Penati Golf Resort, host to this week’s inaugural D+D Real Slovakia Challenge, possesses the longest hole in Europe, a 716 metre par six which has been reduced for the European Challenge Tour event. Former Amateur Champion Garrick Porteous talks us through the stunning Jack Nicklaus designed Legend Course.
“It’s a great lay-out. It’s soft at the moment after the rain we’ve had in the last couple of days. I’d say it would be very interesting if it was firm, because of the amount of undulation on the greens.
“It’s not the longest of courses – you can get up to most of the par fives – but the amount of different tiers around the green is quite incredible. They’re not massively quick but if they were it would be quite scary if you got on the wrong side of the pin. There are definitely some challenging holes and some enjoyable ones.
“I think the strongest holes are probably the par threes, because a lot of the other holes you’re coming in with a wedge and with the undulations on the greens the tiers are very small.”
“I’ve played a few of Jack Nicklaus’s courses - I played a few down in Florida in the States - and I think he likes to challenge everyone around the greens. It’s not that demanding off the tee.
“I haven’t seen one quite as severe as this one around the greens. It looks like a real Scandinavian course, with the tree lined holes.”
The most enjoyable hole
“I really like the two par fives, the 11th and the second. They kind of mirror each other, close together with one going one way and the other going in the opposite direction.
“The tenth is a great starting hole too if you start there. There’s water right and you have to hit the fairway. It’s a very demanding hole.”
The most difficult hole
“Possibly the eighth, which goes down the hill but is quite long. Off the back tee it’s a six or five iron but if they put the pin back left it would be very tough."
THAT Par five (normally a par six)
“It’s actually a bit of a shame that we’re not playing that as a par six, but you’re just taking out that third shot when you bring it down to a par five. I’ll be hitting maybe a driver and three or four iron into the green and you can get on alright.
“Technically you’d be adding another driver to the mix with the par six – it would be a driver, three wood and five iron into the green. It’s still a great par five, there’s still a lot of trouble around the green if you miss the second shot.
“Once again, it’s one of those greens that if it were fast and firm, it would be tough.”
The most picturesque
“I really like the 18th. It’s not a long hole but you can see the tee shot all the way down to the green. It’s a pity it isn’t maybe 50 yards longer, that would make it a great driver hole because it’s tight coming in with the approach.
“It’s beautiful looking all the way down, you can see the clubhouse and the water surrounding the green.”
The final stretch
“It depends on the pin positions, which one would be the most nerve-wracking if you’re leading coming down the stretch.
“The 16th would be a great hole if the pin was back right. It’s tough to get it back there. We were hitting eight iron but that was to the middle of the green so it might be a seven to the back.
“I think the par four 17th could be a really fun hole if they push the tee up so you could have a knock at the green from the tee. That would be really exciting.”