Loch Lomond president apologises for state of greens

Click to follow
The Independent Online

They're better than they look.

They're better than they look.

That's the consensus about the greens at the Loch Lomond Golf Club, where crews armed with air compressors were out spraying dye today to ready the putting surfaces for the Solheim Cup.

The greens are bad enough that Loch Lomond president Lyle Anderson issued an open letter of apology to both teams and the Solheim family, who founded what has become the most prestigious event in women's professional golf.

Anderson blamed "human error" for too much herbicide being applied to the greens in July to control meadow grass.

"We treated only 14 of 18 holes on the course plus the putting green," he said.

"In preparing for the application of a herbicide, we made an error, a human error by incorrectly measuring the strength of the herbicide. Immediately upon recognition, every possible effort has been made to restore the treated greens to playing condition."

"We realize that 14 of our greens are not up to the usual high standard of presentation everyone is accustomed to at Loch Lomond Golf Club."

One of the greens that got the full treatment on Wednesday was the 12th, where crews went end to end spraying the brownish, patchy surface an emerald green to match the lush fairways and hillsides.

"They've done a lot of painting," said American Dottie Pepper, who's played in all five previous Solheims. "It's almost like a woman's foundation makeup - cakey, pastey. We heard they're going to roll them again. It's the same for everybody. It's not the best to look at, but they're not rolling that bad."

"You're going to have to roll the ball well. Even if the greens are bumpy you have to hit good putts."

Becky Iverson echoed her teammate. "I really haven't had a problem with the greens. I think it's more a visual thing. People look at em, "Oh, what happend to the greens."

By contrast, the fairways are in perfect shape and have drained quickly despite non-stop September rain. Tuesday's practice was shortened by rain with heavy showers also plaguing today's preparations.

The forecast calls for clearing conditions for the opening of the three-day event on Friday with the chance of a rain-free weekend. The defending champion Americans hold a 4-1 edge in the biennial matches.

If rain persists, tournament officials may be forced to play preferred lies. And they'll be hard pressed to decide what is - and isn't - casual water.

"I hope we don't," Reid said. "If the ball is picking up mud, that is up to the officials. It is always horrible to see a great tournament playing preferred lies."