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Thursday, 22 March 2012
Greg Norman gives us his thoughts on his Earth Course design with a few tips on how to play the season ending layout:


Hole 1 | Par 4 | 454 yards | 415 metres

A relatively straight forward start to the Earth course. A downhill drive to a fairway which slopes from left to right. Avoiding the deep fairway bunker on the left will lead to a short to mid iron to the green. The green angles away right, with mounding supporting the front left and promoting shots aimed left of the pin.

Hole 2 | Par 5 | 583 yards | 533 metres
The longest hole on the front nine should not put you off. Golfers will look to take on the fairway bunker on the right. The left hand side of the fairway feeds down to a hollow just short of the greenside bunkers however a shot here takes on the risk of the large fairway bunker stretching down the left hand side. The safe route is to favour a shot to lay up short of the left hand side fairway bunker and leave a short iron to the perched green.

Hole 3 | Par 4 | 452 yards | 413 metres
An uphill tee shot across the landing area, with the big hitters rewarded with extra run down towards the green. A gentle rolling green that falls off back left and short right. If the pin is cut back left, approach shots should be aimed slightly right in order to allow for the right to left slope.

Hole 4 | Par 3 | 245 yards | 224 metres
This long downhill Par 3 will play one less club than you think. A well protected green with deep bunkers surrounding short and back left of the green. Avoid these bunkers at all costs!

Hole 5 | Par 4 | 407 yards | 372 metres
A slight dogleg right that climbs back up the hill through a valley. The tee shot should favour the right hand side of fairway in order to avoid an approach shot over the greenside bunkers. From the Signature tees a well struck mid to short iron second shot will set up a realistic birdie chance.

Hole 6 | Par 3 | 186 yards | 170 metres
The first of the water holes playing into a cross wind, only a fully struck shot will carry the water. A large bunker protects the bailout area to the right, meaning the only line is straight at the green. A great Par 3 hole which demands your full attention.

Hole 7 | Par 5 | 572 yards | 523 metres
A fantastic Par 5 with deep fairway bunkers awaiting the slightest wayward shot. Two big hits are required in order to carry onto the green. The safe option is to lay up short of the cross bunker and play a short iron onto a green which slopes from back to front.

Hole 8 | Par 4 | 461 yards | 422 metres
A dogleg left back down the hill, the tee shot will be assisted from a right to left cross wind. The best line to approach the green is from the right side of the fairway. A mid to long iron shot is required to carry the mounding at the front of the green. Although no bunkers surround this green, the green is long yet narrow and is protected by undulating fall off areas.

Hole 9 | Par 4 | 499 yards | 456 metres
With distance playing a big factor in this hole, only a driver from the tee will do for most golfers. The second shot is uphill and will require a long iron or even a rescue club to negotiate the two greenside bunkers. A two putt is not guaranteed as a large putting green surface awaits you. A par at this hole will feel like a birdie!


Hole 10 | Par 4 | 437 yards | 400 metres
A slightly downhill tee shot to an undulating fairway made narrower by the encroaching trees. An accurate second shot is required as the green has a narrow entrance. Any aggressive approach to the back of the green must be cautious as the slope runs off back left.

Hole 11 | Par 4 | 401 yards | 367 metres
A dogleg left with bunkers turning after the landing zone, the best play is high on the left side to avoid playing over the waste area and giving a better angle into the left-to-right green. The green itself sits along a ridge and falls away on both sides. Accuracy of the second shot is the key to a good score on this hole.

Hole 12 | Par 4 | 476 yards | 435 metres
A strong Par 4 requiring two precise shots to achieve the surface of the green. Playing progressively uphill the drive must meander its way through the fairway bunkers on both sides of the landing zone. Club selection will be vital for the approach with a deep bunker awaiting the weak shot left. The green is large in size sloping slightly from back to front.

Hole 13 | Par 3 | 204 yards | 187 metres
A picturesque Par 3 which plays uphill to a well protected green that is wider at the front half before narrowing to the back section which has small ridge running across it. A makeable birdie opportunity hole will set up you up nicely for the final stretch.

Hole 14 | Par 5 | 626 yards | 572 metres
A slightly downhill tee shot with distance being the reward. The hole doglegs slightly to the right after the landing zone. Going at the green requires a powerful hit flirting with the lake which stretches for the final 150 yards of the hole. The safe option is to lay up short left of the fairway bunkers and pitch on. A narrow entrance leads to a green sloping down towards the lake.

Hole 15 | Par 4 | 371 yards | 339 metres
This short Par 4 is the beginning of a fantastic final stretch. A straight hole played uphill, it’s nothing but risk and reward. A low attracts everything to the left of the fairway which pushes up right under the green. This tee shot has to be played to the left to get the best reward. The safety shot to follow means playing over the low area into a green that slopes away towards a deep low.

Hole 16 | Par 4 | 486 yards | 444 metres
Significantly longer than the previous hole this is a dog-leg right played over a falaj to a broad fairway that slopes away from the tee and will carry the long drive further. The large lake to which the fairway slopes influences the entire fairway right up to the green. Again, a high risk shot will give you the most reward onto the green.

Hole 17 | Par 3 | 195 yards | 178 metres
A fantastic, but precise short Par 3. This iconic hole is a true island green. Club selection is crucial for this hole. Wind from any direction will make this very difficult with the tight island green surrounded by a selection of bunkers offering the green the maximum protection. If you’re lucky a stray shot will only find the bunkers, further misdirection will leave you wet for sure.

Hole 18 | Par 5 | 620 yards | 567 metres
A long par five hole to finish, with water off the tee right and a creek right at the landing area. Bunkers sit short right and left of the tee shot. A second can be played either directly towards the green or up the left, as a falaj splits the fairway in two for its entire length. Although more risk involved, the shot played right is narrower but opens up the green for approach, whereas the shot played left is easier but brings into play a large group of dangerous bunkers. The green is raised and uphill from the fairway with the falaj off to the left. A true challenge for the ultimate finale.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1MCILROY, RoryNIR18-23
2ROSE, JustinENG18-21
T3SCHWARTZEL, CharlRSA18-18
T3DONALD, LukeENG18-18
5OOSTHUIZEN, LouisRSA18-17
6GRACE, BrandenRSA18-16
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