Pickala Golf Club had a LET event here last week, you might have read about it on the road to Pickala. Today we go over the modifications in layout to the Park course. How does the set up compare against the regular course?
According to the LET tour pages the course was playing a smidge under 6000 meters. The yellow tees measure at 6000m so it would appear to be the same.
However on the first day of practice it was noticeable that some of the tees had been moved. From the white tees (tips) the course measures 6700m so it is long. For example one of the par 3s requires a driver for me. See the course layout here.
The split of tees was:
- 2 x blues (5400m)
- 10 x yellow (6000m)
- 6 x white (6700m)
The course itself was in pristine condition, with fairways like carpets, cut-down rough and smooth, fast greens. The bunkers were bare, but that has been the case for a few years now. While other courses have seen new sand Park has remained unchanged – partially due to a planned renovation.
Despite the great conditions, a few of the fairways were still affected in patches by a terrible winter the previous year. To this end the players were getting preferred lies – perhaps not surprising as the local club rules are preferred lies also.
To put this summary into context, I would normally play yellow tees, sometimes the blues. The following covers the holes that are outwith the day-to-day norms of Pickala yellow tee life.
Injury (blister) prevented me from playing the course in tournament condition unfortunately but I am sure we will play in this set up at some point this year.
A par 5 that is now 25 meters longer. The affect of this is bunkers really come into play more off the tee. Hitting the centre of the fairway to the left of these makes the second shot considerably longer and more perilous. Most of the players I saw played this as a three shot-er.
Again, this whole is considerably longer leading to a longer second shot in. The difference between tees means almost 5 clubs difference and trees on the right come into play even more.
The ladies got a break here, moving forward some 40 meters. Many of the players actually took 3 wood off the tee as the fairway really tightens up at driver distance.
Back again, some 30 meters. This is a straight away hole and basically just meant mid-iron second shots versus wedges.
Moving back about 25 meters actually removes some of the risk from the right hand side, however it again leads to a mid-iron into the green opposed to a short iron.
The shortest hole on the course, the ladies were hitting pitching wedges instead of gap wedges.
Almost 30 meters back, again possibly removing some of the risk on the right hand side, once again leading to mid irons approaches.
A tricky hole at the best of times. This was moved forward to the red (5000m) tee on the final day. This made this hole a whole lot easier. The ladies were hitting 7 irons down the hill to leave a high numbered club into the elevated green.
Pushed back as far as possible, this lead to a tricky drive and mid-iron into the green. Being 30 meters back meant that there were no “send it” opportunities over the trees down the right hand side.