WATCH: This is how a 17-handicap looks playing the TPC Harding Park rough

golfer swings harding park rough

TPC Harding Park was a brutal test for many of golf's best last weekend. Check out how it's faring now that it's opened to golf's rest.

Twitter | @PGA

TPC Harding Park proved a worthy test for golf’s best for four straight days, in no small part due to its rough. The second cut was so thick and penal for this weekend’s PGA Championship, it ejected Brooks Koepka and forced Bryson DeChambeau to rethink his bomb-and-gauge strategy.

In fact, the rough alone was a storyline of the week. We watched as players missed fairways and prayed for safe lies, as Rory McIlroy asked for his ball to be buried even further, and as Collin Morikawa’s ability to not play out of the thick stuff (he missed just two fairways during his final round) vaulted him to a closing 64 and his first-ever major championship victory.

For all the well-deserved attention the rough received as it lashed back against golf’s best players, it’s easy to forget that Harding Park returned to public play immediately after Sunday’s final round.

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And why is that important? Well, because from Sunday to Monday, the rough didn’t change much, but the golfers did. Finally, a select few could answer every golfer’s biggest question: how penal would that second cut be for the Average Joe?

On Monday, the PGA of America provided that answer to the masses, with a hilarious video of one average golfer trying his damndest to conquer the thick stuff.

“This is what a 17-handicap looks like out of the Harding Park rough,” the cameraman says, shortly before our poor, misguided golfer takes a wild hack at his ball.

The swing sent the ball skittering out toward the fairway no more than 50 yards past its original starting point, as our cameraman laughs maniacally. Check the video out for yourself below.

Hey, we’re not saying we could’ve done any better. In fact, we’re pretty glad our sweatshirt-clad friend is there to handle the carnage from PGA Championship Monday on his own while we can watch from the comfort of our decidedly less intimidating homes.

But still, it’s always good to land a reminder that golf’s best players aren’t just better than us, they’re MUCH better than us.

Now if you’ll forgive us, we think we’ll go back to working on our driving accuracy so we don’t land anywhere near rough like THAT anytime soon.


James Colgan Editor

James Colgan is a news and features editor at GOLF, writing stories for the website and magazine. He manages the Hot Mic, GOLF’s media vertical, and utilizes his on-camera experience across the brand’s platforms. Prior to joining GOLF, James graduated from Syracuse University, during which time he was a caddie scholarship recipient (and astute looper) on Long Island, where he is from. He can be reached at