Wind and closing holes are biggest challenges in Texas

Texas hasn’t seen an LPGA Tour event since the 2003 Samsung World Championship and before that it was the 1986 Mazda Hall of Fame Championship. With all the other major golf tours holding events in Texas, it is about time the LPGA made its return.

The history of women’s golf runs thick in the Lone Star State. Two of the LPGA’s 13 founders, Babe Zaharias and Betty Jameson, are from Texas and 22 current players are either from Texas or reside there, including Amy Read. The LPGA Headquarters also used to be in Houston so it is only fitting that it was chosen for an event this season.

By Amy Read

I was thrilled to hear that The Houstonian Golf & Country Club was picked as the venue for the LPGA Tour Championship, which is the final event of the 2009 season. It is a course that will challenge all LPGA Tour players, but it also a lot of fun. It has been a long time since the Tour was in Texas and I’m excited to share our talent with the city of Houston. I’m also eager to show the ladies on Tour this course because I know they’ll enjoy it.

The biggest challenge the players will face is the wind. The whole golf course revolves around the wind and it is always blowing at this course. The fairways are generous, the greens are large, and there is a lot of water, so if the wind is a factor the water will come into play.

Even though the course will favor long hitters, the players who will shine the most are the ones who can control their ball flight. When you play in that much wind, it doesn’t matter how far you hit it if it is going in the wrong direction.

A player who I think will handle this golf course well is Angela Stanford. Being from Texas, Angela knows how to play in the wind. She might not be the longest hitter on Tour but she definitely knows how to control the flight of her ball. I think Angela will also be motivated to win in her home state.

The holes that will make the tournament interesting are 16, 17, and 18. The closing holes can make or break a player’s round. They are all about risk and reward. Sixteen is a par-5 and I’m sure they’ll set it up where half the field can reach it in two. With an island green, players will have to make the decision if they want to run the risk of reaching it in two. This hole will be very exciting and great for fans.

Seventeen is a par-3 where you have to carry the water 180 yards to the green. You can’t just hit the ball and run it up. Your shot has to be in the air. You have to hit a good golf shot because you need to hit that green if you want to make par. Eighteen is a long par-4 and it plays dead into the wind. The longer hitter will have an advantage here.

The last three holes make this golf course. They are the most challenging holes but also the most fun. The player who makes it through that three-hole gauntlet deserves to be the winner that week.

The course’s conditions will be absolutely perfect in November. The Redstone Companies manage the course and keep it in great shape. The staff is great to work with and the people of Houston are in for a real treat. I’m excited to let them see the best women’s professional golfers in the world.

Topics: Read, Amy

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