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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

 

Los Caballeros Wickenburg


7014 Yds, Par 72, Slope 135, by Nash & Hardin


They Say: "Constructed in 1979 by Greg Nash and Jeff Hardin, this masterpiece of design features rolling terrain, two beautiful lakes, strategically placed bunkers and 4 sets of tees that allow the course to be setup for a wide variety of playing levels."

It has to be said that it's good that Wickenburg is so close to Phoenix: the Golf is good, but not so good that one would travel much further for it, unless there was something else to do in Wickenburg, but there is not: compared to say, Precott or Jerome . . . if you see what I mean . . .
The course looks like one of Nash's Sun City courses, except that the native terrain is much, much, much more hilly; there's not a bad hole on the course, and they have the nicest bent grass greens one could hope for -- even at 2200 ft elevation, tho, I don't understand why they don't have to have fans cooling the greens . . . it still gets hot up there in summer. The only thing I wanted to complain about was the turf: black gooey stuff, not sandy at all, that stuck in your grooves, because the course was so wet from watering . . . been there since 1979, so I guess they know what they're doing, but I hate that gumbo -- gets between my toes, too, cuz I wear golf sandals.

There's pretty impressive scenery available, in every direction, and some of the tees are such promontories that the view over the lush velvet fairway leading off towards some purple mountain in the distance are just awesome. Maybe that's what distracted me . . . shor 44-51=95. I was one over on the 4 par 3s, but 9 over on the 4 par 5s, which conclusively tells me I would score better next since I would probably par all the 3s and 5s next time, saving 10 strokes right there . . . 8^D . . .

The first par 5 double-bogey (#5) was a virtual par . . . The severe downhill, dog-legged, blind landing area hidden by trees freaked me out and I pulled my first shot OB, then hooked the second one into the rough behind some trees . . . I hit 5 iron 2nd to get out over the trees, then a 7 iron up the huge rise to the elevated green, 135 yds, then a 2 putt.

On the second par 5 double-bogey (#7), I sprayed my drive right under a bushy tree and had to hit it sorta sideways back into the fairway; from there, tho' I knew how far it was to the water, I wasn't sure how far it to get over the water, so I laid up, playing for the 1putt-par; I hit a good wedge 20 ft right of the pin on the left, at the base of a tier-slope that runs diagonally thru; I scuffed the putter toe on that slope on my stroke, leaving me short-and-right 4 ft; 2 more putts . . . 8^( . . .

On the third par 5 double-bogey(#13), I hit a good drive into the fairway, but on a severe downhill lie; tried to hit a 4iron, but that didn't get me over the trees on the left, so I still had 200 yds over another huge dip in the fairway to an elevated green; hit a fat 5iron to the bottom of the hill, then a thin 9 iron to the back of the green, 3putt.

On the par 5 triple bogey (#18), I hooked one out of bounds on the left, foozled a couple of times, then took 4 to get down from 30 yds off the green -- that hole ain't that hard . . .

Retelling this, I see that my irons were the strong point this day, even tho' it always seemed like I was 30 ft away for my first putt. My drives varied from barely acceptable to great, but they seemed short, too -- like on #11, I still had 100 yds for my second, even tho' it's a short down hill par 4 . . .caught the front bunker with my wedge, wound up with a 6, for no reason I could reckon -- but I had no idea which way they were going to go, if they drew, they hooked; faded, they sliced, but due to the wide-wide greenbelts, I never was in the desert.
Mebbe the reason I bogeyed par3 #3 hole was the Gila Monster we saw up by the green; first one we'd seen in life, we had to stop and watch it for a minute before we putted, even tho' the 4some behind was pressing hard . . . we played in 3 1/2 hours.
We stopped for lunch in the clubhouse after our round -- I guess the cuisine is good, even if it's a little pretentious for a golf course -- resort like, if you like -- but they had a little sign on a stand they put on my table, letting me know I needed to take my golf hat off. Pthththththththth.

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