COURSE CARE
The 2014 World Amateur Team Championships: A Long Way From Florida September 2, 2014 By John H. Foy

(L) Looking down the fairway of the 18 th hole of the Oshitate Course, the active volcano Mount Asama is visible in the background. (R) For the World Amateur Team Championships (WATC), the par-6 18 th hole will play 733 and 787 yards for the women and men, respectively.

The World Amateur Team Championships (WATC) are biannual international competitions conducted by the International Golf Federation. The 2014 Championships are being hosted by the Japan Golf Association and will be played on the Iriyama and Oshitate Courses of the Karuizawa 72 East Golf Club. The women’s team competition for the Espirito Santo Trophy will be conducted Sept. 2 to 7 followed by the men’s competition for the Eisenhower Trophy Sept. 9 to 14. For more information on the WATC, please visit the International Golf Federation.

Karuizawa is located approximately 2.5 hours northwest of Tokyo and is home to Karuizawa 72, a summer resort with 108 golf holes. At more than 3,000 feet above sea level, milder summertime temperatures prevail and, as a result, putting greens, tees and fairways at all courses are bentgrass while the rough areas are native korai (zoysiagrass). Working primarily with warm-season grasses in Florida, in addition to not speaking Japanese and having to work through a translator, has presented some interesting challenges while preparing the courses for back-to-back weeks of international competition. However, the hard work and dedication of the course maintenance staff has resulted in excellent championship course conditions.

The WATC has a very rich tradition as many of the most recognized players in the game have participated previously. To name just a few, Nancy Lopez, Annika Sörenstam, Se-ri Pak, Karrie Webb, Paula Creamer, Jack Nicklaus, Vijay Singh, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Rickie Fowler, Sergio Garcia, Rory Mcllroy and Luke Donald have all taken part in the WATC. You can follow the 2014 Championship on the WATC Facebook Page to get an idea who the stars of the future might be.

Source: John Foy ( jfoy@usga.org )

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