On August 1st, the British Ladies Open starts at Woburn on the Marquess course. Today, three weeks before, I played the Marquess course. The course closes next week so the green staff can prime it ready for the ladies. The course is 7,200 off the back tees and is cut out of a forest. Its main defence is the pace and slope of the greens. There are no easy holes and plenty of places to lose a ball. It has been used for European Tour events and Open qualifiers.
Playing the course today was strange. The greens were very slow as they had sanded,seeded and left them. Probably putting about 9 on the stimp. Difficult to hit the putts hard when you are used to extra pace. Rough has been grown so there were some deep lies just off the fairway. Difficult to know which tees they are going to use. Last time they tended to use the medal tees , making the course 6,745 yards. The winner used a 1 iron off most tees, which upset the club. Hopefully they will use more back tees and give the girls a longer course. Today, the middle two tees were closed so we played off the back or front, usually the back. All the pins were on the edge of the green, usually front to protect them. The 12th is a short , do or die par four. We were playing off the back tee, so the ladies will be encouraged to go for it from 270 or 300 yards.
As a member , I was repairing every pitch mark I could see, as were the others. We normally do, but today we spent longer looking and took more care.
When the slip of a girl hits a six iron off a tee I take four iron, I will be pleased for her...………….