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Monday, August 13, 2007


San Marcos

6856 Yds, Par 72, Slope 121, by Bill Robinson
They Say: "Not your typical desert, target-golf course, this lush, green setting makes players from throughout the country feel right at home while giving desert dwellers an enjoyable reprieve from some of the harsher desert layouts. The course is fair and rather straightforward by nature, but don't approach it with complacency- plenty of trouble awaits as each hole provides an average of three bunkers. The toughest holes on the course happen to be the two longest par 4s-Number 4, at 482 yards, and Number 10, at 454 yards. And, though not abundant, water lurks on several holes, including a lake that comes into view on Number 8 and another that comes into play on Number 13. The canal that runs across the 1st, 9th, 10th, 11th, and 18th holes can jump up and ruin a good round"
"Not your typical desert, target-golf course" is sort of an understatement . . . a flat, park-style, Old Phoenix style golf course, so old, that it seems like it's bursting at the seams in places, trying to accommodate modern golfer length . . . like on the tee for the par 3 #13, which juts back out in front of #9(?) tee . . . definitely a congestion point there . . . seemed like I was always banging an elbow, so to speak, due to the cramped layout of the course.
Could just be sour grapes of course, since I took a 5 on that par 3 after hitting a tree that stood 20 yards in front of, but 10 yds left of, the tee . . . I still don't think it was that bad of a shot, but it caromed into the water for an instant double bogey. But Mrs Cactus, unperturbed, almost aced the same hole . . . her t-shot had a low tragectory, and she shouted at it, "Get over! Get over!", which it did, then bounced high off the slope between the green and the water, then rolled inexorably toward the hole, so we were all shouting at it, "Get in the hole!" . . . but it banged the pin so hard we could hear it, about 6 ft away . . . she barely missed the birdie.
I think, even when it was new, that this was an unusual layout: the 4 par 5s average only 485 yds; there are 2 par 3s 210+ yds, 2 150; there are some par 4s longer than the par 5s . . . I think they have lengthened the course where they could over the years, without regard to how it affected the layout. . .
I was kind of amazed at the first hole, with a giant swale in the rough inside the dogleg and separating the green-approach from the driving landing area, but that's the only hole with such an interesting feature.
I wound up with a 45-45=90, I just hit too erratically and putted too poorly to really score on this easy course . . . I started out with 3 strainght missed-birdie pars, and that might have over-excited me. I missed makeable birdie putts on both the 215 yd long par 3s after hitting sterling half-3woods, but then I floundered around on the 4 par 5s, 5 over.
Mrs Cactus faulted the course as too much like the old course at Antelope Hills in Prescott: both are park-style with long,long rough, funky greens, fetid water holes, but mainly poor accommodation for the women, which tees are placed way back near the men . . . that ditch running thru the course is not too attractive, neither.
Another thing, was, it was stinking hot, even tho we teed off at 6:50, and finished by 10:30 . . . can't blame the course for that, of course, but it might have affected our scoring.

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