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Sean Walsh

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Asia-Pacific Amateur - Royal Melbourne Composite
« on: October 29, 2023, 08:46:16 AM »
Just thought Iíd like to get down a few thoughts from 4 days of what turned out to be a wonderful tournament on a new version of Royal Melbourne Composite. The change in routing was to get the 9th tee nearer the clubhouse to facilitate a 2 tee start.

This meant the order went
1W, 2W, 7W, 10W, 11W, 12W, 16W, 17W, 18W (1-8)
3W, 4W, 5W, 6W, 1E, 2E, 3E, 16E, 17E, 18E (9-18)

This version adds 16E at the expense of 4E. Itís worth listening to the recent podcast from Australian Golf Passport for a discussion on the pros and cons of this and many other things related to RM Composite

The result as you can see from the map are ever changing directions of the holes. The first 2 days the wind was from the South (top of the map as you look at it) & SW about 2 clubs in strength, gusting to more and also fluctuating direction frequently. For about half the field coming from sub tropical 30deg high humidity to 8-14deg and an Antarctic wind must have been something of a shock. Koboriís 66 on Thursday was exceptional.

On Saturday the wind shifted to the North and blew harder. Shengís 65 in these conditions was remarkable

Sunday brought the genteel side of RM with the wind still from the North but under or around 10km/h most of the day. The low round for the day was 68 and about 4 players had 69s, so genteel but still a great test.

This routing means the front 9 contains 8 Par 4s & 1 Par 5. The flow felt good even with 6 of the holes between 433-476 yards there was no sameness to what was being asked. On Saturday & Sunday 4 (10W) was reachable with hybrid or 3 wood for most players, even if that wasnít a very adviseable ploy.

The back 9 therefore had 2 Par3s and 2 Par 5s. The 17th was straight downwind on days 1 & 2 so one of the few great birdie opportunities. Straight upwind on day 3 but still reachable for many/most

11 & 16 (at least for me) were a nightmare to club on Saturday due to a combination of pin & wind

Along with changes of direction of both holes and wind, what made club selection so hard was that often you could see there was plenty of wind but couldnít accurately determine the direction because you were in a hollow or low point sheltered from the wind.

Iím told the greens were running at about 12 which seemed perfect for the conditions. I didnít see any situations where the combination of wind and green speed made playing conditions at all dicey.

This group of amateurs really got to see the three main faces of RM and at least from the players I was exposed to relished the challenge.

On a personal note there is something very gratifying about setting a plan with your player and watching it play out at such a high level of performance - something as an average club golfer Iím just not capable of. Occasionally I think I even added value  ;D

Also credit where itís due to whoever was responsible, they organised and especially fed us volunteers very well

« Last Edit: October 29, 2023, 08:57:27 AM by Sean Walsh »

Ben Stephens

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Re: Asia-Pacific Amateur - Royal Melbourne Composite
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2023, 03:10:20 AM »
I saw bits of this event on Sky Sports yesterday afternoon - boy those greens look really challenging to putt on with quite big breaks - my type of greens.

16E looks a delightful short par 3 - first time I have seen it on TV it looks like 2 kidney shaped greens 'welded' together and feels like there is two different greens to aim at - great design - there should be more of this. Helps with the wear and tear by being bigger however feels like small target either side. Would be interesting to see the pin in the middle of the pinch point of the green

Sean Walsh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Asia-Pacific Amateur - Royal Melbourne Composite
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2023, 04:12:07 AM »
The other interesting thing about the 16th was that they used a very different tee for the 3rd & 4th rounds compared to the first two. Not sure whether this was always planned or weather dependant.

The first tee playing with a Southerly at our back and off the left was 20 or so yards longer and hard up against the boundary of the property. The second tee was both shorter and 30-40 yards left of the first, straight into the teeth of the now Northerly wind.


  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Asia-Pacific Amateur - Royal Melbourne Composite
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2023, 05:22:30 AM »
Time they went back to 4 East.
It's a bad walk up the hill from the 3rd East green to 16 East tee and most of the week the par 3s were wedge into 3 (7West) 8/9 iron into 11 (5w) and 9/wedge into 16.
4 East was always a long iron but even with today's clubs it'd at least be a 6 iron.
And it was such a waste of the great, long approach into the 2nd west which reduced to a short iron by using the very forward tee - presumably because of unreasonable safety fears for the back tee from long approach shots to 17.
Something equally dangerous happens on every hole at The Old Course.


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