Opening hole at the Solheim Cup in Spain will be a risky drivable par 4

The first hole at the 2023 Solheim Cup will be unlike anything else in event history. That’s because organizers at Finca Cortesin in Spain have created a drivable par-4 opening hole to crank up the challenge and suspense. The new 280-yard par 4 has a large lake on the left side that reaches to the front of a sizable green.

“It is a good decision to have made this change,” said Finca Cortesin managing director Vicente Rubio in a release. “The characteristics of the new hole one will allow us to accommodate more than 1,000 people over the tee, which will make for a great atmosphere. I think it’s the perfect hole to start a Solheim Cup.

“This hole is, as they say, a risk and reward hole. Players can either try to reach the green with one shot or play more conservatively. The design of the hole and the great difference in height between the tee and the green will make it a spectacle, and I have no doubt that it will be a success.”

The event will be held in Spain for the first time one year from now, September 22-24. Suzann Pettersen will lead Europe, which has won the last two contests, and Stacy Lewis will captain Team USA.

“I don’t think we’ve ever had a first hole like this in the Solheim Cup,” said Lewis. “You can reach the green, but the water comes into play quite a lot…It’s like an amphitheater. The stands are going to be high up, practically above you, which will make the public feel very close. It’s definitely a great hole for the Solheim Cup.”

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek