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Organizers out to make golf course more challenging

KELSIE JOHNSON
Guardian Sports Reporter
kelsie@nasguard.com

Published: May 14, 2013

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The first eight holes on each side of the Ocean Club Golf Course will be flipped for a more exciting finish at the Pure Silk Bahamas Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Classic, as announced by tournament organizers. They revealed that they wanted to make the 18-hole, par-73 Tom Weiskopf-designed Ocean Club Golf Course more challenging for 49 of the top female golfers in the world, set to play in the classic. The ninth and 18th holes will remain the same. The first Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic will tee-off on May 23 and continue to May 26. The $1.3 million event is one of three new tournaments added to the professional schedule. It will be aired live on the Golf Channel.

Matt Truax, tournament director, pointed out that the course operations are running smoothly and that they wanted to capture the magic of the ocean side holes. John Hood, course superintendent, believes that the par-4 number 13 hole is among the toughest on the course. Hood has been working extremely hard in preparing the greens for the inaugural classic.

“The players are going to have a lot of options playing that last hole,” said Hood. “We have a staff of 25, all Bahamians who have put their hearts and souls into preparing the golf course, and to really make sure that the golf course is prepared for the international stage.

“We’ve been working seven days a week for the last three months. A lot of guys were working 5 a.m.- 7 p.m. daily, just making sure that all of the details are taken care of. Obviously, when you have players like this coming, it is a different level of ability that you are catering to. Everything has to be perfect. I can’t stress enough the attention to detail. Even the slightest mistake is going to show up on television, and the fact that these players at this level are going to see that. A huge investment was made to the landscaping around the golf course. Nothing does that than having the golf course set up to their games and accommodating their shots.

“When the LPGA players come, it has to be set up to make it a real challenge. The main things were to focus on the details and minor improvements. I feel as though we have a great facility here year-round. It has been a lot of fun being at the helm of the ship trying to get this place ready to highlight what we can do here.”

The tournament is free to all with complimentary parking on Paradise Island and shuttles to and from the golf course. The qualifying round will be played on Tuesday. The golfer with the lowest score will be added to the main pool.


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