NCG's Golf Glossary: What is cabbage?

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I always hated cabbage as a child. Only Brussels sprouts could rival it in my league of distaste.

Even today the smell of boiled cabbage can make me slightly nauseous – bringing back the memory of pointless hours spent sitting a dinner table picking away at it and being unable to leave until it had all gone.

So it should seem only just that my dislike of this cruciferous vegetable extends into golf as well.

This is a term that, in a scoring sense at least, is just as foul as the vegetable you’d find on your plate.

Deep trouble

It’s good timing that the US Open is around the corner. We’re going to see a lot of top players knowing just how we all feel when we carve one miles off the fairway.

For cabbage is the word given to the deep rough, the thick vegetation that swallows balls whole and refuses to let them out of their vice-like grip.

I’m not talking about a bit of semi-rough either or a lie that you could easily escape if you put that 3-wood away and simply took a wedge out of the bag.

Knee deep

No, this is the knee deep stuff. The sort you fire a ball towards and then instantly declare a provisional because you are almost positive you are not going to find it – or are not going to want to.

It’s not just your scorecard that can get hurt when your ball disappears into the deep.

Phil Mickelson, when practising for the US Open in 2007 at Oakmont, spent so much time trying to acclimatise to the deep stuff that he injured his left wrist doing it.

He played in the tournament, but missed the cut.

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