Ladies Golf, like most Ladies professional sports, is the poor cousin to the Men’s events. However I have another take on this. The Ladies game is a lot closer to the average single figure male club player, except they are usually more consistent. Today we see many very competitive under 20’s players from around the world plus a few over 21’s like Dame Laura Davis from the old dart. These young guns hit it long and strong from their size 10 frames. Of course now they have swing coaches, personal trainers, psych coaches, dieticians…like I said, very similar to the average single figure club player.
This week they got to play the “new” nine at Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast and it sorted out a few I can tell you. Not just by length (in fact Graham Marsh shortened a number of the holes in his redesign work) but by guile. Clever use of undulations in the fairways and run-offs around newly elevated greens made for over par daily averages on many of the holes, especially when the wind got up on the more exposed ones.
The days of the 20-under winner will be a thing of the past and when next year’s event comes around, the other nine holes will also have been remodelled, so I can foresee maybe only one or two players managing to be under par at the end of the event.
Now being a Dame of the British Empire brings some perks and privileges as evidenced by the tee ground smashing habitually carried out on any hole longer than 200 metres. Maybe this is a Royal secret invested upon it’s revered Ladies, originating from Tom Morris and his ilk back on the famous old Scottish links. For the rest of us mere mortals, a tee seems to do the trick.
I saw some beautifully rhythmic swings and a few who were hitting it out of their boots as we used to say. I saw one of the strangest swing endings which to any commentator would have suggested a badly pulled iron shot, only to subsequently see the ball finish 8 feet left and a rolled in putt thank you very much. Perfection is very hard to attain it appears.
Like a Melbourne Cup winning racehorse, Su-Hyun Oh from Victoria sprinted away from the field with a three birdie finish to the line. Up to that point there were as many as five possible winners. Oh is 19 by the way.
More images from the event can be found here