US Open at Winged Foot:  Welcome to the Jungle

Six-inch tough, seriously undulating greens and softer bunkers are lurking at the 106th version of the United States Open at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, NY.

The United States Golf Affiliation (USGA), in its continuing quest to guard par–and drive the greatest golfers in the earth to utter madness–has produced quite a few new worries for the best players in the planet when they perform this weekend. The New York Times, in a thorough Open preview portion on Monday, June 12, specific the difficulties that will confront absolutely everyone that plays the 18th hole at Winged Foot. The Situations diagram of the 18th green reads extra like a wind map on the Weather conditions Channel than a environmentally friendly on a golf course. Any ball that scarcely lands on the entrance of the green will very likely roll ideal back off the inexperienced, or roll into rough that is as thick as four inches.

The optimum position of the 18th environmentally friendly is an astronomical 3.6 feet bigger–at the extreme back left side of the eco-friendly–than the least expensive issue on the environmentally friendly. With a back again left pin placement doable, even a golfer that manages to get their shot above the fake front guarding the eco-friendly will have an incredibly tough uphill putt that could be far more than 3 feet uphill. Not only that, 1 New York Times diagram of the 18th inexperienced, furnished by environmentally friendly analysts Mark Sweeney of TPS Golf and Scott W. Pool of GreenScan, reveals that a putt from the front of the inexperienced to a back left pin position will most likely be a double-breaker that is, the putt will very first get started off going left-to-correct, but it will be breaking appropriate-to-left by the conclude. Contemplating the treacherous environmentally friendly problems that existed at Shinnecock Hills in the 2004 U.S. Open–in which putts on a person facet of the inexperienced would end up off the green or in the rough–this just isn’t a lot of a shock.

As if the green at 18 just isn’t tricky enough as is, the bunker on the entrance-still left aspect of the inexperienced is 8 feet deep and is stuffed with smooth sand, which means that everyone who lands in the bunker will have a fantastic deal of issue negotiating the past hole of an incredibly tough golf class.

The rest of Winged Foot is incredibly advanced, as the tough has been widened and lengthened. Primarily, it will grow to be a sport of “decide your poison” for the world’s finest golfers. There are different degrees of issue. Initially, the golfer will have to strike the ball into fairways that have been narrowed from 28 yards to 20 yards. If the golfer misses the fairway, there are 3 various kinds of tough, every one particular significantly far more tricky than the other.

The to start with lower of tough is the intermediate tough, which is about 6 ft extensive and 1 ½ inches tall. After that, the troubles get tougher and more durable. The most important rough, which is 20 ft vast and 3 to 4 inches tall, will power golfers to use “[l]ofted clubs to strike photographs back again to the fairway.” This variety of tough is popular in a different significant across the Atlantic, the British Open up, where by quite a few golfers have virtually had to enjoy shots backwards mainly because of the overgrown, thick rough that lurks on either aspect of the fairways.

1 the major changes with regards to Winged Foot, even so, is the widening of the secondary rough, which is 5 to six inches tall. The secondary tough has been prolonged to where by the spectator galleries previously existed, which indicates errant drives by the game’s massive hitters could spell deep issues. The Times’ description of the secondary rough suggests that “[p]layers will have all they can tackle attempting to hack a shot back into the fairway.” The president of the USGA, Walter Driver, explained to the Periods that “a player’s feeling of humor may be tested” by the extended rough.

It is superior that the USGA wishes to protect par and punish golfers for hitting tee photographs that are 30 yards away from the fairway, for the reason that the affiliation has to hold up with the technologies improvements that make even complicated tough and bunker shots less difficult to hit. There is a variance, nevertheless, in between tough and ridiculous. I only hope that the USGA failed to make Winged Foot as seemingly extremely hard as Shinnecock Hills was two a long time ago.

This event is at present being billed as the prolonged-awaited fight in between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. At the finish of the weekend, having said that, the billing may adjust to a battle for survival among the golfing program and the golfers by themselves.


“The 106th U.S. Open up Preview.” The New York Situations, June 12, 2006.