Tuesday, August 15, 2006
6903 Yds, Par 72, Slope 132, by Arthur Hills
(Formerly, the Padre)
They Say: "Resort Course From the mind of world-renowned golf course architect Arthur Hills comes a course that promises an enjoyable and unforgettable golf adventure. The Resort Course features towering trees, subtle landforms and impressive bunkering to sharpen your game. This 6,903-yard, par 72 design is known for its strategic layout, challenging water holes, recently having had its 9th hole voted the best water hole in the state by Arizona Golf Magazine."
I was prepared to dismiss this course as a copy of the "Club" course at Camelback, but it was much, much more interesting. If we gave 2.5 rankings this might qualify: the layout is much more entertaining, the shot values require much more calculation, and the challenge is much more heroic.
Mr Science quibbled about the condition of the greens the whole round, but everytime I made a putt, I said, "I don't see any problem with the greens!"
But he has been much taken lately with the PMA theories of Gary Player, who, apparently, never missed a shot in his life, but has been plagued by all sorts of amazing anomalies and incongruencies out of his control.
I tho't one of the Tenets of Calvinistic Paganicanism was to manfully accept one's Golf results as the products of one's efforts, but it seems that, according to St. Player, that such self-scourging is counter-productive.
At any rate, a very enjoyable round, even tho' I started off with a par, then some bogies, then one of those painful intervals where I would be grateful if there was anyone or anything else I could blame for my bad golf, but I sense that this would not wear well with my playing companions.
Suddenly, on our 16th hole, #7 on the front, I pulled a solid hit down the tree line on the left and past the fairway bunkers -- almost to the water. I lobbed a half-wedge up onto the green straight at the pin, but my birdie putt violently popped out of the hole, even tho' I hit it dead center.
On #17 / #8 I hit a solid high 5iron just right of the green -- well away from the water on the left. I didn't realize that it was effectively a grass bunker over there, and it took me 4 to get down from there.
on #18/ #9 I hit a toey drive down the right side, then absolutely macerated a 5iron down the middle of the par 5 fairway, leaving just another half wedge into the green. But the pin was stuck down on the front tongue of the green, so I missed a birdie putt from the fringe and still got my par. . . a good finish, all-in-all, after the breakdown I'd had in the middle of the round . . . 48-47=95. Mr Science had a 47-40=87, which he blamed on the greens . . . looking at the chicken scratches on his scorecard, he only had 1 3 putt, but I guess he had elevated expectations after his 76 at Ken McDonald -- this slope is only 2 points higher than KM, but it seemed much harder.
The fact that we both scored higher here than the day before, in proportion to each other according to our handicaps makes it seem that this course IS much harder. This is definitely a course to re-play, since so many shots gave me so much doubt. The fairways of the short par 4s -- the ones less than 400 yds, (#3, #5, #7, #11) -- all are heavily bunkered in such a way that the inclination to lay-up is very strong, but so too is the temptation to thread-the-needle with a longer club. We just felt that on a second round we could do better with our hard-won course knowledge.
But if I was going to blame something for my bad golf, it would have to be the egg sandwich I got beforehand . . . oh, the counterstaff was friendly enough, and it tasted ok, but it had like 4 eggs in it, plain american cheese, canadian bacon and two greasy little pieces of toast -- a sandwich you need a knife and fork to eat.