In 2015 Lydia Ko set up a remarkable clinic at Royal Melbourne, one of the best jobs of the game, to win the Women's Australian Open.
The New Zealander was at that time the best player in the world, but the layout of the course was not really embraced by many players. The fiery greens were something that most people were not used to dealing with, but the precision of Ko showed that Royal Melbourne could be played by someone with the necessary skills and a good understanding of the questions the course asked.
The enthusiasm of local spectators corresponded to lukewarm reviews, some of the players gave the best course in the country and the next year the Open moved to Adelaide and a rotation around the West Course at Grange, Royal Adelaide and Kooyonga.
It was a decision that brought the tournament to life.
All three courses were universally admired by the players. They were perfectly set up to reward skilled players, thinking of the shots that best suited the holes, and their closeness to the sea means that the wind is an ever-present consideration, which makes for interesting golfing.
The Open is back this week in Grange like Ko, according to the rankings now, the 14th best player in the world. Almost unbelievably she (or at least her & # 39; team & # 39;) thought her swing from Royal Melbourne was in some way inadequate and needed change. The technique & # 39; rabbit hole & # 39; shooting is usually not a great idea, unless it is obvious that something has to change, and in the case of Ko it would be difficult to argue that a dramatic revision was necessary
Ariya Jutanugarn, the US Open Champion and the number one player in the world, is a much different player than Ko. Extremely powerful, she crunches the ball and is well able to dismantle every job with her strength. To see her play you wonder why she does not win every week, but golf, unlike the big championship tennis, is too fickle to make that happen.
The defending champion of Kooyonga is another Ko, Jin-Young Ko, and if you want to see a technique that is worth copying, she is the woman who is observing this week. The rise of Korean women in the past twenty years has really been a phenomenon. There are many theories, including their dexterity through the use of metal – as opposed to wooden – chopsticks.
Probably it has more to do with an unusual willingness to hit balls (usually on a driving range) until the basic technique is as reliable as one can make. Golf in Korea also attracts many of the best athletes in the country. It is far away from Australia, where we can all think of a dozen sports that young girls will probably find more important than playing golf.
It is difficult to break the association of many Australians with golf as a game that only "old people" play and it is a mystery (for me at least) why thousands of children on and around a black line at the bottom of a pool on a wicked hours when golf offers a more interesting alternative and is played in a beautiful environment.
The course of this week plays perfectly. The greens are firm without being unreasonably hard and they are not obsessively fast. Australian golf is famous for the speed of its greens and there have been times when those limits have penetrated to the extreme of the senses.
The fairways are wide, but the greens and the surrounding bunkers are arranged so that playing from one side of the hole is a bit easier, and while the middle of the fairway is never a bad place, the majority of the flags will be easier be approached from closer to the edges of the fairways.
The essence of making it interesting to play a job is not to make holes that reward, but to help players who can accurately drive to a certain part of a wide channel.
Although the Grange is not as extensive and not as difficult as Royal Melbourne, it raises related questions and it may be a good chance to assess early in the season the game of New Zealand Ko early. If it is anything near the wave that she showed us at Royal Melbourne, she should not be too far away on Sunday afternoon.