The 13th beach links are always a challenge for the players of the ISPS Handa Vic Open, with their rolling greens built over sloping sand dunes and the stiff southern breeze pulling the ocean.
But in 2019 with the European Tour (men) and LPGA Tour (ladies) who co-sanctioned the tournament, it has been further strengthened
In particular, the women's t-shirts were pushed back a total of 226 meters on the Beach golf course and 281 meters on the Creek course, compared with the 2018 yardages. The beach plays at 5925 meters this year and the creek at 6010 meters.
Not only that; the 14th hole on the Beach course has been reduced from a par-five to a par-four at 368 meters, so the track was a par 72 after it was previously a par 73.
The men's yards are almost identical to last year at 6214 meters (beach) and 6346 meters (Creek).
The women who played the Beach course last year will notice that the par-four eighth hole is 46 meters longer and the par-four 13th hole 59 meters longer. The par-five 18th hole on the beach, which turns left along a swampy wasteland, will be 39 meters longer for women at 448 meters, still accessible without wind but difficult to reach in the prevailing wind.
Director Trevor Herden of Golf Australia stated that the increased distances reflected the presence of better, stronger players on 13th Beach this year on the women's side of the tournament.
"I would say it has been strengthened," Herden said today. "Part of the bunkering was played out and we had to do something that reflected the quality of the pitch, we have better players that hit the ball further." & # 39;
The 14th hole on the Beach course, which plays to the clubhouse, was rather an easy par-five. Now it plays like a harder par-four for women, although the T-piece is 50 meters ahead of where it was last year.
Herden said the new yardages were in line with what the best women play weekly on the LPGA Tour around the world. He added that for perspective the western orbit of The Grange in Adelaide, host of the ISPS Handa Women & # 39; s Australian Open next week, will play at 6082 meters – 157 meters longer than the Beach course here and the 72 meters longer than the Creek course.
Australian Minjee Lee shot 13-under par 279 last year and Melissa Reid 16-under 276 a year earlier to win the Vic Open ladies tournament. With both players together with some of the world's best in the field this year, the ladies winner will certainly have to be red, but maybe not in double digits.
It all depends, of course, on the wind.
The winner Simon Hawkes was 14-below on the men's side last year, but both Richard Green (2015) and Dimi Papadatos (2017) reached 16-under to win on 13th Beach.
Green speeds are about 10.5 on the stimulation meter, with Herden pointing to a prediction for strong winds later in the week, making him cautious with the putting surfaces.
Both courses are in pristine condition. "It is an asset to the superintendent and his staff that it is as good as we have had dry conditions," said Herden. "This is a great tournament location, it has great facilities, the course is important in all of that and there is a lot of space, it has an excellent driving range and good short-game areas and it's good courses for spectators to watch the golf. It is an excellent all-round location. "