Masters 2019: Is Augusta National’s rough longer than usual at this year’s Masters?

April 14, 2019

Juicy isn’t a word you often associate with Augusta National, but it applies to the rough this week at the 83rd Masters: the second cut, as the green coats prefer you call it, is notably longer, and, yes, juicier than in recent Masters.

The second cut at the Masters has long been kept at 1 3/8 inch, and according to an official bulletin from Augusta National earlier this week, that’s the same length it has been trimmed to this year. But in the damp, muggy conditions, the Augusta grass appears to be a little lusher this week.

CBS analyst Peter Kostis noted the longer second cut on the telecast Sunday as Tony Finau played a tricky chip from left of the 3rd green. On Saturday, Rory McIlroy made a similar observation after somewhat disappointing rounds of 73-71-71.

“The rough this year is about a quarter or half an inch longer than it usually is, and it’s just hard to get control of your ball out of it,” McIlroy said.

He added: “Usually the ball comes spinning out of the rough, and just being that little bit longer, you get flyers, basically. I’ve had a few flyers this week. But just to not have control of your golf ball and to sort of be guessing, I think that’s the thing, to guess what distance your ball is going to go around here is never a good scenario.”

No one will mistake this Masters at Augusta National for a U.S. Open at Oakmont or Winged Foot — the rough is still wholly playable — but the slightly fluffier, stickier grass will be something to watch as the leaders seek to control their distances in the decisive moments on Masters Sunday.

For you agronomist junkies out there, here are the full grass-length specs for the 2019 Masters:

Fairways: 3/8-inch
Second cut: 1 3/8-inch
Tees: 5/16-inch
Collars 1/4-inch
Greens: 1/8-inch

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