Royal Melbourne Is Brutal
By mustang6560 on 11/18/11
I love the way Phil Mickelson described the playing conditions at Royal Melbourne, the site of the Presidents Cup.
"Crazy tough conditions," said Mickelson. "But I've never seen anything quite like today. Greens were running at speeds up to 14, with gusts up to 30. You actually had to read the wind on the putts."
I know Phil was being a little facetious in his interview, but there is definitely some truth to what he said. We were told the whole week leading up to the start of the Presidents Cup that Royal Melbourne would be a doozy. Greg Norman, the International Team captain, tried to explain the conditions by comparing the course "in benign conditions to a lady who'll give you a look up her skirt", but will "shut you down in a heartbeat should you become too enamored." Yet another great sound bite from the Shark!

The conditions last night were brutal at Royal Melbourne and anyone watching witnessed it front and center. The wind was howling and the greens were hard as a rock, which combined to make a deadly combination. I'm just glad the U.S. side split the four-ball matches three-three to stay the lead at 7-5. The forecast for the weekend calls for rain so the conditions might not be as bad for the single matches Sunday. Regardless, the Presidents Cup has provided some compelling golf so far.

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photo by Bill Spruce

[ comments ]
mtgolfidiot says:
The course plays about 7000 yards, which is pitch and putt to professionals. By the way, go to the Royal Melbourne site and it tells you "the courses are not suitable for beginners"
Joness says:
6.00 am in Melbourne. I am about to leave home to watch day 3. It has been pouring all night here and looks like more rain today.

Royal Melbourne - One of the great courses in Melbournes sandbelt. Ian Baker-Finch said in its current condition he rates it as no 1 in the world. I know - he is an Aussie - but it is a very subtle course - as are all in the sandbelt. In practice the other day, Bubba decided to drive one of the shorter part 4s. He went over the green into huge trouble and said to his teammates "that wasn't such a smart play was it?"

The layout is not long but position is the key. The greens have subtle slopes and tend to play harder than the US greens. The bunkering is amazing. Your ability to get it close will often depend on where you approach the green from - not how close. Therefore, the players who are used to just bombing it long anywhere in the fairway and hitting to a softish green where the ball with stick where it lands need to put a lot more thought into their game.
mustang6560 says:
@Joness- oobgolf representin' at the Prez Cup!
Joness says:
Rained most of the day and we froze but it was great to see the worlds best in action down under. Some observations:

Isikawa had some good momentum in the am foursomes and sunk some great pressure putts. KJ Chois putter was awesome in the afternoon and he swings like a machine - fairway after fairway. Overall the Koreans have been a bit of a surprise package.

Tiger has not won too much but is looking in better shape and he is starting to find the range with his putter again.

The players look like they get a real buzz out of the format. There is more riding on each shot and they do not want to let each other down. It means they get more excited when something great comes off.

The crowd was big - too many really to watch 5 groups go around - but the event is exceptionally well organised.
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