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Golf: Royal Troon – A Tale of Two Nines

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Stan Sutherland
Stan Sutherland

“Like two different golf courses,” is how two-time major winner Martin Kaymer describes playing Royal Troon.

The short and long of it
Martin made a trip to Troon the weekend before the US Open and had this to say upon completion of his first-ever experience of the course, “It’s always difficult to pass comment on a course when you’re just playing for fun and not in a tournament but I was surprised by how short the first nine are and how long the back nine is. It’s like a completely different golf course from the front nine to the back nine.”

Tam Arte Quam Marte
Over at the National Club Golfer Joe Urquhart writes, “To say that Royal Troon is a course of two halves is an understatement. 'Tam Arte Quam Marte' – as much by skill as by strength – is the club's motto and another way of putting it is that your skill on the front nine determines how much of a cushion you can take into the homeward half when you will need all the strength you can muster.”

As for the first few holes, Joe writes,”… first four par 4s is drivable for at least some of the field, not just the likes of Rory McIlroy, Bubba Watson and Dustin Johnson but potentially many more.
In addition, there are two comfortably reachable par 5s. All of which means it is possible for these elite players to have a putt for eagle on six of the first seven holes.”

The inward nine

This from an AP wire in the New Zealand Herald.
“The inward nine turns back into the wind and is relentless with tight fairways and prickly gorse bushes.
"Probably the toughest finishing stretch," Paul Casey of England said. "Carnoustie is tough, I think Troon is a better set of finishing holes."
Troon is a tale of two nines. The wind is helping on the shorter outward nine holes. This is where players score, and it prompted Colin Montgomerie to say that "if you're not under par after nine holes at Troon, you may as well go to the clubhouse at Prestwick and have lunch." Prestwick, the first home of the British Open, is next to Troon.”

Why I’m going for Dustin

Lunching at Prestwick reminds me of last year’s trip there when we took the starter’s advice and hired a caddie for our foursome.
Having survived the “Alps” (17th) and heading for the “Clock” (18th) Terry our caddie happened to mention that he caddied for Dustin when he came to play the home of the Open Championship and he just loves the course.
Given that DJ has the length to carve up the Royal Troon’s back nine and he’s going to feel comfortable in this part of the Ayrshire coast he’s got my backing. 

Here’s the link to Joe Urquhart and the AP wire

Quote of the Day
"There's going to be carnage." - Graeme McDowell suggesting that the bunkers surrounding “Postage Stamp” will kill a lot of hopes.


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