Justin Rose started prepping for TPC Harding Park just like you and I would

Justin Rose

Justin Rose had a very relatable way of starting his prep for TPC Harding Park.

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It’s been only five years since Justin Rose teed it up at TPC Harding Park to compete in the 2015 WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championship, but his memory of the course is a bit rusty.

So in preparation for this week’s PGA Championship, Rose did what just about every golfer does when they’re trying to familiarize themselves with a golf course: He went online and watched a course flyover.

“I did play the match play [at TPC Harding Park] a few years ago, and I can vaguely remember the golf course,” Rose told me in a phone interview on behalf of his clothing sponsor, Bonobos. “And I’ve actually been online since and, you know, taken the fly-by, the whole guide, just to refresh my memory. It’s definitely my first go-to. Whenever you spend the time trying to learn a golf course, it typically does pay off.”

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In all seriousness though, Rose says the flyovers are a valuable tool whether you’re refreshing your memory or getting to know a golf course for the first time, but another thing he relies on is acquiring as much local knowledge as he can.

“Often, I’ll use the pro to maybe just get his insights,” Rose said. “And you know, occasionally there’s a little hidden gem in there, wisdom that does ring true.

“I remember going to Merino in 2013. And because we had a local caddie, he relayed a story to me about the flow of the golf course, and how the first six holes are drama, the middle six holes are comedy, and then the final six holes are tragedy, and it kind of really helped me to understand the flow of the golf course and helped me with the patience of, ‘OK, if you’re a couple over through six holes, it’s not the end of the world, because those are some of the tougher holes of the golf course.’ So you do learn a lot by speaking to people who know the golf course, whether that be the superintendent, the head pro, whoever it might be.”

If Rose’s performance at Merion in 2013 is any indication (hint: He won the U.S. Open for his first major title), we may be in for a big-time resurgence from the 40-year-old Englishman at TPC Harding Park.

Jessica Marksbury

Golf.com

As a four-year member of Columbia’s inaugural class of female varsity golfers, Jessica can out-birdie everyone on the masthead. She can out-hustle them in the office, too, where she’s primarily responsible for producing both print and online features, and overseeing major special projects, such as GOLF’s inaugural Style Is­sue, which debuted in February 2018. Her origi­nal interview series, “A Round With,” debuted in November of 2015, and appeared in both in the magazine and in video form on GOLF.com.