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Sunday, January 13, 2008


Vistal, Again

We played there before, and ranked it a 2 . . . so when we saw a chance to play it again, for $42, we jumped at it . . . I don't know why I didn't write more about it then . . .

This time we had the QOG (Queen of Golf) & Mrs Cactus with us . . . it's only 5200 yds long so we tho't they'd enjoy it, even tho it was a rather testy layout, as we recalled. . .

when we played last time it musta been late summer, I remember the course being very green, not lush, but green with fast fairways and greens. Now the fairways looked like they had been shaved for over-seeding, but they forgot to overseed, yellow and thin . . . even bare in spots . . .

doesn't bother me, I'm used to thin lies, and I personally need that roll! Mrs Cactus liked it alright, but she said something the other day to me that made my jaw drop. She said, "A golf course is just a golf course . . . " -- well, it made my stomach turnover -- but that's neither here nor there . . . the main thing is that she was hitting the ball well again, keeping up, sorta, with the QOG, who has been skunking her ladies league lately -- with a net 58 lately -- since she got her new Adams Ideas clubs . . . and I told Mrs Cactus that she was hitting the ball so well that maybe while she was trying out new clubs she got her groove back -- and she said, "Oh, it's just the practice." "Well, maybe," I said, "you could just keep going back and testing clubs at different stores, to keep your game tuned up!"

But I reckon she still will want new clubs . . . she doesn't want to be the only one in the 4some with inferior clubs (a Ram starter set) . . . she's trying to decide now between Cobra Transitions and Taylor Made Miscelas . . . she hit the Miscelas well, but the Cobras seem extra forgiving, which in turn gives her more confidence, which in turn makes her hit the ball more solid, if you see what I mean . . . when she was test hitting the 5-hybrid Transition club she almost was hitting it over the net at the PGA Tour store . . . registering 90 yds on the meter . . . no doubt in my mind she'd actually hit it further on the course.

The other thing different in the QOG's game is she's trying out the new low-compression (< 50) women's golf balls . . . even the ZIPs (0 compression), she had been hitting them further, but Mrs Cactus was keeping up with her drives anyway, more or less . . . The QOG didn't like the course much, mainly a conditioning thing, she had trouble hitting her fairway woods off the thin lies -- doesn't everybody -- except MR Science . . . 8^). . .

Mr Science may not care for it much either, he didn't putt well, his Driver's gone intermittently balky on him, and he's lost a club-length on his irons . . . he had one birdie, but several 3putts, which is unheard of for him. . .wound up with an 86. He said later that he'd had one hole with 5 penalty strokes, but later, after he'd consulted his own encyclopedic memory of the Rules Of Golf & The Decisions, that maybe there was only 1 penalty stroke. I had an 84, with 4 double bogeys in the middle 4 holes, I was still driving the ball long and straight, putting well, and hitting at least half of my irons like golf shots, but on those 4 holes, instead of tap-in bogeys I wound up with scrambling double bogeys.

# 4,5,6,&7 holes are the first that really take advantage of the slope of South Mountain: Up and Down, Up and Down, you go in a very interesting set of holes . . . I remembered them from before and played them well (I mean I scrambled well on them), so I was feeling confident when we got to #8, a very short par 3 I remembered: just lob a 9 iron into the middle of the green and 2putt. This time, tho', I came up short of the green. My chip up to the pin on the crest of a ridge that bisects the green raced past 45 ft, a difficult 3putt, but I managed that. Everyone had problems with that pin position -- last time it had been on the right side of the green, which was tricky, but not impossible like that one.

Then I double bogeyed #9 when my drive wound up in a bush on the left side, then my approach to the green drifted right to where the green slopes hard back to the water . . . i wasn't the only unwary golfer to fall prey to this insidious design, either . . . I fished more'n 15 balls out of there just trying to find mine. Left that many in the water as too far away from shore to be mine. Just like #8, I was hitting good shots, but they weren't turning out right.

on #10, my approach went left, to the front corner of the green, I tho''t, but that turned out to be the QOG's; my ball was pin-high in the swale . . . I'd only brought a putter over from the cart, and I was too lazy to walk back, so I tho't I'll give it the old Texas Wedge, Scottish Style . . . so, 2 to get on and 2 to get in, another double-bogey I have trouble explaining to myself.

I don't remember what happened on #11 . . .same sort of silly thing, but on #12 I started a string of 4 pars to go with the string of 4 pars on the front nine, then had 3 tap-in bogeys to close . . .

At one point Mr Science had said "We ought to just play winter rules on this fairway, all the time", but I didn't think the conditions were that bad . . . they were very tight lies, both in fairway and in rough, and the greens were very fast, but that's the way I like 'em . . . I was rollin' them in like Daniel Chopra in Hawaii.

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