This week the Ping/Golfweek Preview continues on. Sunday was Round 1, and it was no surprise that Oklahoma State University was in first place on their home golf course. Many people suggest that Karsten Creek is the toughest college golf course in the country.
After Round 1 concluded, I asked several coaches first what their thoughts were about Karsten Creek being a National Championship golf course? Then I asked them what their opinions about the course were like when it comes to deciding the championship via match play?
Casey Martin, Oregon
On National Championship at Karsten Creek: The support that the Stillwater area has for college golf is off the chart. The field that we have at the Preview and will see at the championship will be second to none. I think the course is one of the hardest I have ever seen, I hope they don’t make it too much harder come May.
On Match Play at Karsten Creek: I think it can be an incredible match play portion of the championship. It has to be done right and will need a lot of spotters. One bad swing can be a disaster and every hole can have a chance for someone to win it. When you get to the course though, it has to be something you stay positive with because if you have fear for this place it will lead to disaster.
J.T. Higgins, Texas A&M
On National Championship at Karsten Creek: This is the best course in the country. It is the most challenging course you can find and when the wind kicks in it makes it that much tougher. The biggest worry someone can have is facing the wind on such a tough course.
On Match Play at Karsten Creek: I think the course will be great for match play, although viewing for spectators will be tough. During the day you’ll see that no lead is safe at any point. One hole you can be up, then on the next hole you are in the trees and find yourself down. I see a lot of back and forth matches and those will be exciting.
Derek Freeman, UCLA
On National Championship at Karsten Creek: This place is an unbelievable test of golf from your first tee shot on the first hole, to your last putt on the 18th green. This is with out a doubt the greatest test these kids will see in college golf.
On Match Play at Karsten Creek: I think no player will ever be out of a match. Anything can happen over the course of 18 holes out there and the goal will be to get up early and run back to the clubhouse. If you get up, just hope you can quickly run out of holes. . . assuming you are the one leading the match though.
Josh Gregory, Augusta State
On National Championship at Karsten Creek: This golf course is with out a doubt the best collegiate golf course in the country that is extremely demanding. On this course these guys will have to hit it straight and if you play in fear then you are done before you start. It is extreme and brutally tough.
On Match Play at Karsten Creek: It will be a wonderful, hard test that will be all about risk-reward. I do wish the match play format was slightly different though, because think how great it would be if a team was up five or six shots with 16, 17, and 18 to go. I think it will be extremely tough to beat Oklahoma State out here and you won’t beat them in a stroke play out here for sure. With match play though, teams will have a chance to beat anyone. Also, I am sure when we come back tees will be pushed back and there will be a bit more rough.
Chris Haack, Georgia
On National Championship at Karsten Creek: It is a good, hard, demanding golf course. It will definitely eliminate some teams and make a lot of people cry.
On Match Play at Karsten Creek: This place will be a phenomenal match-play golf course. It will require good shots, and will assure kids to never give up on a hole. With a place like this anything can happen on any hole, and that’s what will make it so great!