The difficulty of the course at Olympic Club in California ahead of this week’s US Women’s Open has already become the tournament’s major talking point.
With many of the players getting their first look at the championship course over the past few days, the overriding worry, aside from the narrow fairways and tight greens, is the daunting depth of the rough.
The primary cut of rough for the tournament is reportedly sitting at just under three inches, while the secondary cut has been barely cut, sitting at three inches and three quarters.
“It's tough, it's a beast,” said a worried Michelle Wie West. “A couple of weeks ago when I played here, the rough definitely wasn't as long. I came out here and it's pretty wild. The rough is pretty thick.
“I look at it, and I'm like, it's terrifying and I'm doing the best I can,” said Wie West when asked about concerns over her wrist in such thick rough.
“Does it worry me? Yes. But the last couple of days I hit a lot of shots out of the rough, and I'm feeling pretty confident about it. It will always be what it is. I'm playing definitely on borrowed time, and I'm grateful for every second of it.”
Elsewhere, six-time LPGA winner Jessica Korda admitted that the rough will de the overriding factor throughout the week.
“The rough is thick, so you need to keep the ball in the fairway,” said Jessica Korda. “That will be the key this week, keeping the ball in play in the fairways, because the rough's no joke. You're trying to just hack it out. Unless you have a favourable lie, and then you're able to go for it.”
Even for the seasoned pros, the course is no joke with former US Women’s Open champion Inbee Park admitting that players are immediately going to drop shots as soon as they find the rough.
“The rough is really thick and long,” said 32-year-old Park. “I tried a couple of shots with the hybrid, and it doesn't come out that far. Short iron is probably the maximum that you want to hit out of. Obviously, like I said, you have to hit the fairways on this golf course. It's almost an automatic bogey when you go in the rough.”