After playing The Ridge in Auburn, California for the Long's LPGA event, the Tour has moved to a new course. And boy does it sound like a good power hike spoiled!
Blackhawk Country Club general manager Larry Marx was flattered when organizers of the Longs Drugs Challenge showed interest in moving their LPGA Tour event to his facility.
He did feel the need to be honest with them, however.
"In our first meeting, I said, 'We'd be happy to talk to you about it, but I think you're kind of at the wrong place,'" Marx said. "It was never that the players wouldn't enjoy the course. We all knew that would happen. But spectator-wise, it's a challenge."
"We love the layout of the golf course. We think the players will love the layout of the golf course, and we love all the type of corporate hospitality we can do," tournament director Brian Flajole said. "It's the distance between the green and the next tee box that is very drastic on some holes."
The distance between green and tee box is so great that players will be shuttled to their next hole on nine of the 18 holes. Fans won't even be allowed access to the 12th and 13th holes -- officials are worried the steep hill that leads up to the 12th tee box is too dangerous.
To counter-balance that, four sets of grandstands will be set up throughout the course, including one set of bleachers on the island green of No. 18, a par 4 considered the Lakeside Course's signature hole.
Really, it's considered that? Wow.
Lakeside Course superintendent Lonnie Stevens said the only major change to course conditions the LPGA has requested is to grow the rough out a half-inch to an inch longer than normal.
"They really want to encourage a good show more or less," Stevens said. "We don't want everyone shooting par. They want some birdies and eagles. They want to encourage players on a few holes to try and drive the green, or on a par 5 to go for it in two."
Wait, grow it out a half-inch to an inch longer than normal? Wouldn't you have to grow it out an inch to make it an inch longer than normal?