action:article | category:SPORTS05 | adString:SPORTS05 | zoneID:90

Home » Sports » Golf

July 07. 2013 5:28PM

State Am on tap

Golf Club of New England in Stratham a driving course for this week's NH State Am


The view of the 18th hole and clubhouse at the Golf Club of New England Saturday. The club will host the State Am. (Mark Bolton/Union Leader)


Golfers finish up the 15th hole at the Golf Club of New England Saturday. The club will host the State Am. (Mark Bolton/Union Leader)

STRATHAM — When Golf Club of New England pro Greg Sandell was asked what golfers will have to do to score well in this week's State Amateur Golf Championship, he gave an obvious answer. He said the players will have to find the fairway from the tee.

There's more to it than that, of course, but hitting accurate tee shots is at the top of the to-do list.

"If you keep it in the fairway, you have a huge advantage because the rough is really thick," Sandell said. "It's like U.S. Open rough, even though it's not that length. The type of grass it is just grabs the club.

"I can't stress enough the premium on driving. I would take accuracy over length all day long."

This year's State Am begins Monday at the Golf Club of New England, which was the site for last year's U.S. Junior Amateur Championship. Sandell said the course hasn't been tamed since that event.

"It's going to be the same (as the USGA tournament), it's just going to be wet," he said. "A little shorter than the junior amateur, but it'll still be long because it's wet. There won't be any roll. It's challenging any day you play here."

The State Am features two rounds of stroke play, followed by four days of match play.

Although the lengthy par-5 fifth hole (572 yards) carries the No. 1 handicap at the Golf Club of New England, the course's final four holes will likely play a large role in determining this year's winner. Nos. 17 and 18 may be the most dangerous of those finishing holes.

The par-3 17th has a tiny green half-fronted by water, and the par-5 18th will require most players to hit three precise shots to reach the green.

"If you shoot even-par on 15 through 18, take it and be happy," Sandell said. "That was the case on that stretch for the junior players last year as well.

"On 17 you're looking at double (bogey) or worse if you knock it in the water. Eighteen is the same situation. There's two sets of bunkers on the left. There's a bunker on the right. If you challenge it and get over it, you have a short iron into the green, but the green has a bunker on the left and a pond on the right. So there's no room for error on 18, either.

"Of the finishing holes, 18 will probably play the toughest. What better hole to play the toughest? Especially in match play. In stroke play you just have to hang on. And if you make it to 15 in match play, anything can happen. It can swing either way on those last four holes.

"Even if you're 2-up (entering 15) you're not safe because there's a chance for multiple penalties on each hole.

Sandell said although the fairways are generous, scoring swings could be dramatic since there's the potential for a big number on almost every hole.

"I'd call it a big course," he said. "We're set on 450 acres. It's visually intimidating off the tee. There's not a lot of trickery on the golf course. What you see is what you get.

"You just need to stay out of trouble. Keep it on the fairway — that's the key."

rbrown@unionleader.com


 NH Sports Angle Ľ more
Links to news and happenings around the world of sports with a Granite State connection, updated daily.

Heavyweight great 'Gentleman' Gerry Cooney on dramatic career and the hardest comeback of all

NASCAR: Logano interview makes UNH writerís dream come true

Nashua's Fayne moves from Devils to Oilers

Granite State Pro Stock Series to make debut at Lee Speedway

BRIAN McCLOSKEY

Ex-UNH hockey coach indicted on four charges

Growing up a hazard to golf: Real world claims talent from NHGA

Concord man wins National Javelin Championship at 2014 USA Track & Field Masters Championship

Conway's Locke happy with first half, believes best yet to come for Pirates

Court filing details prosecution's perjury allegations against Aaron Hernandez girlfriend

Is N.H. really home to longest mini golf hole on the planet?

Professional hockey coming to Berlin

van Riemsdyk setting high expectations for pro career

Life changes in an instant: Travis Roy shares story at Frank Monahan Foundation event

Improvements help, but traffic still a problem on race weekend in and around Loudon

Itís show time in Chicago for Dartmouthís Hendricks

State sells Windham golf course site for $3.06M

Ex-minor leaguers sue MLB over low salaries

$14M to beaten Giants fan returns security focus

Matt Bonner and brother bring rock show back to Redhook

GM: Twin State Speedway progressing with revival

Foot golf arrives on Seacoast

New Hampshire's Burns gets more than he could ever ask for

Pro runner's yoga class will raise money for clean Kenyan water

Menard wrecks as New Hampshire testing concludes

Lawyers try to bar Patriots from paying Hernandez $3.2M bonus

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

   Ľ SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

   Ľ ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!