Wet or dry, PGA National will play tough for Honda

Paul Goydos during the Sony Open in Hawaii.

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – It’s the first week on the Florida Swing, which means visiting one of the best courses on the PGA Tour: PGA National.

Since the Honda Classic was moved to the Champions Course five years ago, the beauty of the venue has been the hard and fast conditions of the Jack Nicklaus-designed course. Early this week, hard and fast has been replaced by soft conditions, which has changed the characteristics of the course.

“The golf course is soft, without any question,” Paul Goydos said after his practice round on Tuesday. “What matters is how the course is Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Hopefully it will be a little firmer Thursday. We were actually getting mud on our balls on the front side.”

With the warm conditions in South Florida, it was clear that the superintendent needed to put ample amounts of water on the course to allow for the winter overseed to take. While the course will look very green, it also is wetter than usual. With a storm coming Tuesday afternoon, the course will have additional water added to the mix.

One of the by-products of the warm conditions has been intense rough that is not high, but can be more penal than players expect.

“The rough is 2 1/2 inches, but it is dense,” Goydos said. “You’re going to have lies that kind of look like you can do something, but you’re going to have to be pretty strong to do what you think you can.”

Goydos believes if the rough does dry out later in the week, the course will play even harder as players could be uncertain as to how a shot might behave.

“If it dries out just a little bit, it could be the most penal it could be,” Goydos said.

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