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Golf Australia Express : August 2014
Among those whose hands have helped sculpt the 6300-yard track are Alister MacKenzie, Rees Jones, Donald Ross and Tom Doak, so you can rest assured the layout here is challenging. However, that does not translate to unfair. Quite the contrary. Generous fairways, next to no rough and barely a water hazard in sight, the fairness at Palmetto is arguably what endears it most to a wide range of golfers of both sexes. (Just remember to stay well clear of bunkers. There’s nothing fair about those treacherous sand traps.) What sets Palmetto apart from so many other courses — Augusta National included — is a desire to remain natural, simple and unmanicured. While that philosophy might be interpreted in a negative context by some, it shouldn’t be. What it means is there’s no room, or tolerance, for pretension. And while there are similarities in the landscape between Palmetto and Augusta National — humps, bumps and towering pine-lined fairways for example —you’re more likely to equate a round at Palmetto with a Scottish track. Why? Like in Scotland, running your ball up to greens using the contours of the fairways and swales to your advantage is often the best way to tackle this course. Simply put, sometimes less is more. Palmetto is living proof of that. And while it won’t quench your desire to set foot on the fabled Augusta National, it probably will give you a much greater appreciation of this great game. OTG The Dream