Monday, September 24, 2007
We replayed Troon North, for the Queen of Golf, but it didn't turn out like we tho't it would . . .
They've rearranged the configuration of the 36 holes, apparently to gratify the architects, so that half of the holes make up a course now called The Tournament Course, instead of Monument and Pinnacle -- I don't know what the other one is called.
The first hole on Tournament was Monument #10, the aptly named Mackenzie: the fairway peeks out at you from the tee from behind obstructions of trees & mounds & bunkers; the green is elevated over and separated from the landing area by a wide swath of trash; the green is guarded on all sides, not by traps, but by grass bunkers, swales and mounds covered in deep rough -- a very good hole, and a good one to start on -- you have to hit the tee swinging, if you see what I mean . . .
Unfortunately, the group behind us took that a little too literally. While we were still parked just to the left of the trap in the middle back of the landing area, they hit into us: the ball ping-ponged around the interior of the Science's cart. Fortunately they were both out watching Mrs Science hit her approach, but we were all unnerved. It woulda killed anybody sitting in the cart.
One can hardly imagine the process that allows a person to hit into the group ahead of you on the first hole? What sort of impolite impatience foments such behaviour? I'm afraid I reacted poorly: boiling over from the cumulative weight of this incident and the last 2, too. I picked up the ball and held it up. "Come and get it, you asshole!" I screamed. "Come and get it." They just waved apologetically from the tee. In disgust, I threw the ball over towards the wall to someone's house.
I was so mad, I was shaking and nauseated. It ruined my round . . . on such a golf course, one must drive well, but with prudence, and one's short game must be in top order . . . I lacked prudence but not adrenaline; my short game was shaky or volcanic. My new glasses seemed to tilt the world from the right, so that I misread every putt, too.
From the green, I heard Mr Science say " . . . when we're being bombarded from the tee . . . " and I tho't he was explaining to one of the residents out working in his back yard about my bad language, but no, he told me later, he was trying to explaing to the Queen of Golf why he'd lost sight of her approach shot . . . 8^D. . .
I wound up with a 102, mainly 3 putts and bad chipping; Mr Science equably carded an 88, including his quota of 2 birdies -- not as well as he would have liked, but given the outrages to our sensibility and the difficulty of the course, not bad . . .
There are other holes worth mentioning, but most kinda blurred together in my unhappiness:
- #5, par 5, Dos Caminos, does have 2 ways to go, but I think one is another Mackenzien Ruse
- #6, par 3, Care Free, which has huge boulders looming over the left side, and the right side of the green is hidden from the tee
- #10, Par 4, The Pinnacle, which used to be #18 on Pinnacle, oddly enough, I tho't was a world class finishing hole -- I don't think it was wise to bury it in the middle of the round, design wise. The landing area is a little downhill, and requires some touch, either a half-driver or a cautious 3wood. That leaves an uphill approach to a MacKenzie-ish hidden green camouflaged by the two large bunkers in front -- and that green is a little shallow and very wide. Very Tough.
9 of the 18 holes have divided fairways, something that caused Mrs Cactus and Mrs Science trouble, having to judge their second shots for layups, then still have to face formidable carries.Tough Course, Great Golf, Fabulous Facility, Gracious Staff, but subject to the vicissitudes of Arizona Golfers, the biggest bunch of etiquette-less, non-ball-mark-fixing, non-trap-raking, non-divot-sanding, cart-riding, mulligan-taking, lie-improving, gimme-takers this side of St. Andrews.