How does the difficulty of Dam Vac golf course change at SEA Games 31st?

Most of the original setup of Dam Vac golf course will remain the same for the 31st SEA Games, however there will be some important changes, which are considered to make a huge difference.

Although being set up with par 72, the length of Dam Vac course is relatively short, only 6977 yards with men's tee and 6043 yards with women's tee. It can be seen that the difficulty of the course doesn’t lie in the distance but from the fairway and the green with rather complicated and narrow terrain.

Regarding to the setup of the tee length, there are 4 variations, 2 for men and 2 for women. For the men, this change falls on the only 2 par 4 (right) dogleg holes on the course:

- Hole 6th: 408 → 380 yards

- Hole 11th: 392 → 358 yards

This alteration is equivalent to switching from the yellow tee to the green tee of Dam Vac golf course. For normal holes, a slight shortening of the distance does not affect too greatly on the original game strategy of that hole. However, for dogleg holes it is reasonably the opposite.

If the length of the original (yellow) tee is kept the same, there will not be many athletes who can confidently reach the flag right from the tee shot, because the distance is moderately long (more than 280 yards straight from the tee to the flag), not to mention that there is also a lake to the right of the 2 holes. Therefore, the shortening of the distance means that most male athletes will probably choose to hole out, opening up opportunities to score eagles.

Meanwhile, for women, the 10th and 12th holes are increased in tee length (from white tee to blue tee), with the purpose of increasing difficulty.

- 10th hole par 4: 331 → 376 yards

- 12th hole par 3: 136 → 156 yards

The most noticeable modificaton was on the 10th hole when the distance was raised to 45 yards. This is a vast disparity, and it turns this hole from a birdie opportunity to a thorny par-keeping task.

The difficulty of Dam Vac golf course at SEA Games 31st is also significantly amplified thanks to the current field conditions. First, the rough at Dam Vac course has purposefully been grown for some time, making them quite lengthy and bushy. Combined with the narrow fairway of the course, the athletes will be walking on tight rope trying to avoid this extremely tricky rough area. Most athletes agree that handling situations in the rough will determine their score.

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