SUN CITY’S REP­U­TA­TION IS BUILT ON TOUGH­NESS, AND THEY GOT IT – SAGA

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Amateur Scene -

“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).”

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