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Friday, April 28, 2006


Arizona Traditions

6235 Yds, Par 70, Slope 115, by Dick Bailey


Arizona Golf Courses

They say: "A challenging par-70 parkland style course with spectacular views of the White Tank Mountains. Rolling terrain, an abundance of mature trees and undulating greens make Arizona Traditions one of Greater Phoenix`s most unique golf courses!"

We played in a kind-of tournament put on by GolfNow.Com, nee Golf602.Com, a handy site to make golf reservations, btw. They're doing this as a series, like one-a-month, so it's good. But . . .

  1. The "restaurant" has a hot grill outside, only . . . so getting your hamburger, or whatever, is chancy, as I found out . . . they just simply didn't make it, or give it to me, or gave it to somebody else . . . they gave my money back easily enough, but it all interrupted my training regimen.
  2. The tournament "launch" was very disorganized, with multiple guys giving orders of all sorts, then just throwing up their hands and saying "Oh, just go down the street and turn left past those houses".
  3. When we got to our appointed tee, there were "members" still traversing our holes. Indeed, while we waited, another foursome came from behind us, and just zoomed past us to the tee -- so we just waited some more.
  4. The course itself is fine . . . a 3, we agree . . . it's short, but its only Par 70 -- so I wonder, does that hold down the Slope, too? We braved a 2-club wind all day, which made the course play tough in places -- hardly ever seemed like we were hitting WITH the wind -- but it IS wide open and the well-groomed desert areas are more like economic decorations than hazards. But at least one hole was bizarre: #5, I mean. Looks like they planted 3 or 5 pine trees along the left edge of the white tees to make the back tee shot more difficult, and it did. Those trees on the right make the lake on the right in the inside of the dogleg practically unavoidable: 2 of our foursome wound up in the lake, and I put such a land-lock on my drive that I pull-heel-hooked my ball into the grassy swales left of the fairway. That is dry, but it is a tough shot, and cost me a bogey.

Without my "warm-up" under my belt, my blood sugar plummeted, and I took a 10 at the Par 5 # 13. The course is fun, and interesting, but not so challenging as to cause quintuple bogeys . . . without the wind, it wouldn't happen. I grabbed a ham sandwich on stale bread at the turn, but it was too late, I was already doomed to hypoglycemic erraticality. Wound up with a 44-49=93; Mr. Science Stumbled to a 46-43=89 (that 9 on # 5). I remember something disagreeable about the greens, but I can't remember what it was, now . . . extra slow, I guess, and full of extra break as the ball slowed down around the hole . . . tough to make putts that way.

We worried over every shot, "What if it's this windy at Rancho Manana tomorrow?"

We worried over every putt, "How are we going to adjust to the greens at Rancho Manana after these croquet lawns?"

Mr. Science tho't he might have a chance to win the tournament with his net 74, but some sandbagger turned in a net 63. I've never had any luck in those dynamic handicap tourneys, but I scored a Lob Wedge in the Raffle: it has Golf602 on the sole of the club: a collector's item.

Mr. Science explains the tournament: 6 holes are picked at random (The club-pros pick the holes). Multiply your score for those 6 by 3, to get an 18-hole score. Subtract par, and take 80%. That's your handicap. Gross - Handicap = net. Natcherly he was looking over the scorer's shoulders while they played with their laptop spreadsheet: "Hey, that's not right!" he said, pointing to his score. They had to fix their calculations, but it didn't help.

Turned out the guys we played with were running the tournament . . . it was kinda distracting even after I realized it . . . they were giving themselves putts and drops not allowed under normal tournament rules . . . but they weren't in the tournament! I had to keep reminding myself not to rake off the tap-ins like they did, but to putt them out . . . 8^D . . .They gave us Golf602 ball markers, too: more collector items.

Thank you GolfNow!

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