Rome par3s, small greens and birdie holes

It's almost time for Ryder week. The captains have defined the members of the two teams that will face each other, and are studying the best strategies to attack the Marco Simone greens.

by Andrea Gussoni
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Rome par3s, small greens and birdie holes
© Getty Images Sport - Naomi Baker / Staff

It's almost time for Ryder week. The captains have defined the members of the two teams that will face each other, and are studying the best strategies to attack the Marco Simone greens. Players will be more conservative during foursomes (alternate shots) and very aggressive during fourballs (best score between the two, hole for hole).

As always, the matchplay will remind us why this game formula is the most exciting and spectacular.

Rome, holes

The pitch will be the big protagonist in the coming weeks. While Superintendent Lara Arias' team works hard to present the course in perfect conditions, enthusiasts and analysts from all over the world will be wondering what the best strategy is to win.

The first characteristic you notice about Marco Simone is that it is a field full of differences in height. Players will compete on 36 holes on the first two days and 18 on Sunday. It is very unlikely that we will see anyone play all five matches, and energy performance will be at the center of the captains' choices.

The second feature that has been making headlines in the United States in recent weeks is the rough. All you have to do is miss the Marco Simone fairways by a few meters to find yourself in knee-high rough and have an unplayable lie.

All the fairways narrow like a funnel 300 meters from the tee, diminishing the advantage of longer players and making precision off the tee the most important weapon. In the next few weeks I will analyze the par 3s, par 4s and par 5s of Marco Simone.

The par 3s
The Marco Simone course has four par 3s, two on the front nine and two on the back nine. All very different in length, they are characterized by very small targets and little strategy. Except for the difficult 7, the best players in the world will always be forced to attack the auction.

Hole 4, par 3, 165 meters The first “short hole” you come across is the 4th. It is located at the furthest point from the clubhouse and plays slightly downhill. The green is set on the side of a large bank that descends from the fairway of the 3rd, and is protected by two bunkers on the right.

It is a relatively short hole for players, the pronounced hump that divides the green into two levels makes club choice from the tee crucial. Hole 7, par 3, 198 meters The 7th is the toughest par 3 on the course, and one of the toughest on the DP World Tour.

The 45 meter long green is divided into three levels and is full of slopes. It is protected by a dangerous stream on the left and two short bunkers. The conservative strategy is to play on the right, but the approach from that area is very difficult, with the entire green downhill.

In most cases, a par will be enough to win this hole. Hole 13, par 3, 130 meters The 13th is the shortest hole on the course. Expertly designed by architect Dave Sampson to guarantee a spectacle at the crucial point of the match, it is a birdie hole, with the green divided into two levels and few dangers.

Hole 17, par 3, 186 meters This hole is the emblem of the "stadium course". The cup will probably be won here, and the wide banks on the right and the hospitality village on the left will allow for tens of thousands of spectators around the green.

The hole has a small and delicate green, less than 15 meters wide and divided into three levels. You need a great shot with a medium-long iron to hit the green, and an up&down from the right or left is very difficult.

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