Ladies European Tour members gave a resounding vote of confidence to Albatross Golf Resort during their first visit to the Czech Republic for the Raiffeinsbank Prague Golf Masters from September 9-11.
European Solheim Cup team member Laura Davies, a 79-time tournament champion worldwide, revealed that the course might provide perfect test in preparation for The Solheim Cup, taking place at Killeen Castle in Ireland from 23-25 September.
“This is actually a very good course for The Solheim Cup because it’s very similar. You can get your driver out, cut a few corners, greens are quite big and undulating so I’d say this is great preparation. Next week in Spain, not such good preparation for The Solheim Cup but this is perfect.”
Former Solheim Cup star Becky Brewerton agreed. “What a superb venue we have picked this week for the Prague Golf Masters. Amazing practice facilities, superb golf course, one of the best venues of the year so far.
“I really like the course. It reminds me a bit of Killeen Castle with the wide fairways and big greens with slopes on.”
Meanwhile Davies, a four-time major champion, added: “If this is what Czech golf courses are like, I want to come here more because that’s a really good golf course: really good.”
A field of 108 is competing on the par-72 Keith Preston-designed course, which is playing at 6354 yards for the tournament. Many players commented that they could not believe the full 18-holes only opened in April 2010.
Sophie Giquel-Bettan from France opened with a four under par round of 68 and said: “It’s great. It’s in such great shape it’s unbelievable. It’s just two years old and it’s so good, so it’s really nice to play here.”
Zuzana Kamasova from Slovakia, who claimed her first LET title at the Lalla Meryem Cup this March in Morocco, added: “It feels like home here, pretty much. I’ve never played here before but I really like the course and it’s in perfect shape. I’m super impressed because I know there are a lot of nice golf courses in Czech Republic but this is really nice. We have a lot of courses in our area that are opening up but you don’t always get the super shape, the good greens, the hard greens and tip-top condition.”
Germany’s Caroline Masson also opened with a round of 68 but found the slick greens challenging. “They are very, very good but they are quick as well so you have some really big breaks there and some are not so easy to read. You have to pay attention to the greens and putt well to be successful.”
Local heroine Klára Spilková, who is a 16-year-old rookie professional on the LET, said: “I live just 40 minutes from here so I’ve played here a lot of times and I know this golf course. It’s a very nice: it’s new and I really like it.
“I’ve played it quite a few times and I know a few things about it, like the bunkers and the greens and everything. I think putting is important because the greens are really hilly and here the wind can be really strong sometimes and that makes it hard to play. The par-4 fourth is nice: it plays uphill through the trees and it’s quite a short hole.”
Located in the municipality Vysoky Ujezd on Prague’s outskirts, the course was voted first in a survey commissioned by the web portal golfová-hřiště.cz (golf-courses) in the category Best Golf Resort of the year 2010 valued by the golfers. Jiri Dvorak is the head greenkeeper and trained at St Andrews in Scotland.
In addition to the course, the venue boasts a first-class covered driving range, training centre, David Carter Albatross Golf Academy and a modern club house with conference areas and a stylish Kogo restaurant.