Discourse of the course

TODD SAELHOF, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:43 AM ET

Ten years and 18 holes later, Priddis Golf & Country Club is a slightly different animal than when it hosted the 1999 du Maurier Classic.

Yet with all the change, the powers that be have opted to use a familiar track for the 2009 CN Canadian Women's Open. It's the one LPGA Tour stars played on -- and praised -- a decade ago.

Why mess with success?

What the ladies will play is the first five holes of the Hawk course before turning to play its final four holes. That makes up the front nine of the tournament.

Then, the LPGA stars turn to play the final nine holes of the Raven layout, which ends on No. 18, where there's plenty of room for bleachers and TV broadcast facilities next to the clubhouse.

"The Hawk/Raven rotation we are using for the championship enables us to provide a terrific and challenging layout in addition to facilitating other aspects of the event such as spectator flow, corporate hospitality and operational infrastructure, which are all critical elements to the overall success of the championship," said tournament director Sean Van Kesteren.

"If we were to use the entire front side of the Hawk Course, we would be greatly challenged with having play finish a significant distance away from the clubhouse, as players will be finishing all four rounds on the 9th hole."

As for the condition of the course, the LPGA appears to be thrilled with the shape of Priddis Greens.

A tour crew signed off last week on the state of Priddis Greens and gave it the thumbs up -- everything from staking, making sure it meets the requirements of the tour, to compliance with the LPGA's idea of bunkering.

As well, to help further get the track in pristine shape, Priddis Greens has been closed to its 1,323 members since Saturday, which is a large commitment on behalf of the membership.

"July was nice an hot, which was good for the course," Hood said. "The LPGA came out then with their agronomist and said we could do the tournament 'tomorrow.' We're doing a little more with the rough. The rough we want growing in because we don't want it to be too easy.

"They want us to get the stimpmetre reading on greens to about 11, 11.5 -- and that shouldn't be a problem for us," Hood added. "But we have to be careful with our greens. There's so many undulations that if they're too fast, they'll be wickedly tough."

TODD.SAELHOF@SUNMEDIA.CA


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