It's US Open Week! Let's watch how the Professionals play the unusual conditions at Pinehurst. The course is playing very differently than in the past due to the maintenance practices that have been altered, including:
- Irrigation / watering - the only irrigation is down the middle of the fairway. The rough/native areas have not been watered
- Rough - no rough, only one cut of grass outside of the green
- Native areas - without rough they have allowed the native areas to grow naturally, the lies could be very difficult
- Collar/apron of greens - the greens have been watered, but outside of the green it is hard and fast. Thusly if you miss the green you may have a very difficult up and down from a tight lie.
- Course distance 7562with a Par 70! They are planning on hard conditions so the ball rolls further, further down the fairway, or further in the native area
I was just watching Justin Rose hit a shot to the Par 3 15th hole and just miss hitting the flagstick. The ball rolled off the green to a tight, hardpan lie. Justin hit an almost perfect shot to the pin, but ended up in a challenging position. But, that's golf and that's why we play the game. Not just for the perfect conditions and fast true greens, but for those unforeseen lies and challenges.
Thursday morning is overcast and humid producing a wetter and softer course condition on the greens producing lower scores for the pros. When the sun comes out and dries up the greens, the ball will not stop on the green making it harder to make a birdie and scores will get higher. There is also no wind to contend with!
I appreciate how Pinehurst is showing us a different side of course conditions, let's see if it starts a trend, or if the perfectly manicured fairways and rough areas remain the standard.
Have fun out there,