The players in the Australian Ladies Classic Bonville are using golf carts during the tournament this week due to Bonville Golf Resort’s unique course layout.
The course was designed to be played using golf carts and there are 5,850 metres of walks in between the greens and the tees, including the longest distance of 755 metres between the seventh green and the eighth tee.
All the individual holes are carved out of the tropical forest, with rainforest and gum tree forest separating each hole.
CEO of Australian Ladies Professional Golf, Karen Lunn, said: “We are so incredibly fortunate to be playing a course of the quality of Bonville Golf Resort which has established itself as Australia’s leading Resort Course and without question is one of the finest courses we have here in Australia. However, it was not built to be walked, and given we have the capability this week to provide all competitors with a golf cart it was actually a very easy decision to allow carts this week at the Australian Ladies Classic Bonville.
“If we had chosen to make the players walk this week, we would be looking at rounds of golf in excess of five and a half hours, which given the time of year we are playing and the daylight hours available is just not a feasible option.
“There may be some golf purists out there who do not approve of players riding in a cart in a professional tournament, but this is 2018 and I have no issue at all thinking outside the square. Just because things have always been done a certain way in the past is not a concern and I am sure that the players, caddies and tournament stakeholders will agree that this is the correct decision.
“At the end of the day, the players still have to play golf on an extremely testing layout, and I am confident that the best player this week will be the one who is holding the trophy on Sunday evening.”
LET Tournament Director, Joao Paulo Pinto, added: “This is a unique course, which was originally designed to be played in golf carts, with long distances connecting the greens and tees. We had considered using shuttles in seven locations, which would have involved 21 carts and 42 drivers, but in this scenario, we could expect very long rounds. Moreover, in a tropical area, the risk of thunderstorms is always a possibility and having the players in carts gives us the confidence that we would be able to evacuate without delay.”
After carding a five-under-par 67 in the first-round, the early leader Holly Clyburn commented: “I thought I’d struggle, because I’ve got a bad right hip, but I tried to walk as much as possible. I haven’t hit my goal of 10,000 steps yet, but you forget you’re in a buggy. You get into a rhythm and you get used to it. I shared the driving with my caddie.”