Royal Melbourne will use the traditional Composite Course for the 2015 ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open. Take a tour of one of the world’s greatest risk-and-reward courses.
HOLE 1 – 382m Par 4 (1st West)
A comfortable opening hole, although an extra 52 metres in length from 2012 will encourage more players to pull out the driver. A short iron home to a small green with only one bunker means an early birdie chance.
HOLE 2 – 449m Par 5 (2nd West)
This is another great early birdie opportunity but it also has teeth. The longer hitters can get home in two but many will lay up and try to get a wedge in close on a sloping green where being below the hole is preferable.
HOLE 3 – 304m Par 4 (1st East)
A great little par four with lots of visible sand from the elevated tee and a small and well protected green. Another birdie hole but there could be plenty of bogeys as well.
HOLE 4 – 370m Par 4 (2nd East)
A dogleg to the right with an uphill second shot means par is a good number. A large green will mean some long putts and above the hole is deadly.
HOLE 5 – 145m Par 3 (5th West)
A short par three over a valley to a green that slopes steeply from back to front and is surrounded by deep bunkers. Club selection is vital, especially as it will play a club longer than 2012.
HOLE 6 – 366m Par 4 (6th West)
A magnificent dogleg to the right with an extra 29 metres of carry over an area of native grasses, disguising a row of bunkers. Greenside is a favourite spot for spectators because of the elevation and a lightning slope from back to front. Danger lurks.
HOLE 7 – 135m Par 3 (7th West)
A wonderful short, uphill par three with bunkering making club selection tricky. Centre of the green and two putts is the aim.
HOLE 8 – 285m Par 4 (10th West)
The big hitters can get close to the green but trouble on the right may promote some conservatism off the tee. The green has run-offs front and back, so this is another hole where birdies and bogeys may abound in equal number.
HOLE 9 – 401m Par 4 (11th West)
A dogleg to the left which has been increased by 36 metres from 2012, giving it extra teeth and making it the longest of the par fours. A large green has a run-off at the back. Par will bring a smile to any player’s face.
HOLE 10 – 435m Par 5 (12th West)
The shortest of the four par-fives but with a large area of indigenous grasses to carry just before the green, the decision is whether to go for it with the second shot or lay up and try to knock the wedge close for birdie.
HOLE 11 – 380m Par 4 (17th West)
With plenty of bunkers on the left, a drive to the right side of the fairway is prudent. But that leaves a difficult line to the pin because of the intruding sand on the right of the green. It’s a hole where careful thought is essential and par is a relief.
HOLE 12 – 379m Par 4 (18th West)
A dogleg to the right, with bunkers to negotiate on the right and the danger of running out of room on the left. Toughened with an extra 24 metres this year to encourage players to take driver, leaving a mid-iron to a well protected green.
HOLE 13 – 324m Par 4 (3rd West)
A short, tight par four with a tough decision about driver to make on the tee. The green slopes from front to back, making it desperately tough to hold so the shorter the iron in, the better.
HOLE 14 – 461m Par 5 (4th West)
Another important decision to be made on the tee, with bunkers on the left side of the landing area and plenty of trouble on the right. Needs two big hits to get home so many will take the safer lay-up option.
HOLE 15 – 350m Par 4 (3rd East)
A delightful downhill hole where the driver will most likely be left in the bag as position is key for a short second into a well bunkered green. A definite birdie opportunity.
HOLE 16 – 160m Par 3 (4th East)
The longest of the three par threes and the only one on the back nine. Well bunkered at the front but up the back can leave a tricky sloping putt. A great par three.
HOLE 17 – 485m Par 5 (17th East)
The longest of the par fives with an extra 20 metres this year to further enhance the risk-and-reward opportunities. Those laying up with their second can flirt with bunkers on the right or risk some rough lies to the right. One of the key tournament-deciding holes.
HOLE 18 – 362m Par 4 (18th East)
Revered as one of the world’s great closing holes. An intimidating green is surrounded by bunkers and is large enough to produce a rash of three-putts. Par to win the tournament is no easy assignment.