Following the cancelation of the John Deere Classic, the PGA Tour scrambled to fill the spot on the schedule vacated by the Quad Cities event. Ultimately, the solution was to stage two consecutive tournaments at the same course — Jack Nicklaus’ Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio.
This creative solution marks the first time since 1957 the Tour has played two weeks in a row on the same course, as the Workday Charity Open and Memorial Tournament bring the center of the golf world to Ohio for 14 straight days. And while the course may look the same on paper, there will be noticeable differences to the track from last week to this week.
Here are three ways Muirfield Village will play differently from last week.
One of the most striking difference for players — though it may not be as obvious to the viewers — is how much faster the greens will play this week as opposed to last. For the Workday Charity Open, the greens ran around an 11 on the Stimpmeter. For the Memorial, the greens will quicken considerably to around 13. They had to slow the greens last week in order to unlock some different hole locations that are not possible with lightning quick greens, but more on that laster.
Different hole locations
With the greens being faster, there are fewer useable hole locations on each green. This means that hole locations should be easier for the Memorial — at least in theory. Some of the gentle slopes that don’t repel balls when the greens roll at an 11 will suddenly turn into slippery mountains when the greens roll at a 14. Hole locations should look more accessible to the naked eye, but whether or not they play that way is a different story.
The rough will also be a bit gnarlier for the Memorial than it was at last week’s event. The thick stuff was measured in the 3.5-inch range last week while this week it will grow to around four inches. Loose shots will be much more penal as a result.