SUN CITY’S REPUTATION IS BUILT ON TOUGHNESS, AND THEY GOT IT – SAGA
“The players enjoyed the experience. They went to Sun City expecting a tough course, and they got it.” SAGA executive director Bruce Younge defended the high scores in the SA MidAmateur Championship by saying that competitors had relished playing the Gary Player CC under championship conditions, irrespective of the scores they made.
“I was comfortable with the way the course was presented,” he said. “Yes, it was tough, because we were trying to determine the best MidAmateur in the country, but it was a fair test of golf where good course management from the players was critical according to their level of competence. The rough was standard for the time of year, having been cut back from 89mm to 64mm following the Nedbank Challenge. The shape of the fairways and the length of rough has been consistently the same since 2011 when the new fairway irrigation system was installed.”
Younge said the length of the rough was taken into consideration for the course setup, and the back tees had not been used. “The course rating was 73, which meant the scratch golfer should on average have had a 72-hole score of 292. The winning score was one better than that. Higher scores among the majority of competitors can be explained by the fact that the handicap entry cut-off was at 6.
“No one suggested that the course was unplayable, and the majority of comments received regarding the set-up were complimentary!”
Younge said golfers needed to understand that with the Gary Player CC being known worldwide for its toughness, short rough would have been detrimental to the playing characteristics of the course. “Golfers play the course to experience and enjoy this (toughness).”