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Monday, November 19, 2007


Grande Valley Ranch

7183 Yds, Par 72, Slope 125, by Forrest Richardson.

"This'd better be worth it!" grumbled Mr Science as we trundled thru the grey dawn down I-10 halfway to Tucson. "We can't go any further south than this." And I had my doubts, myself, but it turned out fine.

I shot a 38 on the front 9, Mr Science, had a 36 with two missed 2footers. It's Monday afternoon, and he's STILL talking about those 2 2footers . . . I thot I was bad . . . 8^). . .

That front9 is not obviously easier than the back9, but the regulars we got paired up with seemed to think it was, and going by our scores, empirically, I'd have to agree. I ballooned up to a 47, even tho' I was driving well, and Mr Science inflated to a 42. . .

it musta been just fatigue, since we had walked the hilly Hillcrest the day before, finishing up at dusk. Then, instead of heading home to rest up, I tho't I'd introduce the Sciences to the joys of the Barrio Cafe -- it was sortof on the way back home from Sun City West to Scottsdale . . . 8^) . . . but you know there's always a long line there, so it took us an hour to get over there, then an hour waiting . . . had some margaritas, some guacomole-made-at-the-table con pommegramite seeds, some chocolate mole, and some churros . . . as we finished up the live music started up with a droll version of a flamenco Pachel Bel . . . thats all good, but it takes time, so we were late to bed, breaking training, if you see what I mean . . . 8^) . . .

. . . so even tho' we'd started out well, past the turn things went sour . . . on # 10, I sliced my drive out into the bare desert, scuffed my 2nd, let the 3rd shot fade off onto the mounds right of the green, made a good chip that didn't come all the way off the hill like I tho't it should, then missed a 4footer for bogey.

"You putt like me." said Mr Science, still smarting after his 2 2footers. Well that just put the hoodoo on me, doncha know . . .

On #11 all 4 of us chunked our pitch/chips off of the muddy, thin turf covered in coot leavings . . . the Calvinistic Mr Science refuses to accept excuses nor any comfort-in-misery: "My 3rd chip was fine!" he growled.

On the boil, I reckon, he lashed his drive into the large water hazard along the right side of the landing area -- SO large, that his drop was back by the ladies tee -- a severe loss of distance -- resulting in his second straight double-bogey. I drove well, but then struggled, and missed another 4footer for par on this my 3rd of 4 straight 6s.

Mr Science was boggled, and bungled his tee shot on the long down hill par 3 # 13, but he could find it. I was somewhat more, um, distraught, so I toed my 5 wood out into that same water hazard, from the other side. My 3rd shot was on the green, but on the wrong tier, for a 3 putt, including another missed 4footer.

I played the last 5 holes at 3 over -- nothing to write home about, but I was just glad to break my string of 6s! Mr Science obviously righted his ship, too. I don't know what it is about 10-13, but they bear examining.

#18 is a great finishing hole, or it will be whenever they actually get some water in the hazard. It's just a big hole now, and one of our foursome hooked his drive into it, but it was no trouble to hit back out of it, plus, he'd gotten a good roll in the hard pan. It's a bona-fide double dogleg of a sort you don't see often here in Arizona, with the water hazard you have to not-bite-off-more-than-you-can-chew on your first shot, then get up and around the corner on your second to have a good look at the uphill & elevated green.

These greens rolled really well most of the day for me, but we had some painful misses that, if we can't blame on the roll, only leaves the fatigue factor. The course has that unfinished look of incomplete landscaping off the fairway, and they are apparently planning to truck in some FEMA trailers or something along all the fairways , so I don't know how attractive all that will be, but between the OB stakes, a real-nice golf course; almost, almost worth the drive down . . .

so I'd have a look at the link for Forrest Richardson at the top. He's done some work on a bunch of good courses, notably Los Palomas down at Rocky Point.

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