Canadian Open Preview
St. George’s Golf & CC
Consider this not so much a review or preview, as a photo essay shot during my round at St. George’s last week.
For starters, the course is in exceptional condition, with thick rough that was dense, but not overly long. Apparently it will be grown and then cut back.
Some notes on the course:
- The third green was not nearly as quick as it had been last fall. Clearly some effort had been made — maybe for the media day? — to temper its speed. They are aware of its potential as a problem, so I suspect everything will be done to mitigate that.
- The fourth hole will be played as a par-4, though at 480-yards with a steep slope kicking balls from the right, it’ll be a real challenge. Mike Weir had concerns about the tree to the left of the green.
- The sixth hole will not be played from the back tees. This is a good thing. With a steep green, a 150-yard hole will be exciting to watch and a true birdie chance after the difficulties of holes two through five.
- The 10th hole could be drivable — talk is the tee will be pushed up on one of the days to make it around 330 yards.
- The 11th hole will be a definite birdie hole. Hell, I almost hit it in two with a 3-wood, 3-iron combo.
Nathan Green said the winning score — if the course is wet — could be as low as 12-under. If it is dry, expect a single-digit score. At an outing last week, superintendent Keith Bartlett said the PGA Tour does treat the event differently from other PGA Tour tournaments and acknowledges its place as a national open. This is really the first time I’ve heard this — typically it seems the PGA Tour treats the event as just another tour stop. But Bartlett is talking from his experience in dealing with the tour’s turf and operations staff, so he’d have a frontline sense of the situation.
Here’s the photo gallery for those interest (click on each shot to see an enlarged version). Note the grassing lines that have been altered for the tournament and the fact that some bunkers are now well outside the line of play. This happened at Hamilton as well, and is an unfortunate side effect of hosting the Canadian Open.