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Golf Australia Express : OTG Express 168
WATCHING the players battle fierce winds during the Fiji International on the weekend made me smile. Not because I'm a cruel sadist but rather because I knew exactly what the guys were going through. Having had the privilege of traversing the oft windswept Natadola Bay Championship course earlier in the year, I can tell you first-hand that the course is an entirely different beast when the wind blows to when all is calm. And boy does it blow. So much so that the difference in club selection can be up to four or five clubs on any given shot. Of course, wind can affect some people more than others, especially those with a high-trajectory ballflight and there's no doubt that the tempestuous Natadola Bay track takes more advantage of those types, becoming an unrelenting ogre when a zephyr turns to gale-force. Yet watching the Fiji International had me thinking about some of my most memorable rounds of golf, and many of them were in difficult playing conditions. There were the four rounds at Natadola Bay that immediately sprung to mind, each one slightly windier than the last. Then there was the round I played at Tasmania's Barnbougle Dunes in freezing temperatures with 50kph side winds and rain coming down like knives from the gods. (Sure I could have come in, but then I'd have missed out on a great golfing memory.) What is it about playing in dodgy weather that makes it so memorable? Could it be seeking to overcome an added challenge? Surely not – this game is hard enough and I'm far from conquering it with or without the weather getting involved. Perhaps it is the requirement for more creativity to get around the layout that appeals most? I'm really not sure. Whatever it is, for some reason I enjoy playing in – and watching pros have to battle through – tricky and challenging weather conditions. It also makes for far more entertaining viewing. Just take yourself back to the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral a couple of years ago when every second shot seemed to blow into the water. Players moaned and complained about how difficult conditions were and we saw some incredibly high totals posted. How good was that? So hats off to the organisers of the Fiji International. We saw some big names – including eventual winner Matt Kuchar – an incredibly beautiful course in Natadola Bay, and a whole lot of palm tree-bending weather just to make it that much more watchable. Can't wait to get back there. OTG the VIEW GONE WITH THE WIND WHY GOLF IS MORE ENJOYABLE WHEN THE WEATHER TURNS NASTY. by Damian Shutie OTG editor-in-chief Awarded #1 Overall Winner in the ‘2015 MyGolfSpy Most Wanted Driver Awards’ # 1 MOST WANTED DRIVER 2015 LEARN MORE
OTG Express 167
OTG Express 169