Sunday, February 17, 2008
When it had been 3 holes in an hour, Mr Science called the proshop and got a "rain check" for the slow play, so we adjourned to the Old Pueblo Cafe in downtown Florence for Consolation in margaritas and appetisers of Fluatitas, Chimichangitas, and Buffalo Chicken Wings. I am only joking when I say the second best place to eat in Florence is the Prison Cafeteria . . . 8^) . . .
Long way to drive for 3 holes of golf and some chips-&-salsa . . . 8^) . . .
Sunday, just Mr Science & I went off to Ken McDonald again for 18 . . .
When our playing partners that day, the Boudrou Brothers from Chicago, bailed out after 2 holes had taken an hour, things looked very bleak to us . . . Mr Science complained, "That means the round will take 9 hours!"
Could we possibly be stalled out of our round twice in two days? . . . 8^0 . . . It was still very slow for the next 4 holes, but then the logjam broke up, and we actually finished our round just at dusk (after 5 1/2 hours) . . . .
Reading the description of our first trip to KM, I am struck that I only really want to talk about the last two holes again, they really are the only two holes that compare to Cave Creek . . .
#17 was 192 yds of all-carry today. Mr Science ripped his patented Magic 3iron on a rope to the center of the green, rolling up on the back tier to 8 ft from the pin. He looked at me and smiled ruefully, "That's the way I was hittin' 'em on the driving range . . . " He missed the birdie putt . . . he shook his head as if he'd had bad news from his automechanic, "that's my second missed birdie putt today" -- he expects more than 2 a day, if you see what I mean . . . meanwhile I pulled out my new cobra 7wood . . . I figgered my new 5wood was too much club to the down hill green, and besides it had betrayed me on two other holes today, already. Those clubs make a funny "tink" sound when I hit 'em . . . this one looked like a pro-shot, a high hook, over the pin and over the green, up onto the humps behind . . . 205, at least . . . so there seems to be a gap in my clubs now between 205 & 180 -- gonna have to do something about that . . . . I chipped the ball down the hump, one-hopped on the fringe with plenty of backspin, 5 ft past the hole, so I was pretty pleased, but I pulled that putt left, like so many this day -- probably had 5 or 6.
#18 tee shot didn't perplex me this time as much as last -- but I'm much more confident with my driver now. I hit a majestic fade into the wind that found the middle of the fairway -- the OB, the water, the pinched landing area did not bother me. But I chunked my 7 iron to 20 yds short of the green. My PW chip stopped 4 ft below the hole . . . good enough, one would have tho't, but I pulled that par putt left, too. . .8^( . . .
As we left the green I ejaculated, "I don't understand why I'm jerking those putts left now!'
Mr Science began, "I didn't want to tell you during the round, but . . . "
we interrupted ourselves to shake hands with Big Ed & Little Al, playing companions that had joined us when our other partners had quit. Big Ed was an amiable sort of competent, left-handed tho' he was, in the pleasurable phase of coaching his young teenager in golf. Little Al had a sweet, natural swing with a tendency to overhook -- a pleasure to watch him play, to see that he has before him a life-time of golf competency . . .
As we walked to the parking lots back across the CAP, I got Mr Science to continue, "What about my jerk-left putts?"
"Oh!" said Mr Science, "I was gonna tell you your pants are split up the back! Your underwear is showing!"
"Oh!" said I, "I know about that! It's these cheap pants Mrs Cactus bought me at Ross for $12 . . . I can't help that now, can I? Whajawant me to do? Quit and go home cuz my underwear shows?" . . . 8^D. . . he never did offer an opinion on my putting, but then, Mr Science finds analysis of my techniques a little painful . . . it's interesting to him, as a Golf Scientist, you see, but impossible the way that a bumblebee flying is impossible, if you see what I mean. . . 8^D. . .
The thing I didn't fit in was that on #12 (I think) Mr Science wound up against a wall on the left side of the rough, next to some houses. He yelled something at Big Ed and me. "What did he say?" asked Ed. "He wants to borrow one of your leftie clubs!" I told him with a barking laugh. When he looked over, he saw Mr Science taking practice swings with an upside down PW, lefthanded. "He can take a drop from that wall," he opined. . . "Nah," I replied, "that would violate our Calvinistic Paganican Principles!"
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
But, more than that, it's the world I choose.
