LPGA.com recently caught up with Patrick Maher, Director of Golf at Royal Canberra Golf Club. Maher takes a few minutes out of his day to answer a few questions about Royal Caberra. He shares his thoughts on the course layout and what we might expect to see this week.
Describe your course in one word.
Are there holes that you consider your signature holes and why?
Hole # 16 has always been considered the signature hole at Royal Canberra with a tight tee shot and then a long to mid iron to the green. Once on the green it can be extremely fast with a fall from back to front that can have balls rolling off the green in fast and dry conditions. Hole # 14 is again a long par 4 with the only real water hazard on the course. Lake Burleigh Griffin cuts into the right side of the fairway. This should not come into play for Tour players however can make you hit away from it into the fairway bunkers strategically placed on the left side of the fairway. The green on 14 is quite large and heavily bunkered short and right with a tier running across the width of the green.
Which hole on the course will the players find the hardest challenge?
My belief is that hole 12 and 14 will play the hardest, 12 due to a sharp dogleg to the left and 14 for its length requirements.
Are there holes that will create some excitement for fans like a drivable par-4 etc.?
There are no drivable par 4’s on the course for most. The par 3’s & 5’s are where the tournament will be won or lost.
Are there weather conditions that affect your course this time of year?
We have had some extreme weather leading into the event with two weeks of hot and dry wins with temperatures over 40 degrees Celsius on several days. And this week after the heat we had severe wind and rain that caused some minor flash flooding in the area…( from one extreme to the other).
Have any players come to check out the course early and what are they saying?
At this stage a few players have started to arrive and have found the course to be quite beautiful. It is considered the Augusta of Australia with Royal Canberra being on what is still an arboretum containing some rare and unique trees to Australia.