Setting up NFCC for Women's Porter Cup

LEWISTON, N.Y. – Ever wondered how to set up a golf course?

Brittany Henderson, the new assistant professional at Niagara Falls Country Club and four-year letter winner at Coastal Carolina, got the opportunity to set up the course Wednesday morning for the first Women’s Porter Cup.

“I’ve always helped marking the course, but I never had full responsibilities, so it was kind of exciting,” Henderson said.

With the amount of rain Niagara Falls Country Club received during the last few days, Henderson had to take into consideration more than just the pin placement when setting up for the first round. She had to decide if she needed to move up the tee markers because of the wet fairways.

“There are a lot of embedded balls out there. There is probably even some backspin off the drivers,” Henderson said. The 39-player field played lift, clean and place Wednesday.

On No. 1, Henderson had to move up the tee markers about 35-40 yards because she didn’t want the first hole to be a challenge right away. She wanted the ladies to be able to get to the green in two. No other holes were changed dramatically.

She takes into account the women’s perspective, and how she would want to play the hole if she were playing in the tournament.

Nos. 5 and 17 were flipped. When the women normally play the course, the fifth hole is a par-5 and the 17th is a par-4. This week they will play as a par-4 and par-5, respectively.

Henderson thinks No. 17 is a good risk-reward hole coming down the stretch, especially if scores are close atop the leaderboard.

She moved the tee back to 460 yards, beyond the creek. That brings into account the fairway bunker on the left. Then there's a decision to make.

“If you’re in the fairway and in good shape, then you can go for it; but because the rough is so long, then you have to think about laying up to 40 or 50 yards if you’re in the rough. Then there are bunkers up there and the fairway narrows a lot. None of these players would want that kind of bunker shot,” Henderson said.

Henderson likes No. 5 as a par-4 rather than a par-5.

“It’s just a better hole that way,” she said.

There could even be a surprise thrown in there for the ladies this week. No. 15 could be a drivable par-4 if the tees are moved up to 280 yards. Henderson thinks most of players could get over both creeks, but it would be great to see if players could get to the green.

“A few of these girls could go low. The greens are holding so it’ll stop right where you hit it. It’ll be interesting to see the winning score out here,” Henderson added.

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