Par 62, 3623 yards. "This is a nice little course" opined the Golfing Queen. I had to agree. Well-maintained, good price/performer. Nothing spectacular, but not boring either. 2.
Monday, February 11, 2008
We stayed at the Agave, which was being refurbished while we were there, but our room was very nice, had a giant jacuzzi, and a lakeside view (see!) of the bridge -- it looks in very good shape . . . can't imagine why the foolish British parted with it and this maniac McCulloch from Arizona that pinched is some sort of genious -- I don't know what kind, tho'.
We ate at Shuegar's across the street from the hotel, which has the aforementioned views, but we were stuck back in some stuffy windowless corner . . . the food's ok, I guess, but the flight of Syraz we got struck Mrs Cactus down . . . I almost had to carry her back to the hotel -- thinking seriously about a lawsuit . . . 8^P . . .
And the only golf course in sight of the bridge seems to be some cheesy little 9holer at the London Bridge Resort -- forget it . . . but we were pleased for the most part with the London Bridge Courses several miles away, anyway. . .
Lawrence Hughes has done many semi-famous courses, and Mr Science & I enjoyed the one he designed that we played up in Prescott, the Antelope Hills North Course, but our Ladies did not, since, as old-school designs, the considerations for the distaff gender were not so generous as on modern courses, and so it was here . . . but the East course is short, so for women it only measures 5045 yds.
Mrs Cactus was breaking in her new Taylor Made Miscela clubs, and we'd have to judge that a success: she's still got some learning curve on the hybrids, but she was getting a great trajectory on her Driver Shots.
We were rusty, having not played for several weeks, due to bad weather and the FBR, but I still felt like I should break 80 -- din't even come close, wound up with 44+44=88 . . . we complained about the greens the whole day . . . they weren't bad, just much slower than we're used to in Scottsdale, like a Sun City Course.
I had only one birdie, tho' I had several chances . . . on 17, a 515 yd, down-hill, down-wind par 5. I totally busted a drive 315 yds -- I was all but standing on the 200 yd disc. For some reason, a singleton in a cart in the group in front of us didn't leave the green area after they finished, he just sat there, totalling up bets or something . . . I waited till I couldn't wait anymore and hit anyway, a 7wood . . . It never got more than a foot in the air, but it didn't bounce much either, and rolled past the rear of his cart . . . THEN he moved off. . . my ball wound up just past pin high just right of the green. . . I liked my eagle chances, but -- the thing with these greens is that when the slope & the grain go the same way, the ball really rolls . . . it rolled off the green into the fringe, 20 ft past the cup . . . MAN I was burning . . . but it was dead straight back up hill, and I rolled the comeback in. . . it didn't thrill me, I felt entitled after a day-long of putts coming up short or breaking 2 feet the last foot.Studiously avoiding the dreaded PBFU, I put a real smooth swing on #18 (shown right) and hammered my drive again, with a tight draw that looks like I know something . . . 8^P. . . the difference tho', is that this hole is uphill to the green from the landing area and INTO a 2 club wind, so this one still went 259 . . . I was standing on the 200 yd disc again . . . 8^D. . . but instead of 7wood, I had to use my 3wood, and just found the front right corner of the green. 3putt from 50+ ft, dangit.
Hughes is a very intelligent designer, if not particularly flashy . . . he uses a few trees sparingly, but well, sand traps effectively, and the changes in elevation are meaningful . . . there's 4 very short par 4s, but I didn't birdie any of them, bogied one and took a 7 on the other, trying to drive the green.
As is common on these elderly courses, the 4s have grown almost as long as the 5s. The design is a little quirky: 1 3 on the front; 3 3s on the back, which makes the course sound, on paper, like an executive, but it never felt like less than a championship course, playing it . . .
Jason and I played the gold tees, 6722 yards, 135 slope. From the tips it is 7206 and 142. I shot 81 with one birdie, one bogey, and 8 GIR, and beat Jason's 82, which is an accomplishment now because Jason is a long hitter and is down to a 6 handicap. I asked him if he wanted to come up for the Sun Lakes scramble on May 10, and he's interested. He hit his 4-hybrid second shot onto the back fringe of a 567-yard par 5, and was around the green on two others (550, 485). He could have gotten close to the 9th, too (564), but he laid up to avoid the chasm in front of the green.