04 Jul 2012
Fred Couples hits into the 14th green in 2011.
For most players at last year’s Emirates Australian Open, the par 5 14th hole represented one of the best chances to wind up off the tee.
For the stronger drivers, flying the fairway bunker or landing on the down slope on the right angle will put them in a position for a much shorter second shot and serious eagle opportunity.
The hole had a stroke average of 4.58 for the championship and gave up 21 eagles over the four rounds.
Champion Greg Chalmers, Tiger Woods, John Senden and Nick Watney played it in a combined 15 under par over four rounds.
In 2012, the 14th will sharpen its teeth a little more under the guidance of Tournament Director Trevor Herden.
“The 14th hole will be extended by 26 metres and it will play at 502 metres,” Herden said.
“There is a newly surfaced elevated tee which we will use,” Herden said. “This new tee alters the tee shot slightly in both length and direction. The bunker carry off the shorter tee was 258 metres but this will make it more than 280 metres.”
The hole usually plays downwind left to right with the prevailing nor’easter - helping the players to load up and rip it over the bunker and catch the down slope.
Herden said the change will leave a longer and more challenging second shot into the large multi-tiered green.
“The drive should pitch into the upslope on the fairway and leave a longer shot in – around 200 metres- across the water.”
"This hole plays at its best into a southerly wind. The conditions for this hole over the last couple of years have been favourable with the wind in their backs. If we get a southerly in December, we’re in for some extremely exciting golf.”
“I’m also going to grow the semi rough in on the right hand side of the fairway to narrow the drive line and give spectators more space to move on the right and be closer to the action on 14,” Herden added.