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Golf Australia Express : Issue 18
By Sam Gole VIEW THE GOD I LOVE Royal Melbourne. This expansive sand-based track set among ridges of dune formations is a piece of golfing majesty. It’s treacherous, unforgiving and offers the complete golfer a true test, one that will test their entire game and mental strength. We saw just that at the Presidents Cup last week. And in an era when players beat the ball further than ever before, threatening to monster a shorter course by today’s standards, Royal Melbourne knocks them back down to size. And no other course can present itself so uniquely when the weather changes. In fact, you could have been forgiven for thinking the Presidents Cup was played on four different Royal Melbourne courses considering how differently it had to be played each day. Tiger Woods rates Royal Melbourne the best “second shot” golf course he’s ever played. Coming from a man who’s won 14 majors it’s an emphatic endorsement. This course forces you to play strategic golf—placement, not length, is the key to surviving a round. We saw players four feet above the hole struggling to keep their subsequent putts on the green last week, while others smart enough to leave their approach 20 feet below the hole had a better chance of holing the putt. Bubba Watson was the most recent victim of that. The big-hitting American twice saw putts screw down towards the hole, then roll off in torturous slow motion to finish 40 metres off the green. Remind you of anywhere? Augusta, perhaps? Many rate the Dr Alistair McKenzie-designed Royal Melbourne as the best course south of the equator. I’d go further. The Composite course at Royal Melbourne is on par with the best tracks in the world. And it’s Royal Melbourne’s natural landscape— sheer undulation, penal vegetation and scenic splendour—that makes it worthy of major contention. That’s why it’d be a worthy host for one of golf’s majors. It’s time the game’s hierarchy rid one of the three Big 4 from the shores of the USA. After all, we have the right course to test the game’s best right here. A Royal spectacle indeed. OTG TELL US YOUR THOUGHTS: email@example.com A ROYAL WAVE The time to look for another major home is now. And the door’s wide open at Royal Melbourne. BIG THE HAVE YOUR SAY ON THE STATE OF THE GAME... Q ISSUE 17 POLL RESULTS: SHOULD JOHN DALY BE SANCTIONED OVER HIS AUSTRALIAN OPEN TANTRUM? YES 76% NO 24%