6,206 yards? Still a test at Country Club de Bogota Championship
February 06, 2020
By Sean Wildhack, PGATOUR.COM
- February 06, 2020
- A look at the 10th hole at the Country Club de Bogotá's Pacos Course. (Kevin Prise/Korn Ferry Tour)
This week, the Korn Ferry Tour returns to the iconic Country Club de Bogotá for the 11th edition of the Country Club de Bogotá Championship. The Country Club de Bogotá has been a landmark in the capital city since its inception in 1917. Located in the heart of Bogotá, the club features tennis courts, a swimming pool, two 18-hole championship golf courses and a rich golf history.
The tournament began in 2010 and was played on the club’s Fundadores course for the first nine events. At 7,237 yards, the Fundadores course provides players plenty of challenges throughout the week. Last year, the par-71 layout ranked as the fourth hardest course on the Korn Ferry Tour playing to scoring average of 71.569.
The club also features a second 18-hole course known as the Pacos y Fabios. The par-70 layout was often regarded as the ‘little brother’ to the Fundadores course and typically provides members a more enjoyable playing experience.
The club, which rests in a corridor in downtown Bogotá, had been approached by the city of Bogotá regarding the Pacos course. In years past, city officials tried to acquire the land on which the Pacos course lays. The leadership at the club respectfully declined the approach in order to keep the Pacos course up and running.
Marcelo Rozo, who grew up in Bogotá and played the Country Club de Bogotá with friends as a kid, will be making his sixth start at the Country Club de Bogota Championship this week.
“It’s a very special week for me and all the Colombian players that are here,” said Rozo. “I would play here with friends and I know a lot of the members. It’s a special place and all my family is here and so is my wife. It’s a special week.”
In 2019, PGA TOUR Officials announced a new change for the event. For the first time in tournament history, players would compete on both courses at the Country Club de Bogotá. The first two rounds of the event would be played on the Fundadores as well as the Pacos y Fabios course.
Half of the 156-player field would compete on the Fundadores course during round one with the other half playing the Pacos y Fabios. Players would then switch courses for the second round. After the 36-hole cut, the final two rounds were played on the Fundadores course.
The Pacos y Fabios course, which will play at 6,206 yards this week, was the shortest course played on the Korn Ferry Tour last season by more than 600 yards. Last season, the par-70 layout played to scoring average of 68.638 in two tournament rounds. Although there are plenty of birdies to be had, the Pacos y Fabios course proved to provide players with a stern test.
“It’s fun because you may see some low scores, but also, it plays on our minds,” said Rozo. “You think it’s so short that you’re going to go out and shoot 60. But when you got out there, you want to shoot 60 and you can end up shooting 2-over.”
Last season, the second hole on the Pacos course played as the most difficult hole on the Korn Ferry Tour. The 191-yard par-3 played to a scoring average of 3.566 and only surrendered four birdies in two rounds of tournament play. With a narrow landing area and bunkers surrounding the green, the hole requires a perfect tee shot in order to have a chance at birdie. When professionals miss the green, they’ll gladly take bogey and move to the next hole. If players are too greedy attacking the pin, a big number can be brought into play.
“It may the finest test I’ve ever seen at 6,200 yards,” said Tag Ridings, who is making his 8th start in Bogotá this week. “I think it’s a lovely test. It still provides us with a challenge and requires a lot of thinking. I think it’s a real cool course.”
The Pacos course proved to provide players a stern but fair test in 2019. Players can use their creativity and attack the 6,206-yard layout in several different ways. The Country Club de Bogotá Championship will begin this Thursday with players teeing off both the Pacos and Fundadores course.