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Long Distance Golfers `Long Course Is Better!`

Posted August. 16, 2001 08:25,   


The `chemistry` of a player with the golf course determines the score and may lead to the championship. When a golf game does not go well, people used to hit the ground without any reason, which may be due to the unfit chemistry between the golfer and the golf course.

On August 16, 8:30 PM (Korean Time), the 83rd PGA championship will open at the Athletic Club in Atlanta, Georgia in the US. Since this is the last major PGA competition of this season, it will be the question of who may show the `best chemistry` with this course?

When it comes to the PGA course for major competition, there must be a unique characteristic in each course. In the Athletic Club, the horrendously long course overwhelms the participants. Although it is Par 70 course, the total length is 7213 yard. It is 200 yards longer than in the 1976 US Open. The 18th hole has 490 yards, and there are five Par 4 holes with 450 yards and two Par 5 holes with over 540 yards.

Even if high performance drivers and high-tech balls that are known for longer flight are used, such lengthy course remains burdensome. For ordinary Par 4 holes, a short iron cannot be considered for the second shot at all.

Since the fluctuating fairways were difficult in the US Open and there were 196 pot-like bunkers scattered in various places in the British Open, long distance golfers were not able to exercise their capacities fully. Now, this course is a perfect fit for them. Also, most fairways are wide without bottlenecked fairways, which are deliberately made to make driver shots difficult near 300 – 310 yards in other golf courses, are installed.

That is why Tiger Woods (US), who might have been in slump recently, is predicted to be the first candidate to win the title. Woods, who had to use a driver only 4 times in the British Open in a round, showed off his long distance drive shots of over 300 yards in a warm-up round. In particular, Woods skipped the Buick Open, which was held by Buick, one of his main sponsors, to rest at his Florida home, where he refreshed his strength. Thus, he is expected to exercise his powerful swings fully.

Retief Goosen (South Africa), the US Open Champion, said, ``This golf course is the best for Woods. He may smile throughout the whole duration of the competition.`` Woods also said, ``It is an excellent course with simple and smooth green. I may hit drivers as aggressively as I can.``

Aside from Woods, David Duval, who is in the Top 10 of the long distance drive shots per average in US PGA tour, Davis Love III, and Phil Michelson (US) are expected to attack the course comfortably. Michelson said, ``I am glad that shot distances will determine the winner.``

Kim Jong-Seok kjs0123@donga.com