Drivable par-4 1st to bring fireworks, strategy right away at Solheim Cup

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Drivable par-4 1st to bring fireworks, strategy right away at Solheim Cup

LPGA Tour

Drivable par-4 1st to bring fireworks, strategy right away at Solheim Cup

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – To say the 2017 Solheim Cup starts off with a bang is an understatement. The first hole at Pete Dye’s Des Moines Golf and Country Club is a drivable par 4.

“I didn’t come here to lay up,” quipped American Gerina Piller.

Record crowds are expected in Iowa, and the grandstands situated around what should be a raucous first tee seat 1,200. The place might erupt when the likes of Lexi Thompson, Brittany Lincicome or Piller rip a drive onto the green.

Stacy Lewis, Piller’s partner, might take a more measured approach on the 306-yard first.

“I think, for me, I like kind of laying back and having a wedge in,” said Lewis. “But I think a lot of it depends on the format and what the wind is doing. If it’s downwind I kind of let it go.”

Charley Hull and Mel Reid are a pair of English players who will likely go for it each day. Reid said a miss would lead to a relatively easy up and down to the small, pitched green.

“I don’t know, I just feel like if you’re going to miss it, you’re better off missing it closer to the hole than you are laying it back and having a wedge in,” said Reid.

Added Hull: “And if you miss it, like, you’re only going to be one down. It’s the first hole.”

Lincicome, the player known as Bam Bam, has hit both driver and 4-iron off the first tee. A full driver is actually too much, she said.

“I need to hit it not super hard, just like a little one,” said Lincicome. “Which I don’t know how to do, by the way.”

Thompson, who has been known to get the crowd riled up during her opening tee shot like Bubba Watson at the Ryder Cup, described the first green as “funky.”

“It’s kind of important to have more of a straightforward chip at it and not leave yourself short-sided to a tucked pin,” said Thompson. “So it depends on the wind and format.”

Latest

More Golfweek
Home