Viking Classic - course preview


viking classic logoThis week the PGA Tour returns to Annandale Golf Club in Madison, Miss., for the Viking Classic. Nonstop rain has been a nuisance for GCSAA Class A member Al Osteen, director of golf course operations, as more than 15 inches have fallen in the past month. It’s the most rainfall in that area during that duration of the calendar since 1913.

His staff of 20, which is bolstered this week by 10 Mississippi State University turfgrass program students as well as 10-12 superintendents and assistants from nearby golf facilities, was able to mow all the fairways this past weekend, but only for the second time in the last month.

The golf course is soft, but the bermudagrass greens are rolling 11 ½ feet on the Stimpmeter and the Kentucky bluegrass rough is a stout 2 ½ inches high. The clay soil at Annandale does not drain well, but as part of a bunker renovation in 2006, drainage was placed in the lowest points of the large fairway bunkers, which serve as collection areas and prevent flooding.

The signature holes at Annandale Golf Course are Nos. 8 and 17. The par-3 8th green is the toughest and largest putting surface on the course. Slightly downhill with water behind the green, No. 8 is the second of two long par threes on the front nine.

Annandale members would identify the par-4 17th as their 'signature hole.' For those who want to gamble with the tee shot, a long iron or fairway wood can be landed onto the island fairway to the right that is protected by water and rough. The island sets up a much easier second shot if properly placed. The optional fairway to the left is guarded by out-of-bounds left and a water hazard on the right. The small and slender 17th green fields shots from many angles.

Many new natural areas of significant acreage have been added around the course. Tall fescue and hundreds of seedling trees have been established in these areas, which require no special product application or regular maintenance. These areas have attracted more wildlife to the course. Many of the lake and creek banks have been allowed to grow in, creating a barrier against run-off from fertilizer and to help reduce erosion.


grass type

Grass type:
Tees - Bermudagrass - .4375'
Fairways - Bermudagrass - .4375'
Greens - Champion bermudagrass - .125'
Rough - Kentucky bluegrass - 2.5'


Weather: Scattered thunderstorms with temperatures in the high 70s Thursday and Friday give way to rain on Saturday. Cooler temperatures and sunnier skies forecast for Sunday.


Yardage: 7,199 yards, par 72

signature hole

Fun fact: Tall fescue and hundreds of seedling trees have been established around the course, which require no regular maintenance, and attract more wildlife to the course.


Golf Course Superintendents Association of America