Every U.S. Open brings with it a predictable avalanche of player complaints about unfair course setup. Sometimes the gripes about narrow fairways, green speeds and course conditions have merit, and sometimes it’s just the players surprised that they won’t be able to roll out of bed and drop a 20-under scorecard this weekend.
Kevin Na is the most prominent player so far to begin the grousing about the rough at Erin Hills, noting in a Twitter video that just a few yards off the fairway sits grass deep enough to hide a toddler. You send a shot in there, you’re in a world of hurt, and we can foresee that becoming an issue with a player on Sunday afternoon.
Of course, when you end up in the rough, you’ve by definition done something wrong and deserve a penalty, and golf is nothing if not eager to penalize misdeeds. Plus, we’ll find out exactly how high the USGA mows the rough once the course opens up for practice rounds this week. The fairways are plenty wide at Erin Hills; if you can’t stay on them, you know ahead of time what awaits you. Buckle up.
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports and the author of EARNHARDT NATION, on sale now at Amazon or wherever books are sold. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.