The Jordan Mixed Open presented by Ayla brings together an equal number of golfers from the Staysure Tour, European Challenge Tour and the Ladies European Tour to compete against each other in the same 123-player field — something that has never been done before in professional golf.
To prepare for this world-first, a thorough analysis has been undertaken by tournament officials in order to present the golf course in a fair, but challenging, way to all competitors.
Located in Aqaba, Jordan, Ayla Golf Club is a championship golf course designed to use natural elements like exposure to the wind in its test of a golfer’s ability. The architecture of each hole is the first line of defence against the skill of a world-class field and the demands placed on angle of play, use of the ground in getting the ball close to the hole and overall strategy are important elements of the design to maintain within the course set-up.
The firmest possible ground conditions will be achieved for the Jordan Mixed Open, with green speeds running no slower than ten on the Stimpmeter, all of which will help to offset the shorter rough height that grows in Jordan at this time of year.
A selection of tee positions will be made on a daily basis by representatives from all three tours – taking wind and other weather conditions into consideration – as they work in collaboration on each hole to find the appropriate length. Importantly, the teeing areas are large enough to allow for adjustments to be made throughout the week, and the yardages listed on the scorecard are to serve as a guideline.
Pin positions, like teeing grounds, will be adjusted on a daily basis. The spin rates of approach shots amongst players on all three tours have been analysed and will be factored into the selection of hole locations — ensuring that every player can access the pin if approaching from the right place.
“Finding the correct balance with course set up for the Jordan Mixed Open is the collective priority for all three tours,” said Simon Higginbottom, Tournament Director of the Jordan Mixed Open.
“Whilst lots of work has been put into the theoretical side of this, analysing average distance for each group of competitors with every club in the bag, both with carry and all-in yardages, we recognise that this is only theory, and cannot easily be relied upon in practice.”
“Our hope is that the firm ground conditions will mean that one, two and three shot holes play that way for every player, and when appropriate ask players to weigh the risks of attempting a hole in less than regulation.
“Our aim is that if a fairway bunker or similar obstacle is in play for a Ladies European Tour player, it will also be in play for the Staysure and Challenge Tour players.”
The Jordan Mixed Open presented by Ayla will make history from April 4-6 when 40 players from each of the Challenge Tour, Staysure Tour and Ladies European Tour, plus three amateurs, all compete in one tournament for the first time in professional golf.