Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Tour players comment on Atlanta Athletic Club conditions
As always, these are all 1-on-1 interviews straight from my voice recorder to you -- you won't find these sound bites anywhere else. Here we go:
(The course is) perfect. I don’t think we’ve played a course in this good of shape all year, to be honest with you.
The greens are a touch on the firm side, they’re pretty quick. It just makes sense, with the heat they get here to go to Bermuda. Probably for a lot less hassle and a lot less budget, you can have better greens and they’re really nice.
Bermuda’s a thicker blade of grass, it grows sideways so it gets a lot of grain… Bermuda’s gotten so good now, they can make it a thinner blade of grass, it doesn’t have as much grain even though it has some… they’re beautiful, they’re nice greens.
You have to go stand on a fairway and see, they look like carpets. It’s some sort of zoysia I’m not familiar with, Diamond zoysia? Zoysia’s usually a wide blade of grass, this is a little thinner, zoysia can get real thatchy and spongy, and this is not either. It’s as good of fairways as I’ve ever played on, ever.
The golf course is great, fast and firm fairways, not a lot of rough but it doesn’t need it. You miss a fairway and it takes that bit of control out of your hands, coming into some firm and fast greens. Greens all pitch back to front, so the golden rule here is: over the back is no good.
It’s a good test without being ridiculously tricked up. It’s a good, fair test. The back nine is much, much stronger than the front. The front nine is quite straight forward, the back nine is strong.
The fairways are like carpets, they’re just perfect, they’re just perfect. Obviously the guys do a great job here.
I played this morning. The conditions are unbelievable. The fairways are the best I’ve ever played. They’re unbelievable, like carpet. The type of grass… it’s a creeping grass, so a really tight coverage on it.
The greens are good, they’re quick. The greens are short… so there’s not much grain, it’s good.
They knocked down the rough a little bit, not much. It’s not like you can’t get it to the green, you just can’t control it. Definitely an advantage to keep it in the fairway.
I think it’ll be hot on Sunday. What do you do? But when you have the right type of grass you can get the course to be dried out and firm if it doesn’t rain.
(The golf course is) fantastic, this is the best grass we’ve probably ever played on. This Champion tifdwarf is a fantastic Southern course grass for the greens, and we haven’t ever seen anything like this Diamond zoysia, it’s fantastic.
(The fairways are) perfect. They’re awesome. I was up here three weeks ago and they were beautiful then as well.
The rough was a little bit… it was getting bad. I think it was similar to what it was now. I think it got bad last week and they backed off a little bit. You’re just going to have to drive the ball in play, plain and simple. It’s hot, the ball is going to be going far, you won’t have to hit a lot of drivers, just keep it in play.
It depends on conditions, and it depends on how they set it up. If they set it up long and tough, I think single digits score will easily win this. But if it gets soft out there and they play it up a little bit I think you can score pretty good.