AMEX buzz: how hard (or soft) will Harding Park be?

mulligan, 04 October 2005, Comments Off on AMEX buzz: how hard (or soft) will Harding Park be?
Categories: Uncategorized

So the latest buzz on the PGA is not about a player, but about Harding Park Golf Course, a public course in San Fran, site of this week’s AMEX World Golf Championship. The buzz is not about how great the course is, but whether the pros are going to eat it for breakfast because it’s too easy. Sandy Tatum has done his best to spruce the course up (more here), but, hey, this is San Francisco, so you can’t add much more distance to a 6,845 yard muni course. Bethpage Black, it ain’t. Want a prediction on the low score this weekend? Read on…

Powerfade reports: I woke up on Sunday, got my paper, and was bombarded with countless articles about how the AMEX comes to San Fran this week. All week, I’ll get to hear about the magnificent design of Harding Park Golf Course, a municipal course, (I have to admit it is nice, but not one of my top 10 in the Bay Area), and how it is in perfect shape (I’ll argue against this one forever). When I first took up golf a few years ago (OK…more like 7), I played Harding many times. Graffiti everywhere, bumpy horrible greens, no sand in the traps, and fairways that looked like an experiment to see which weed could beat out all others. Amazing that they have a PGA tournament there now. But the traps are not uniform (some soft, some hard), the fairways still have multiple types of grasses, but the greens are fantastic (and completely new). They took two par 5s and converted them to par 4s. No biggie to the pros. I’m predicting a low score will win. 20 under minimum. And it won’t be a blow-out. Yes, they have grown out the rough and cut in the fairways (which drove me crazy last week since my driver was not on, but as a 3 handicap, I shouldn’t be able to shoot close to par from where the pros are playing), but the pros should tear the course apart. Only two things may change this. None of the pros will have played the course in its new glory, and it may take a few rounds to get used to the course, and the gun range across the lake will startle quite a few pros on their backswing (you get used to it as a local).


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