Golf at this year’s Sol2023 Pacific Games will begin on Wednesday 22 November at the Honiara Golf Club.
As the clock winds down and the event approaches, we are excited to delve into some key aspects that promise to make this year’s event truly exceptional.
The Honiara Golf Course (the only golf course in Solomon Islands and the battleground for this competition) presents a unique challenge with its unconventional nine-hole layout, offering an intriguing departure from the traditional 18-hole standard. The competition will see the course circuited twice (a Front 9 and a Back 9).
An element to consider is the advantage that the host nation, Solomon Islands, may possess with their intimate familiarity with the intricacies of the Honiara course. The home team’s local knowledge could prove to be a significant factor, potentially giving them a strategic edge as they contend with golfers from other participating countries. The mastery of the course’s nuances might play a pivotal role in determining their performance throughout the competition.
Reflecting on the historical champions of the Pacific Games golf competition, Papua New Guinea (PNG), New Caledonia, Fiji and Cook Islands have emerged as a dominant force in the sport. Over the years, their golfers have consistently demonstrated exceptional skill and prowess, securing victories in both individual and team categories, dating back to the 1969 then South Pacific Games in Port Moresby, PNG.
Last time out at Samoa 2019, New Caledonia collected the most medals across all events (six), followed by Samoa (four). Fiji and Tahiti picked up a medal each. However, neither of New Caledonia’s 2019 individual gold medallists (Dylan Benoit in the men’s and Emilie Ricaud in the women’s) are competing at Sol2023. PNG’s Kristine Seko, who won gold at her home Games in Port Moresby 2015, will be seeking a return to the podium here in Honiara.
The Pacific Games golf competition always delivers a riveting showcase of talent. The upcoming edition, set against the backdrop of the unique Honiara golf course, is anticipated to be a captivating tournament characterised by the diverse skills of golfers from different nations.
As we eagerly await the unfolding of this golfing spectacle, all eyes will be on how teams leverage their knowledge of the Honiara course and the strategic approaches they employ to outshine their opponents.
Golf begins at 7am on Wednesday. Entry is free.
By Francis Pituvaka, Pacific Games News Service