MARKHAM— The Pan American Games are just over a month away. Countries are finalizing their rosters, so what better time to take a look at the golf course that will be the centre of attention: Angus Glen.
Angus Glen Golf Club, South Course, will play host to the golf competition July 16-19. The course itself is no stranger to hosting high profile events. Since it’s creation in 1995, by Ontario Golf Hall of Famer, architect Doug Carrick, it has played host to a pair of Canadian Open’s in 2002 and 2007. In addition, the club’s North Course has hosted the LPGA Canadian Open and the Telus Skins Game. Most recently, the South Course hosted the 2014 World Junior Girls Championship, something that Angus Glen Head professional Terry Kim says helped the club prepare for the upcoming Games. “Thanks to the World Junior Girls Championship, we saw that there are lots of good golfers everywhere. It was definitely a smaller scale, but the positive feedback we received from the different country coaches went along way in our preparations.”
When the competition begins, the course will be showcasing a number of changes made thanks to a revitalization project done by designer Martin Ebert, something Kim is quite excited about. “I think the defining characteristics will be quite different with the changes. All of the greens have been resurfaced, the bunkers were redone with top-technology drainage, three holes (3,11 and 14) received major changes and all feel new and a bunker was added on 18 to make the finish even tighter.”
The project began five years ago with nearly a $6-millon investment from the owners. So far the course has received many positive reviews.
What will make things challenging for players will be the course’s fescue, which should be fully grown in by the time of the competition. “The added fescue is big,” said Kim. “Players at the World Junior Girls Championship really enjoyed it then. With the length of the course, getting off the tee safely will be key to the players succeeding. The fescue will require punch outs, so if they can avoid that and read the subtle breaks on the green they should be in good shape.”
Kim says that the toughest stretch for players will be the start of the back nine, holes 10 through 13. “It is a tough stretch but if players can get through these four, they have a good chance to score well on the final five.”
He outlines how 10 is a tough uphill hole, 11 requires a player to shape their second shot well, 12 is a long par-3 with narrow green and 13 has a blind tee shot, all of which will act as the challenges. Yet as the players finish on 18 they will have the full attention of spectators thanks to the hole’s stadium seating.
In terms of set up, Kim says that the course will be set up similar to how it was for the World Junior Girls Championship, with increased length off the tees. “Players will need to plan their shots. It is a fair course so they should be able to score well, but I think we will see both good and bad scores.”
With all of the changes and preparations that the course has put in to get ready for the Games, Angus Glen should prove to be an excellent site for the competition. “Everything so far has been great with the course this season and we are eager to showcase Angus Glen on the world stage,” said Kim.
The first round of the golf competition begins on July 16 with the medals being presented on July 19. For more information or to purchase tickets see: http://www.toronto2015.org/golf