How to play the elevation at The Broadmoor

Watch out for the elevation: Players heard the stories before they got here at The Broadmoor for this year’s U.S. Women’s Open. First, the course is set for a yardage of 7,047 yards and the Colorado Springs altitude could potentially create havoc with club selection. Colorado’s second-largest city has an elevation of 6,035 feet above sea level.

Secondly, with bell chimes echoing throughout the course from the Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun, located on Cheyenne Mountain overlooking The Broadmoor, word on the links was that all putts break away from the mountain.

So how seriously did players take heed?

“On every green, I walk up and find out where the statue is and I factor that in to determine where my putts will break,” said LPGA Futures Tour member Ashley Prange of Indiana. “I find it to be true.”

LPGA Tour member Nicole Hage of Florida consulted tour veterans Beth Daniel and Meg Mallon, who nearly won the Open here in 1995, about the legend of putts breaking away from the mountain. Hage was told there’s something to the story.

“It kind of makes sense because when you look at the course, everything is tilted away from the mountain,” said Hage.

Hage is also one of the LPGA’s longest hitters, so she was curious how her ball flight would be affected this week. Normally averaging around 280 off the tee, Hage had one drive in the first round that rocketed 330 yards.

“I hit it high, so I definitely got a few launchers out there,” said Hage, who estimates she is hitting the ball seven percent farther than normal.

Another long-hitting bomber on both the LPGA and LPGA Futures Tour is Ryann O’Toole of California, who averages around 280.5 yards off the tee. When asked how the elevation this week affects play, O’Toole said she feels fortunate because she also has a high ball flight.

“If you don’t hit it high and you don’t hit it far, you don’t go anywhere out here,” she said. “Trajectory is huge. The higher you hit it, the farther it goes.”

Players talked about how to play The Broadmoor for the U.S. Women's Open on Golf Channel's Golf Central.

Topics: Hage, Nicole, Daniel, Beth, Mallon, Meg, US Women's Open

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