The Classic Club - Palm Springs Calif


2007 Bob Hope Chrysler ClassicThis week the PGA TOUR returns to Palm Springs, Calif., for the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic. Some recent rain has helped the area recover from unusually cold temperatures in December that included 24 days of frost, and all four host golf courses report that their greens are in great shape.
GCSAA Class A member Geoff Sanders, director of agronomy at The Classic Club , has made several small changes to throughout the course to make it more playable. The eighth hole will be played as No. 1 for the event, the seventh will be No. 2, and the first through sixth will play 3-8. Sanders has made the following changes to The Classic Club (listed by tournament hole):
  • 1 - shifted the tees to the right, cleared out some trees and widened the fairway
  • 2 - reduced a fairway bunker, widened both the landing area and approach, re-contoured green
  • 5 - added a bunker in front of the left side of the green and widened the approach
  • 6 - removed a landing area bunker and widened the fairway
  • 10 - widened the left of the fairway
  • 11 - re-contoured the green and added a bunker on the left side of the green
  • 13 - widened fairway and re-contoured green
  • 16 - reduced fairway bunker, widened fairway, shifted greenside bunker, widened approach and re-contoured green
  • 18 - removed three fairway bunkers and widened fairway.
    GCSAA Class A member Dean Miller, director of agronomy at PGA West, which will host a share of the event on its Palmer Course, has renovated all the bunkers, putting in new drainage and new sand, which will be a little softer and looser, and therefore decrease the spin on sand shots. Miller explains that depending on the wind, the par 3, 215-yard over water No. 5 can be one of the toughest holes on course.
    Tim Putnam, GCSAA Class A golf course superintendent at LaQuinta Country Club, hasn't made any changes to the course this year, but emphasizes the need for accuracy as it is tight off tee, with small, slightly-elevated and well-bunkered greens. He says the back nine is usually a shot tougher than front side with a pair of stout par 4s and two par 3s with tough targets to hit. La Quinta has a benign appearance, but has always rated the toughest among the four host courses in scoring average (except last year when high winds at The Classic Club on the final day caused scores to skyrocket).
    Willie Lopez, GCSAA Class A superintendent at SilverRock Resort, explains that SilverRock is a long, desert-style course with severely undulating greens and many bunkers of various styles, including large, steep walls, and fingers. No. 17 is the signature hole, sitting right against the mountains. This is SilverRock's first year co-hosting the event and Lopez says that the only changes made to the course in preparation for it were the conversion of a few waste bunkers to normal sand bunkers and some added plant material to some of the native areas on the golf course.

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