Saturday, 14 July 2012
Matteo Delpodio and his caddie Chris Keeping  (Getty Images)
Matteo Delpodio and his caddie Chris Keeping (Getty Images)
As a player whose attachment is the venue for next week’s Double Tree by Hilton Acaya Open, Matteo Delpodio is the perfect person to take us through the details and nuances of Acaya Golf resort in southern Italy, where the cut last year was seven over par.

Hole 1, par 5, 523 yards

“This is maybe the only hole that you have a chance of a birdie early on. It's a good drive to the right edge of the fairway bunker and then a hybrid into the green. Don’t miss it right, just keep it short left and you have an easy chip. Birdie opportunities come at the seventh and eighth but it really helps for your round if you start with a birdie here, so it’s an important one.”

Hole 2, par 3, 234 yards

“This is a relatively easy par three, 240 metres if the pin is high, with the wind coming right to left and with bushes on the right. Hit the right club, hit it in the middle and have your two putts, that’s what I would say. The green here is 45 to 50 metres long, the first part is flat and then it goes downhill and then uphill again. I remember I hit a three wood in last year with the pin at the back. There are bushes on the right short and a big bunker on the left so you need to be straight.”

Hole 3, par 4, 329 yards

“I remember some players were playing driver and then you have a good chance of birdie because you will be 30 to 40 metres short of the green, but you have to hit the fairway. You’ve got big bushes on the right and high rough on the left. Otherwise, hit a three iron and pitching wedge. Depending on the pin position, you can attack it and leave it a couple of metres away.”

Hole 4, par 3, 202 yards

“This is a very difficult par three. You can hit a four, five or six iron depending on the wind. You have a deep bunker on the right, heavy rough on the left and the green is quite small with a lot of slopes so you need a good shot in, especially if the pin is high.”

Hole 5, par 4, 427 yards

“This is a very good par four and you need a very good tee shot. I was hitting three wood but you could hit driver, three wood, two iron – any of those are okay because you just need to hit the fairway. There are bushes on the right, rough with no shot to the green on the left and a bunker on the left with no shot to the green. With a good three wood it’s a seven or six iron into the green. You have bushes in front of the green that are in play if you are in the rough. It’s not an easy shot in, especially with the wind. There are a few places where the rough is pretty deep around the green so you don’t want to be there.”

Hole 6, par 4, 433 yards

“Another very tough par four. You hit driver and, depending on the wind, a four five or six iron. If you don’t hit the fairway, you have no chance. I remember one day the wind was helping and it was nine iron in. The green is nothing too difficult. Just put it in the middle and have a good putt.”

Hole 7, par 5, 512 yards

“This is a very good par five and you have a chance of birdie, depending on your strategy. If you hit a hybrid from the tee, and the wind is usually helping, and hybrid from the fairway you’ll have two putts for a birdie. If the wind is not helping you can hit a driver before the water or a hybrid to a small place on the fairway and you have a very good chance to reach the green. You have water on the right, a bunker on the left so you have to reach the fairway and it’s a birdie chance.”

Hole 8, par 4, 230 yards

“Keep the seat belt fastened for this one because it’s a tough par three, 220 metres, water all the way on the left and you’re hitting right to left so you have a chance of flying to the water but you shouldn’t miss left. On the right there is rough where it’s very difficult to get up and down and a very tough bunker. You play two iron or three wood if it’s against the wind. You just have to hit a very good shot in and make two putts.”

Hole 9, par 4, 511 yards

“This used to be a par five but we play it as a par four. It was very long last year but it’s slightly dog leg left and the wind helps. If you hit driver you have a very small area to land the ball because on the left there are bushes and on the right there are bushes and even then you could land on the fairway and bounce into the bushes. It’s cutting from right to left so you need to have a very good line with driver. I was playing three wood and three or four iron into a very tough green which is 40 to 50 metres wide with a bunker in the middle in front and left. With a three iron it’s a tough shot.”

Hole 10, 410 yards

“Now the difficult holes start! The tee shot is a three or four iron because the wind was helping with water on the left and bushes on the right so you just need to keep it on the fairway and it’s not too narrow. The second shot is a beautiful shot with water on the left and a big bunker on the right and you have to carry the water. The green is right to left and the wind is left to right so it’s tough to hit the pin because you need to start the ball over the water and come back. It’s an interesting shot.”

Hole 11, par 4, 470 yards

“This is the most difficult tee shot on the course, because you have the wind against. It's driver and three wood or two iron into a par four. Water on the left which you can carry with driver and bushes on the right, which is not a good place to be and the rough between the fairway on the water is about 5 metres and the same on the other side. There is a bunker on the left and if you hit it, there’s no shot to the green. There are bushes to carry for the second shot, water on the left and deep rough on the right so it’s extremely difficult.”

Hole 12, par 4, 439 yards

“The new tee shot is fantastic. It’s inside the typical southern Italian bushes and it’s a tee shot to a very small square on the fairway. The view is wonderful but that’s the only good thing about the hole because you have water on the left and 150 metres of bushes on the right and the wind usually pushes the ball right. You have to start your drive on the edge of the water and the fairway brings the ball left so even if it lands on the left of the fairway it’s in the water, because it’s firm. From the fairway, you have a nine or eight or even pitching wedge into the green.”

Hole 13, par 3, 196 yards

“A nice par three, you hit seven to five iron depending on the pin. There is a big bunker on the left and a big bunker on the right and a lot of rough around. Just put it in the middle but it’s not a birdie opportunity.”

Hole 14, par 4, 374 yards

“Another difficult tee shot with water to carry on the left, about 220 metres so with wind against it can be in play. There is a bunker on the right which is in play and the rough on the right is tough, and it’s easy to hit it there. The right part of the green isn’t difficult but the left part has a bunker and water beside it. Again there are bushes all around the green but they shouldn’t be in play.”

Hole 15, par 4, 406 yards

“You have a chance of birdie here because the wind helps, so it’s three wood, two iron or even driver and then it’s a pitching wedge into the green. Just hit the fairway, which is more important than hitting it long, and then a nice pitch into the flag and just don’t miss it long, a couple of metres short is perfect.”

Hole 16, par 5, 571 yards

“Another one you can birdie because the wind always helps. It's a driver here and keep it on the fairway because the rough was very tough there last time. Then hit a three wood to the green to carry everything - you have bushes and a lot of rubbish. If you can carry 220 after the drive then it’s perfect and the green is okay. The only problem is a small bunker in front and if the pin is behind that it’s fast and firm. Hit it short right and you have an easy chip.”

Hole 17, par 3, 170 yards

“They made a new tee here to make it a little more difficult so you are hitting a five iron or a six or seven if the wind is helping. The green is small and all around the green there are bushes. If you have to miss it, miss it short right and then you have some fairway so the chip is not difficult. Don’t miss it left, where there is a bunker and bushes.”

Hole 18, par 4, 418 yards

“A beautiful par four with the wind against. So it’s a driver into the wind with water on both sides, five metres of rough on the left, no rough on the right and if there is no wind the bushes on the left are reachable. A good driver to the fairway and then a four, five or six iron into a green with a big bunker short. There aren’t many strategies other than hit a straight driver here. If you start to think about two irons or three woods then you’ve lost it already. Just tee the ball up and hit it straight!”

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Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1KOFSTAD, EspenNOR18-9
2HANSEN, Joachim BDEN18-8
3KAKKO, RoopeFIN18-6
4SOUTHGATE, MatthewENG18-5
5KENNEDY, LloydENG18-4
T6PAISLEY, ChrisENG18-3
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