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Sunday, November 04, 2007


Sun City Willow Creek

6366 yds, Par 72, Slope119, by Greg Nash

Yeah, Ok, same as the other Sun City courses, indistinguishable . . .
what I do reckon is that a month ago, before they overseeded the Sun City courses that we played, MrScience & I were both threatening Par, with sub-par 9s, but now, with the furry greens, we are not . . . I honestly don't have a clue, and MrScience's putting stats are 25% higher than normal. I wound up with an 85; MrScience, an 80, with one birdie. I don't remember anything about his birdie, except that it was one where he got it within 8 ft, and made it . . . I know I had a couple of birdie putts that long and missed them both . . . he had a couple more- at least - makeables that he missed, some within 3 ft.

And I don't know about MrScience, but now I feel much less charitable towards these rather non-descript courses that use furry greens and fairways as their defense, rather than artful, intriguing, challenging designs. So it plays 200 - maybe 300 - yds longer than it's posted distance . . .

On this course, that didn't make any difference, except on #9 7& #18, which are each-and-both 420+ yard par 4s, playing, as I say, 440 or 450.

Well, let me start with #17 first (we started from #10). Sometime in the round, I started rocketing my tee-shots, high and straight, like I usta do with plastic golf balls in my backyard back in Texas as a kid: hit a million of 'em, exactly the same, and that's what I'm trying to get back to, with my unorthodoxies, is to the way I played naturally, with all its faults before I ever read a golf magazine . . . or took swing advice from some club salesman . . . anyway . . . after that shot, right in the middle of the fairway, 250 or 260 yds, with no roll, with the wind, leaving a wedge to the green, which I also hit high and straight, but it lands soft of course, downhill from the back pin, 25 ft away, which I 3putt. Grrr-Grrr-Grrrrrrrrrrr.

So, on #18, I mis-apply my red-ass and pull-hook my drive over behind some trees. I had a filthy lie over there, with a hook-lie from the back of a mound, when I needed to slice it around the trees to get back at the green, and OB with houses all down the way, of course. But I did manage to chunk my 3iron a slice around the trees and it got a little roll -- musta hit a hard spot -- so that it wound up 10 yds short of the green -- a good leave. But even tho' I spent the whole time before we teed off practicing chipping & pitching I bladed my approach 22 ft past the hole. I hadn't read a putt right all day, so I don't claim skill for it, but I did make that come-backer . . . it was so unexpected, MrScience exclaimed, "Good Putt!" It musta been . . .

On the front9, I went back into my calm thrashing play, lashing drives to wedge distance, then making a 3putt bogey: I started out with 4 straight 5s; one of those WAS a par 5, but I was hitting the ball so well, it was just like another par4 3putt bogey, if you see what I mean.

On the par3 #5 we joined up with a 2some infront of us . . . we might as well, there were 5somes ahead of us, and play was starting to back up a little. But disoriented by this common courtesy, I mis-hit one ball into the water on the right -- first ball I've lost in Sun City -- then jerked my reload left into somebody's yard. I pitched up on the green and 3putted with one hand.

On the way to the next tee, I told Mr Science, ""I'm only taking a 6 on that hole, using the gentile scoring rules of Mr Science!"

He laughed and said, "I think 6 is all you can take with your handicap, anyway!"

I guess it was on #18 (our #9) where Mr Science had methodically paced off his distance, measured the wind, and made all his other algebraic adjustments for a hilltop lie in the rough, then come up 50 yds short of the green: he'd used the 200 yd post as the 150 post in his calculations . . . 8^D . . . he promptly dropped another ball and pasted it just short of the green, in a typical MrScience leave for a front pin. Natcherly, he chipped up to kickin distance for a par. "I just don't know how you're going to score that", I complained.

"I'm not responsible for the caddy's errors!" MrScience declared equitably . . . 8^D. . .

So, comforted by my forgiving nature to myself, I resolved to finish strong, and still break 40. I did manage to par 3 of the last 4, but I was never close to a birdie . . . on the 501 yd par 5 # 7, I tomahawked my drive down the left side, under the large tree that guards the inside of the dogleg . . . only 250 with 30 yds roll, I bet, but on a typical shorthair course, it woulda been close to 300 . . . I spanked a 3 wood up 10yds short of the green, and managed my par from there.

"If we're going to have a short par 5, why can't it be with the wind, today", I asked rhetorically.

"Is that the way you'd design it?" asked the puckish Mr Science.

"It would be today," I said, "I need an eagle to make up for that par 3!"

So, on #9, I felt like I'd hit it solid, down the middle, but I still had 190 to the green. My 5 wood bled right on me, and I wound with a large bunker between me and the green. I picked this time to hit my one good pitch shot all day, a pop-up-lob that just cleared the trap, kicked forward off the hump in the fringe, to kick in distance from the hole.

So, I guess you could say I sorta liked those two finishing holes, long as they were sorta kept me interested, but I shoulda gotten birdie chances out of 'em, the way I was hitting the ball, so I still feel a little put out about the whole deal, if you see what I mean.

Still for those SC courses, the price is right, they're easy walks, and it's fun to have the chance to go-low, if you see what I mean.

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