ROYAL MELBOURNE'S greens are not green at all this week. They are a purple hue, which is an indication of how tightly they have been shaved for the Presidents Cup.
They are also concrete-hard, making it doubly difficult for the 24 players to control their golf balls. It is an intentional policy on the part of the organisers, for Royal Melbourne's protection against marauding professional golfers is white-hot greens. Yesterday they were running at 14 on the stimpmeter, which is very fast.
It did not bother Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson, nor Adam Scott or K.J. Choi, who crushed Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk.
But the greens are a talking point, just as they are at Augusta National, another Alister Mackenzie course, and home of the US Masters.
Dustin Johnson said the greens were tougher than Augusta.
''[At] Augusta they are quick and you can navigate your way around there. We play there a good bit, so we kind of know the breaks and where to hit it,'' he said.
''But out here, these things are so firm. It's not really how fast they are, it's how firm they are.''
Furyk said the greens were in the players' minds from start to finish. ''I don't think any one of us hit a shot today without first thinking where the pin is and how to get it around on these greens,'' he said.
''It starts from the tee box … trying to figure out a way to … get some sort of angle into the green, because you can't stop the ball or spin it on these greens.''