Golf

The U.S. Open Rough at Winged Foot Is So Thick it Makes an Arnold Palmer Can Disappear

The U.S. Open is supposed to be the toughest test in golf every year, but the newest tournament venue is taking that to the next level in 2020.

Winged Foot Golf Club, the iconic course that will host this year’s U.S. Open, is growing out the rough to a jaw-dropping length. If you miss the fairway this weekend, you might not even find your ball. The rough is so thick that it can swallow up an entire 16 oz. Arnold Palmer can.

Winged Foot Golf Club will host the 2020 U.S. Open this weekend

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The second major of the revised 2020 PGA Tour calendar is among us, and it should be a fun one. Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y. will play host to the U.S. Open starting Thursday, Sept. 17.

This isn’t the first time Winged Foot will host America’s championship. The famous club hosted its first U.S. Open in 1929. In all, the USGA has held its national championship at Winged Foot five times prior to 2020.

The most memorable of the bunch might’ve been in 2006 when Phil Mickelson had his famous meltdown on the 18th hole on Sunday to blow his best chance at his first U.S. Open title. Mickelson made a double bogey on the 72nd hole of the championship and lost to Geoff Ogilvy by one stroke.

The rough at Winged Foot is already 5-6 inches thick

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Winged Foot has been a historically tough course to play in major championships. Four of the five U.S. Open winners at the course finished over par for the tournament, and that trend will likely continue this year. The greens are fast and hilly, the fairways are thin, and the rough will be 5-6 inches thick.

Steve Rabideau, Winged Foot’s director of golf courses, spoke about the rough heading into the U.S. Open.

“The members, the last month, have been playing basically U.S. Open conditions,” Rabideau told Golf.com. “The rough has been thick and the fairway widths are the same. So the members have had a U.S. Open test for most of August and the first couple weeks of September. They’ve felt it — and I see them out there looking for balls all day long, so they’ve had a good test.”

Rickie Fowler, who’s played a few practice rounds ahead of the U.S. Open, knows how important it will be to keep it in the fairways this weekend.

“The rough is going to be difficult,” Fowler said. “The rough off the tee is deep, so if you aren’t driving the ball well, it’s going to be a long day. I’ve gotten two looks at the course so far, and it’s hard.”

The rough at Winged Foot is so thick it makes a 16 oz. Arnold Palmer can disappear

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The rough at nearly every U.S. Open is much gnarlier than in normal tournaments, but Winged Foot is taking theirs to another level.

In a Twitter video recently posted by Golf.com, the rough off the side of the fairway is so thick it completely swallows up a 16 oz. can of Arnold Palmer. A can of that size is usually a little over six inches tall, so that’ll tell you how ridiculous the rough will be this weekend.

Buckle up, golf fans. This championship will be one of the most grueling in recent memory, and we’re here for it.