rough.

But then again, if it had no rough then Watson's shot never would have happened, so maybe we should keep a patch of it left of #17 green!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Joe Hancock

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: How necessary is having "rough?"
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2003, 02:21:30 PM »
Dave,

Would you couple this concept with your "fringe within the green" concept?

Joe
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
" What the hell is the point of architecture and excellence in design if a "clever" set up trumps it all?" Peter Pallotta, June 21, 2016

"People aren't picking a side of the fairway off a tee because of a randomly internally contoured green ."  jeffwarne, February 24, 2017

Matt_Ward

Re: How necessary is having "rough?"
« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2003, 03:51:54 PM »
Rough acts like a backstop for the better player -- if you play any course with plenty of timber the nature of rough defeats the purpose of the ball running into more trouble.

If golf were set up with 1.5 to 2 inches at most you'd have a better game because the player would likely lose some sort of shot control / spin.

I used to caddy for a number of years at a local club in Northern NJ and the rough was really bad during spring time but those who hit the ball short and crooked would INSIST that the grass remain like hay. Invaribly, the rounds just dragged on because you'd be serving as an FBI agent looking for balls on nearly every hole.

The game (see there it is  :o) of golf is about differentiating shots to the proportion in which they are played IMHO. I see "hay" like rough as nothing more than a water hazard without the penalty. In most cases you simply can only advance the ball with a very high lofted club.

Sadly, this happened to Bethpage Black. The need to have the rough as high and as dense as it was for the '02 Open obscured IMHO the very qualities of the course.

Golf should be about choices -- when you have a one-way mechanism for playing the game it robs the player of what makes golf so much fun -- creaitivity and imagination.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

RJ_Daley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: How necessary is having "rough?"
« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2003, 08:28:39 PM »
It certainly is apparent why he is DR. Michael Hurdzan.  Great article and terrific history and commentary about rough.  Thanks Mike C., for posting it.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
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.

Mike_Cirba

Re: How necessary is having "rough?"
« Reply #20 on: April 17, 2003, 10:10:50 PM »
Shivas:

Your "like hitting" friends and you all try the same lines all the time?

Does that say more about the course(s) than the golfers?

Heaven save us from hit it down the middle, trouble and interest off to the sides golf courses.  

To my thinking, there is more of an opportunity to create interest, decision-making, creativity, options, and other differentiating factors  on the drive than any other shot.  The fact that it largely isn't the case is a real failure of much golf architecture, in my opinion.      

You know, I looked at the Olympia Fields website today because I don't know much about the course.  I don't want to cast dispersions, because I know many speak highly of it, but I didn't see one hole where there was any sort of diagonal interest on the drive, any "within fairway" bunkering, or anything of greater interest on the drive than where to lay up short of a couple of crossing creeks.  Yes, some holes also dogleg quickly in the driving area, so distance control is a consideration, but for a course of that vintage, I was disappointed in what I saw pictured from the tee and in the fairway landing zones.  

Hell, if they're going to play only on courses with flanking bunkers in the driving zone, might has well go to any old RTJ Sr. course.   ::)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Dan Kelly

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: How necessary is having "rough?"
« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2003, 06:25:42 AM »

Quote
I don't want to cast dispersions....

Mike --

That's too fine a malapropism (under the circumstances) to ignore. If I'm understanding you correctly, it seems that dispersion -- at least from the tee box -- is exactly what you DO want!

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
"There's no money in doing less." -- Joe Hancock, 11/25/2010
"Rankings are silly and subjective..." -- Tom Doak, 3/12/2016

Mike_Cirba

Re: How necessary is having "rough?"
« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2003, 06:30:36 AM »
Hahahaha....fine one, Dan!   ;D

Yes, I guess in my desire to disperse, I inadvertedly reversed, and can no longer asperse with any journalistic credibility.  
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

RJ_Daley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: How necessary is having "rough?"
« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2003, 08:33:23 AM »
Dave, now that you have laid out the case clearly of "me" and "you", I must vote for "you"... :o
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
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Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: How necessary is having "rough?"
« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2003, 09:57:31 AM »
The function of rough is first and foremost to keep the maintenance budget of a golf course within reason.  The better the natural rough -- and by that I mean the more playable it remains without artificial input -- the narrower the fairways can be.

I am not at all a fan of what most people call "penal" rough.  I don't mind it having the occasional patch of jungle as long as the majority permits some sort of recovery shot.

Matt and Shivas have argued at length over the meaning of the game ... people play golf for many reasons, and posting a score is not the most important of them.  To me, a golf course should give players the chance to show off all their skills.  Hitting a thrilling recovery shot from a dicey lie is showing off; pitching out sideways to the fairway is not.  But if there is not some variation of difficulty in the rough, then it will be either too penal for the average golfer, or never testing for the low-handicapper.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

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