Than A Test
Of Your Golf Swing
The 2015 US Open was another episode in what has become one of the most exciting and entertaining golf challenges ever.
The mind game in golf, which everyone knows exists, is never more apparent than in the Open. Scoring is perennially low because course conditions are intentionally messed with. The primary cut of rough is always left longer than usual and the speed and slope of the greens can be quite treacherous.
But this year’s Open added even more difficulties to the mix.
The fairways were harder than usual and the grass was “splotchy” in two different ways. The coloration was dappled, which may or may not have effected a player’s visuals, but that’s not all. The spotty coloration was caused by different kinds of grass.
What that means is instead of a nice consistently level playing surface, splotchy and unexpected rises develop and vary throughout the day.
Obviously, blades of grass are shaped differently from one type of grass to another but it’s also true that they don’t all respond to weather conditions the same. One might swell or retract more quickly in response to moisture or wind conditions.
And that is why you might be dealing with different levels of furry-ness on the playing surface even during one single day. These variations may have little effect on ball striking in the fairway but the greens are another story. Trying to read a put line over varying slopes and different levels of grass can be tricky.
The differences are not massive and in this case add to the challenge. Golf is a game of micro measurements on any course. Reading greens and understanding grass is part of the game.
Additionally, some greens were more pure than others meaning the inconsistency wasn’t consistent.
That’s not all. The tee boxes were often sloped in unusual ways, the par on the 1st and 18th holes could vary by a stroke from one day to the next and there were sand traps everywhere. On TV, it looked like more sand that grass.
This was, once again, a great test of golf and, yes, there was plenty of complaining. Professional players, who salivate at the thought of just playing in this tournament, moaned in chorus.
Sorry guys. The only reason winning this tournament is so special is because the kid gloves are removed.
Well done to all the players who gave their best in spite of the conditions, and well done to Jordan Spieth for showing such focus!