Spieth talks wire grass, greens, bunkers
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By |  June 9, 2014
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Photo by Seth Jones

Jordan Spieth just exited the USGA interview room, I tossed him a question about the way the course is playing. Here is his answer:

GOLFDOM: Could you talk a little bit more about the playability of the golf course, and also specifically about the greens and also the wire grass, and if you had a chance to kick around in that area. How is that going to affect play?

JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, it’s really hard to hit the greens. I know there’s — I’ve just briefly heard or read a little bit on the statistics from the last two Opens. And I can only imagine this one is going to be even more difficult to hit greens. But something like 58 percent or 60 percent was leading the field or around there, maybe that was the average of the top 10 guys. So you know that going in, and you understand that it’s about where you’re leaving it and where you’re pitching the ball and the approach shots. It still doesn’t necessarily help. It’s still extremely difficult. You’ve got to launch the ball very high to hold the greens. Either that or you’ve got to land it short with a little lower shot to get it to run, otherwise it’s going to land anywhere in that bank and come down or land over it and bounce forward. Certain holes require you to work the ball left-to-right or right-to-left into the greens to hit into the slopes.

The wire grass I think is going to be really interesting because the ball actually — I hit a couple of shots where I landed it kind of on the edge of the fairway wire grass, and it went 30 yards further than if I landed it in the middle of the fairway. Then you’re left hitting off compact sand, which is as good as the fairway. But you can also be in between pieces of grass, where you can’t really get a club on the ball. So it’s going to be spotty, but you can get fortunate to where you actually hit less club than if you hit the fairway off of a pretty good lie.

So you’re going to see some recovery shots that are phenomenal, and you’re going to see some recovery shots that look like U.S. Opens of the past, where the rough is four or five inches. It’s going to be a variety. It’s going to be very fun. It’s going to really take a toll when you miss the fairway, because everyone is going to miss the fairway. When you get in there, you just don’t know if you’re really going to have that much of a shot or not.

The fairway bunkers are great. They’re compact and you can hit the greens out of them. They’re not too steep of lips or anything. Those are kind of the places you really want to miss.

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About the Author: Seth Jones

Seth Jones, a 25-year veteran of the golf industry media, is Editor-in-Chief of Golfdom magazine and Athletic Turf. A graduate of the University of Kansas School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Jones began working for Golf Course Management in 1999 as an intern. In his professional career he has won numerous awards, including a Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA) first place general feature writing award for his profile of World Golf Hall of Famer Greg Norman and a TOCA first place photography award for his work covering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In his career, Jones has accumulated an impressive list of interviews, including such names as George H.W. Bush, Samuel L. Jackson, Lance Armstrong and Charles Barkley. Jones has also done in-depth interviews with such golfing luminaries as Norman, Gary Player, Nick Price and Lorena Ochoa, to name only a few. Jones is a member of both the Golf Writers Association of America and the Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association. Jones can be reached at sjones@northcoastmedia.net.

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