The tournament? It could start tomorrow! That’s how competition director Joao Pinto summed up the readiness of the Tipsport Czech Ladies Open during his visit to Karlštejn. The Portuguese boss of the Ladies European Tour had flown in to inspect the course where the LET/LETAS tournament will be taking place on 23-25 August 2019 with prize money of 120,000 euros. Though this was not Pinto’s first visit to the Czech Republic, he was thrilled by the course and the facilities.
“We only picked up on a few details with the organisers. Overall, I am completely satisfied. The course is beautiful and I am looking forward to the next tournament that I will have the honour of managing here,” said Joao Pinto, who is also in charge of LET events in Japan, China and India. “I am glad that the LET calendar is able to offer another destination in Europe. I thank the promoter, Luboš Koželuh, for taking the plunge, and I wish there were more people as keen as he is.”
Joao Pinto did a walk-through of the entire Karlštejn course, which hosted the PGA European Tour in 1997, from the first tee to the last green. He was interested not only in the nature of the layout, but also in the state of the playing area, and was highly appreciative of the quality. Most importantly, he has already set out the form that will be taken by the tournament course, with a par-72 for the women’s professional elite. The numbers should be very low.
The length of the course will be 5,595 metres, with just a metre’s difference between each set of nine: one came to 2,797 metres, while the other was 2,798 metres.
“What do you want from football? Goals. And what do you like about golf? Scoring? That’s right. When setting up courses, I am a fan of the scoring strategy. Spectators want birdies and eagles, and players also enjoy their golf more than when they have to fight for each par,” said Joao Pinto as he explained his set-up.
There will be eight yellow and eight blue tee markers, with just two extremes: the first hole, a par 5, will start from white tees (458 metres) to ensure the smoothness of the game and to avoid having to wait for a second shot on the green, while the par-5 thirteenth hole will use red tee markers, from which it is exactly the same distance to the green as with the first hole. Because of the length and shape of the hole here – a double dogleg – there is no risk of a double shot to the green.
Joao Pinto also appreciated the condition and profile of the Karlštejn greens. At the fourth hole, he immediately recognised the great difficulty posed by the green, which made it all the more attractive, and immediately sketched out in his mind the positions of the holes on each day. The greens will be prepared for Stimpmeter readings of 9.5 to 10.
“We send our agronomists to some tournament venues to fine-tune the course with the greenkeepers, but Karlštejn definitely doesn’t need that. Here we can leave everything in the hands of the local team headed by the resort manager, Mirek Grossmann. My workload has prevented me from playing golf for about a year and a half, but I would play a round here immediately,” concluded the tournament director. “It is an honour to be given this kind of assessment, and it encourages us as we move forward with our work. I am confident that the Tipsport Czech Ladies Open will become one of the highlights of the year not only in Czech golf, but in the sport across Europe, and that the players will be happy to come back to us in the future. I also hope that as many spectators as possible will come to support the cream of golf professionals,” said promoter Luboš Koželuh. The last two days will be broadcast by ČT Sport.