Tom Kite, Troy Matteson, Jay Reynolds, Mike Allen At Austin Country Club

Tom Kite, Troy Matteson, Jay Reynolds and Mike Allen got together for a round at Austin Country Club and enjoyed a cloudy cool day of golf on the Pete Dye designed course.
As the round progressed the topic of conversation covered a wide range of subjects including how the pros played the course during the Dell Match Play event.

left to right, Mike Allen, Tom Kite, Troy Matteson, Jay Reynolds

left to right, Mike Allen, Tom Kite, Troy Matteson, Jay Reynolds

If you’ve ever played ACC you have experienced the importance of angles and placing the ball in the correct portion of the fairway to access certain pins on the green complexes.  The thing about a Pete Dye design is that when you are out of position it gets difficult very quickly.

Club choice plays a role in staying in position.   For example, on hole number 7, which is number 16 during the match play event, the pin location effects the way you play the hole.
Tom Kite hit a nice drive into the fairway and instead of hitting a three wood to get close to the green, played a three iron on his second shot to leave a 90 yard shot for his third.  He did so because the pin was back right and he needed to be able to hit a lofted shot with spin to carry the bunkers and stop the ball quickly.  The other players in the group were closer to the green and had a difficult time with the pin location because they were too close to spin the ball on their third shot.  Kite hit his third to 15 feet and had a good chance at birdie while the other players had longer putts.

Another example is hole number nine (18 during the match play).  From the top of the hill in the fairway the player has full access to all hole locations on the green.  Matteson hit his tee shot over the hill into the flat portion of the fairway and faced a difficult short shot of 80 yards to a front pin location.  With the tight lies of winter grass he had difficulty being able to loft the ball and failed to get it close.  We saw that on numerous occasions during the match play event.

So, the take away from the round is that you must think about position in order to play this golf course properly.  It cannot be overpowered.  It should be fun to watch the players at the Dell Match play and see what they learned the first year and if they play the course differently this year.

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