This week’s Omega Hong Kong Open will be played over an alternative Composite Course layout at the Hong Kong Golf Club.
The prestigious tournament, which is being co-sanctioned by The European Tour and The Davidoff Tour for the second year in a row, has undergone some changes to its traditional layout and will see six new holes used which will replace the holes that have been affected by a rare disease called ‘Bermuda grass decline’.
The Hong Kong Golf Club features three 18-hole golf courses called the New, Eden and Old. For Hong Kong’s National Open a combination of holes from the first two layouts have always been used and the same will apply this year.
“The Hong Kong Golf Club has been unfortunate to have been affected by Bermuda grass decline, but as the club boasts so many good golf holes we have been able to effectively reconfigure the Composite Course,” said David Parkin, Tournament Director, Asian PGA.
The biggest difference to the layout will be over the opening stretch of holes. The first four holes of the Composite Course are normally taken from the front nine of the Eden Course, but this year these holes can’t be used.
The third and fourth holes on the New Course are being used as the opening two holes, while the 13th, 14th and 15th holes of the Eden Course, rated as a very strong loop, will be played for the first time in the event as part of the outward stretch. The Composite Course remains unchanged from the 12th onwards.
“Along with our colleagues on the European Tour we have tried to ensure that the playing surfaces are of the high standard expected on both of our circuits. Thanks to the hard work of the Hong Kong Golf Club we are happy that we have reached a point where the greens are fair to good,” added Parkin.
A host of star players are competing including defending champion Jose Maria Olazabal from Spain, England’s Nick Faldo, Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn and the reigning Davidoff Tour champion Thongchai Jaidee from Thailand.