Breaking Down the Course

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 9, 2003, 4:00 pm
Editor's note: Kay Cockerill is part of The Golf Channel's team covering the 2003 Solheim Cup. She toured the Barsebck Club on Tuesday with Rich Lerner, who will anchor the coverage from Sweden. Rich sat down to ask Kay a few questions about the layout.

LERNER: Kay, what are your initial impressions of the course?

COCKERILL: I think it's an awesome course in terms of how it will set up for the competition. Aesthetically, it's very pleasing to the eye. It's as if you're playing two different courses. One is tree-lined and the other opens up to become a typical seaside course. There's a nice balance of holes which dogleg both left and right. To me it seems like players will use all the clubs in their bag and be tested in all facets of the game, which is what you would hope for.

LERNER: Does it remind you of anything in the U.S.?

COCKERILL: To a certain degree it reminds me of some of the foothill courses in the Sierras with all the tall pines and birch trees. As you transition to the seaside holes it reminds me of Spyglass without the dunes or maybe Monterey Peninsula Country Club.

LERNER: What did you think of the greens?

COCKERILL:: For the most part they're very small. That puts a premium on iron shots. I spoke to a few players and they said they're rolling very well. They were positive about the conditions and the course in general.

LERNER: The wind was really gusting out there, yet the local pro said this was the easy wind. How big a factor will the wind be?

COCKERILL: A huge factor. The defining factor really. The holes and the course will change personality as the wind changes direction. If it continues to blow two to three clubs as it did today, players will have to keep the ball low. And with the narrow fairways, driving the ball well will be critical. Hitting the greens will be a challenge and then of course short game will be crucial.

LERNER: Does the course favor either team?

COCKERILL: Normally I would say it would favor the more accurate player, but because they cut the rough down to where it's not overwhelming, it plays to the strengths of the longer but not necessarily accurate players like Laura Davies or Sophie Gustafson.

LERNER: That leads to an interesting point. The home side sets up the course. Does it look to you like they worked it to their advantage?

COCKERILL: Absolutely. You don't want to handcuff your big guns. Iben Tinning's also a strong, long ball hitter.

LERNER: One final thing, Kay. You and I have done a lot of walking the past week going back to Tulsa. We did stage a little 100 meter sprint. Who won that race?

COCKERILL: You know the answer to that, gazelle legs.
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