Itís an early start as I am playing in the Zurich Classic ProAm and our pro is none other than seven time winner on the European Tour Gonzalo FernŠndez-CastaŮo and what a great guy he turns out to be.
After the introductions we are off to the 15th tee as itís a shotgun start, we all hit great drives and set off down the fairway and the course couldnít be in any better condition, the fairways are perfectly manicured and the greens are some of the best I have ever played on, fast, undulating and rolling perfectly true.
I have seen many courses on the PGA Tour and to be honest there are not too many that I would really enjoy playing as they are long and open and once all the tournament infrastructure disappears they really arenít that aesthetically pleasing to the eye. But this tree-lined Pete Dye designed course Ė who had input from Steve Elkington and Louisiana native Kelly Gibson Ė is stunning and Gonzalo agrees stating it is one he really looks forward to playing on the PGA Tour.
I wonít go through a hole by hole guide as some of you would have seen the course on the TV watching the Zurich Classic of New Orleans tournament and there are so many stand out holes that it would be a shame to highlight some and not others. But what I will say is the finishing run of holes from the 15th hole where we started are a fitting finale to a wonderful course and the par 5 18th always offers a dramatic finish giving players a risk and reward option. As Gonzalo holes out for a tap in birdie and we walk off the green he states he would take four of those and I am sure he would love that tap in birdie on the final day to win.
548-yard, Par 5, 2nd hole Looking back down the 11th Giant bunker at the 13th
A fitting finalie for the PGA Tours Zurich Classic of New Orleans, the Par 5, 18th hole