Saturday, December 10, 2005
Par 72, 7011 yds, Slope 129?, Gary Panks
Another Bunker-to-Bunker tournament, with Mr. Science, his old friend TJ, and The Defenestrator.
I felt called upon to renew an old competitive tradition I had with my regular partner back in Texas: "The Ritual Exchange of Excuses". This sombre ceremony allows the competitors to announce their shortcomings BEFORE they fail, which theoretically ought to permit greater success from reduced tension.
- TJ reminded us he was only just recouperating from Avian Flu -- he's alright now, but he just pecks at his food.
- The Defenestrator complained about all the houses, "You promised me if I played there would be no houses!"
- Mr. Science's Paganican Calvinism does not allow him room for excuses -- either for himself or anyone else.
- I had to point out I'd been stung by a scorpion on the thumb the night before, and my left arm was tingly-numb from the elbow down, as if it'd fallen asleep and was waking up.
The greens were fast and true, and interestingly contoured.
We got 5 under after 6 or 7 holes and then never got close to another birdie or bogey the rest of the day. The reads & speeds just totally threw us on any putt longer than 4 feet.
It was kinda freaky how we got low so fast. TJ hit a 5 iron 4 inches from the par 3 4 th hole, where we tho't the closest-to-the-pin was but the B2B people had changed it at the last minute. The defenestrator hit 2 approach shots on par 4s that rolled around the mounds on the green to kick in distance from the cup, like pro-shots. But then, we ran out of miracle shots, and just parred into the house. There were some 12 & 15 footers we ought to have made, but my scorpion sting apparently affected my touch. . . I was putting 10 feet past every hole and couldn't stop.
Didn't affect my long shots, even tho' my arm would quiver so much it made me nauseaus -- in fact, my arm felt so good the next day I am making this medical advice to everyone: If you are stung by a scorpion, play 18 holes of golf: physical activity seems to mitigate the poison.
The course was well-maintained, and the staff was friendly, attentive, and courteous, in the Troon tradition. Nice locker room.
The course will benefit with age -- it's only a year old now. . . the decorative landscaping will grow out a little bit and the hard edges in the greens will soften a little bit. Mr. Science give it a 2, cuz he favors the conditions and amenities; I give it a 3 cuz it could never be argued as THE best course in the Valley, so it can't be a 2, either. I don't favor courses which only defense is the wind and unputtable pin positions -- I prefer some challenge out in the fairway, even if it is only psychological, a la' McKinzie.
OTOH. . . I think there IS some potential there . . . # 18 at Corte Bella reminds me of # 18 at Pine Hurst #2 (this is not #18, but typical): it had a exagerated elevated green with steep drop offs on all sides. The difference being the difference between the world-class eccentricity of Pine Hurst #2 and just an interesting hole: the rough creeps up the side of the sides of green mound, so that tho' your ball will roll off like at PH#2, it will also hang up in the rough instead of rolling all the way down, giving the golfer a chance to see his target for the recovery chip instead of a blind shot from the bottom of the hill. Much easier. CB#18 is a par 5 so you're (I'm) hitting a short wedge into the green, rather than the mid-iron at PH#2#18 . . . but mine still went over. . . I don't know that it would the second time I play the hole.