When we think of professional golf tournament venues, brawny 7,200-yard tests naturally spring to mind, even in the case of not-quite-top-tier events and tours. Most elite players drive it far, hit irons with surgical precision and make putts from all over town. They need a big ballpark to keep them from shooting a million under par, don't they?
Not necessarily. On September 1, the UK-based Clutch Pro Tour is hosting an event at Cavendish Golf Club, an Alister MacKenzie design southeast of the city of Manchester that has ranked among England's best courses. Cavendish opened about a decade before Mackenzie designed Augusta National here in the United States. Unlike Augusta, which has been stretched out to 21st-century proportions, Cavendish is less than 5,800 yards from its longest tees, par 68. In addition to the normal prize purse, a £500 bounty is on the line for a golfer who breaks the current course record of 62. That's a low number in the absolute, but considering it's only six-under par, it sounds like Cavendish is plenty of golf course, despite its modest length.
Really looking forward to hosting a double header in Derbyshire at the start of Sept.— Clutch Pro Tour (@clutchprotour) August 19, 2020
💯 2 Top 100 Ranked courses
💷£13,200 guaranteed prize money
⛳ £5,100 in 36 hole bonus prizes
Keep your eyes peeled for another huge announcement this week 👀@cavendishgolf@Kedleston_Park pic.twitter.com/73fPzsvH8W
If you thought that Cavendish would be the shortest golf course the Clutch Pro Tour would play this year, you'd be wrong. That honor goes to the 3,700-yard, par-58 Sunningdale Heath Golf Club, where the tour held its Open Access Masters in July. In line with the tour's efforts to equalize prize money for male and female golfers, the tournament was open to both men and women. Will Percival shot a 3-under par 55 and triumphed over OJ Farrell in a playoff to get the win, but several ladies finished in the top 10, including amateur Thalia Kirby (2-under par 56), who tied for 3rd, and three female pros tied for 6th: Trish Johnson, Inci Mehmet and Sophie Walker.