Talking to our players this week, Titleistblog.com heard the same chorus of comments over and over. This course, as long it is, will play fair. If you keep your Titleist in the short grass, and hit the greens, you will be in the mix. Everyone seems to be in favor of the "graduated" rough the USGA has been using since 2006. This practice removes the one size fits all penalty of missing the fairway. Here at Bethpage Black, just missing the fairway is a far better place to be than a truly wayward drive. The first 6 feet off the fairway finds the intermediate rough around 1.5" long; the next 20 feet or so, the first cut of the primary rough, will be 2.5 - 3" long; and the rest of the primary rough, from that 20 foot mark to the gallery ropes, will be 4 - 6 inches deep or even higher fescue.
Graduated rough on display at Bethpage Black during the U.S. Open.