14th toughest hole in Royal Cape’s ‘Amen Corner’

So you reckon wind doesn’t make much of a difference? Players in the Sunshine Tour’s Lion of Africa Cape Town Open on Friday found the stretch from the 13th to the 15th at Royal Cape Golf Club particularly challenging in the face of a ‘fresh’ southeaster.

 

And the 14th (left) turned out to be the villain of the piece, playing an average of 0.46 of a shot over par to be the most difficult hole on the course – the middle hole that members call ‘Amen Corner’ after the critical stretch on Augusta National where the Masters is played.

 

“When the wind blows, that’s a tough part of the course, and everybody knows it” said Tony Louw, director of golf at Royal Cape.

 

There were only six birdies on the 14th, three more than the par-three eighth. But the eighth yielded 123 pars, while there were only 80 on the 14th and 60 bogeys. And nine double-bogeys, for good measure.

 

Ryan Strauss, who plays frequently at Royal Cape, and is a strapping young man, took a three-iron off the 13th tee (right). “It was a little punch,” he admitted, “but I normally take seven-iron there. And I really banged a driver on 14, and ended up taking four-iron in.

 

“I went par-par-par on that stretch, and I took that and ran,” he laughed.

 

Wynand Dingle made one of those rare birdies on 14. “I went par-birdie-bogey on that stretch,” he said. “And the bogey on 15 was a three-putt, so I could have been smiling through there. As it turned out, I had a great back nine after turning in 40 – I made six birdies and two bogeys.”

 

Allan Versfeld approached the 14th as if it were a par-five. “I just tried to hit the green in three – it’s a scary hole with that wind and the water on the left,” he laughed.

 

He also bogeyed 15 (left), but made up for the two consecutive drops with an eagle on 16. “I got lucky there,” he said. “My chip hit the pin and went in.”

 

So, for fans looking for action during the final two rounds, Royal Cape’s own ‘Amen Corner’ – if you get par there, you say ‘Amen’, says Louw – is going to make for some compelling viewing.

 

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