Justin Rose started prepping for TPC Harding Park just like you and I would
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.”
PGA Tour players: They’re just like us!
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.