Colin Montgomerie Conquers Golf Programs and Designs Them, Too


Colin Montgomerie was one of many biggest gamers on the European Tour. He gained the Ryder Cup with Europe six occasions as a participant and as soon as, in 2010, because the captain. Montgomerie, of Scotland, can be a famend course designer, placing his stamp on programs in Britain, Europe, Africa, the Center East and the Far East.

This month, after a three-year absence, the Turkish Airways Open returns to one in all his designs, the Montgomerie Maxx Royal in Belek on the south coast of Turkey, because the world’s main gamers attempt to enhance their possibilities within the season-ending Race to Dubai. The next interview has been edited and condensed.

What does it imply to you, and to the membership itself, for the Montgomerie Maxx Royal to be holding the Turkish Open once more this 12 months?

It’s a improbable honor, having designed a course that I’m very happy with and one that’s internet hosting its fourth Rolex occasion, one in all various premier European Tour occasions.

How would you describe the challenges offered by the Montgomerie Maxx Royal?

It may be performed by all sorts of golfers. I notably just like the par 3s, that are very difficult. All of the par 5s are risk-reward, which assessments even the perfect European Tour execs. The inexperienced designs are such that the pin positions will be in some fairly troublesome and difficult positions. Subsequently, hitting the fairways is a should, to permit the participant to assault the pins. I notably just like the 12th gap. It’s a very robust par 4, one the place you need to hit the green, after which your second shot may be very demanding, performed into an undulating inexperienced. However actually, I’m very happy with all 18 holes.

Your sport was constructed on accuracy, however so many gamers now hit the ball thus far that many programs are struggling to manage. What specific challenges does the rise in energy give a course designer? And what do you are feeling will be executed to maintain a stability between energy and accuracy?

You possibly can construct extra holes with canine legs, the place it’s not possible to clear the nook, which brings in accuracy and extra shot making, versus extra energy. You possibly can construct smaller, tighter greens with tougher pin placements.

Inform us the way you design a course. Do you converse to different gamers about your ideas? Do you’re taking recommendation from different designers? Is there somebody whose designs influenced your individual strategies? And the way a lot of what you give you is decided by the best way holes fit your eye, versus attempting to make them ok to host massive occasions?

There was nobody specific individual, however each course within the Melbourne Sandbelt space has had an affect on my design. Particularly the best way these programs are bunkered. They’re the perfect. In terms of the top product, it’s a little bit of each, actually. It has to go well with my eye, in the beginning, nevertheless it additionally must be a problem to the highest gamers.

Victor Dubuisson, who gained twice, and Brooks Koepka are earlier winners of the Turkish Open at Montgomerie Maxx Royal. What do you bear in mind most concerning the occasion in these years?

I performed within the first two and was very impressed with the upkeep of the course and the entire infrastructure of the match.

Are you able to describe a few of your favourite moments from the years that the Montgomerie Maxx Royal has staged the Turkish Open? Possibly the arrival of Tiger Woods in 2013 and his 63? What did his presence do for the occasion?

It’s at all times an honor when Woods performs on a course you might have designed. That’s what designing a course is like. Leaving a legacy that not solely Woods can play, however which gamers of all talents can get pleasure from. Tiger’s 63 [which he shot in the second round that year] was a fantastic rating on a difficult course. However then once more, he was the perfect on this planet on the time.

How far has the Turkish Open come previously six years?

To grow to be one of many remaining Rolex occasions proves how far the Turkish Airways Open has come. It makes me so proud to have that on a course that carries my title.

Have you ever had a lot suggestions from gamers over time? How gratifying is that, and what kind of issues have they mentioned?

I’ve had quite a few constructive feedback from the gamers. And when Tiger Woods says it’s a well-thought-out course, it makes you very proud.

Your finest main when it comes to constant outcomes was the US Open, the place scoring is notoriously troublesome. The scoring within the three years of the Turkish Open at Montgomerie Maxx Royal was very low. Ought to we anticipate the identical this time?

The requirements of golf all over the world are always getting increased, and the golf is continually getting higher on a regular basis.

Decrease scores are likely to mirror harder programs. Pin positions should be thought out to maintain all programs and tournaments in Europe a problem.