The 18th hole at The Grange Golf Club.
Last week on the 13th beach there was some discussion about the length of the women's job with the suggestion that 6000 meters was too long, especially in a tournament where their scores could be compared with the men.
This week at the ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open The Grange's West Course it takes longer with about 80 meters (6082m) to once again think that the American commentator Brandel Chamblee's recent contention women's courses are much too being tall and something nearer than 6000 yards in the old money would be more convenient.
The leaders after two days in Adelaide were the Taiwanese Wei-Ling Hsu and Swede Madelene Sagstrom on 10 below par. With an excess of two, it seems that the track was perfectly set up and was far from too heavy for many of the best players in the world.
The track plays well, offers a mix of iron shots in the greens, two good three shot par fives (5 and 13), the 1st to reach and the 10th within two shots, unless the wind is against. Similarly, the short holes require different irons (more even if the 12th is in the wind) and it is exactly how a race for a championship should play.
Unusual for a course Australian Championship, the West ends with a short par four and one could argue that it is at least as interesting to conclude a round as the traditional long two-hole hole. The men's journey is at Lake Karrinyup and the 18th hole is another example, just like the finish holes on the sand band at Royal Melbourne, Kingston Heath, Metropolitan, Huntingdale, Commonwealth, Spring Valley, Victoria, Woodlands and Yarra Yarra.
They all ask for two accurate long shots, although they are now all playing shorter for the best men than their original designers had in mind. Most have added T-shirts in an effort to keep up with the innovators, but the short four to finish in Grange poses an equally interesting question.
The tee-shot is wide enough to make the fairway beating relatively easy, but the green is bent diagonally from left to right with the right guarded by short bunkers and the left rear bunkers catch something fractionally drawn or over-hit. The last element of the green is the edge that cuts in the middle and sweeps marginally below heat pitch shots. Only the most accurate wedge leaves a reasonable putt for a birdie.
Coincidentally, the finish holes at Royal Adelaide and Kooyonga are rather large holes that give rise to thought-provoking questions
The most famous finish hole in golf is also a short par four and, in the course of the centuries, the 18th in St Andrews, despite his apparent simplicity, has written his share in the drama in The Open Championship. There are some great long celebrations to finish, but to avoid that something shorter is built to meet an imaginary convention is a mistake.
The best of the Australians after 36 holes was Hannah Green. Not as well known as one of her junior contemporaries Minjee Lee or Su Oh, Green is nevertheless almost in their class and only wants for a few years experience on the LPGA.
She played well at Royal Adelaide last year and finished third, making her very worried about the next year's job. She hits the ball well, plays wisely and a lot of her is expected this season.
Where the next lot of young Australian women will come from is the next question. I watch with some dismay how amateur golf for women is played by tees meant for average club members, because the only way to challenge the next generation and let them sink or swim is to play longer, more testing courses.
A few years ago on Lake Karrinyup, Lee and Oh played a big amateur event and both were almost 20 below average. One of the committees called me (we are the architects of the club) and suggested that the course is too short & # 39; used to be.
It was true that it was too short but behind the women's jersey was at least an extra thousand meters. If we want to produce players who are able to compete with the best in the world, those who organize the courses for the larger amateur events would do well to use at least a few hundred of that thousand meters to get them out a little bit. stretching