Cape Town - With just over one week to go until the start of the Nedbank Golf Challenge, hosted by Gary Player, at the Gary Player Country Club golf course is on track to reach its peak condition for "Africa's Major".
"I'm very happy with where the course is at the moment," said Sun City
Golf Director, Ken Payet.
"We had a visit from the European Tour agronomist who met with our head
course superintendent and they are very happy. We've had some early rains which
has helped the rough. We don't want the course too tough but it must be challenging
for the players."
According to Payet, the process for the greenkeeping staff from now
until tournament week is simply to pay attention to the detail that makes this
one of the top-ranked golf courses in South Africa.
"Our goal is now to peak for the week of the Nedbank Golf Challenge, and
make sure that we remain consistently good for the golfers who watch it on TV
and want to play here afterwards. During the week of the tournament the phone
never stops ringing with golfers booking rounds here.
"Now we are just focusing on that attention to detail. It's an
opportunity to repair pitch marks and divots, and to spend time making sure the
sand in the bunkers is consistent. Those little things. It's literally about
fine-tuning the golf course for the tournament."
Payet believes the course will once again play as challenging as it
needs to for this event.
"We've narrowed the fairways in areas, and it all really depends on the
speed of the greens and the conditions that week. The wind can play a factor
because it always swirls here and doesn't just come from one direction, so that
can be a challenge for the players.
"But the Gary Player Country Club course is always a
true test of the game. It tests the best in the world and your high handicap
golfer. It always requires you to be on top of your game."
The US$7.5 million
tournament on the European Tour's elite Rolex Series gets underway from November 9-12.
Image: Grant Leversha