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Friday, April 25, 2008



Return to Coldwater -- our 3rd trip . . . cuz it was $30 . . . cheaper than Riverview, if you want to know . . .

I like the first three holes ok . . . I mean I remember them and know how I want to play them:

the par 4 #1 isn't too long, but last time here I'd mishit my drive, then hit a 5wood into the mound that guards the left front of the green, so that my ball trickled over to the back of the green, leaving a makeable birdie putt, which I missed. . . this time I absolutely powered my drive down the right edge of the fairway, leaving just a half-sandwedge to the green, but my ball took a giant bounce off the front of the green and rolled to the back of the green . . . all three of us were there, on the back or just off, scratching our heads . . . I 3jacked and realized it might be another long day.

the par5 #2 isn't too long, and it has huge mounds on both sides that will funnel the ball back onto the fairway, or-r-r-r-r-r, out into the desert if you go far enough . . . but last time I'd hit a 3wood right of the fairway that still wound up in the fairway, off those mounds, hit a little halfsandwedge close and got a birdie. I did just that this time too, except after two shots I was closer than before, maybe 30yds short of the green, and so was Mr Science . . . our playing partner this day, Dave the Pharmacist had out-driven us by 40 yards, then hit his 2nd shot just over the green.

"If he does that again," I whispered to Mr Science, "I'm going to think he's getting some pharmacological help!" . . . 8^D. . .

trying to baby my fractional sandwedge up onto the elevated green without going over into the swales or mounds, I wound up leaving it short in the front fringe, from where I 3putted. Mr Science & PharmaDave wound up with 2putt pars.

So on the short par4 #3, with the wind, they both hit 3woods in the fairway, short of the traps, but I just went for the green . . . that dang slice bothered me again, so that I actually went right of the traps; it looked like I'd gotten a good bounce back into the grass, but we found it instead up in the gravel on top. That's a hard green to get to, even from the fairway, but especially today, when the greens were so hard they wouldn't leave a ballmark. Mr Science was over into a swale, PharmaDave was in the fringe, and I was in the short rough at the base of the elevated green. I'd had about 30 yards to where the elevated berm I was on fell away 20 feet to the green complex. My little pitch one-hopped over the edge, and I tho't it might wind up on the green, but that rough was too long, I guess. PharmaDave 2putted for his par, but we failed to get up and down.

So it went. I wound up with a 45 on the front, PharmaDave announced his "9 Straight Pars", and Mr Science had a 39.

That back9 at Coldwater is almost interesting, including the most controversial hole in the valley (shown), the par4 #15 . . . if you get in the sand, there, it could be kinda of difficult shot, but if you get in among those railroad ties, it's really hard to make yourself hit it right . . . this time tho', I tomahawked my drive into the giant swale left of the fairway, down off the fluted fairway. PharmaDave was down there with me, but Mr Science was sitting up in Position A in the rightside of the fairway.

"Watch this!" I told PharmaDave, and sure enough, Mr Science hit his little 7iron onto the fat part of the green with a little hook and let it trickle down towards the pin . . . ah, say 25 ft away -- the pin was hidden on the left, behind that giant bunker.

"Very Analytical!" approved PharmaDave.

His own shot ran over to the back of the green, from where he two-putted. Mr Science wound up with a tap-in par, too. I'd hit a little halfsandwedge that bounced on the very back of the bunker, between the boards, and rolled up 15 ft below the hole. It was a little bit of sidehill putt, but I saw it perfectly, but I didn't hit it, leaving a kickin-par. Very Disappointing.

From then on my chipping and pitching got marginally better, but not my putting, so my score didn't improve too much. I was feeling good about my iron play tho, and better about my driving.

#18 is a short par 5, which this day had the wind quartering behind us. I hadn't had a bonafide shot at a par5-in-2 all weekend because of my driving poorly, so I felt like this had to be it. My drive faded severely on me, but since I still had a shot at the green, I won't admit it sliced. Mr Science was about 20 yards directly behind me, and elected to play, er, uh, scientifically, and lay-up. After he hit his 9iron and saw how much room he still had, he grumbled, "I shoulda hit my 7iron, anyway." PharmaDave was 10 yards behind me, but in the middle of the fairway, from where he hit some longiron into the middle of the green, natch. I had 190+ yards, with a tiny bit of tree-trouble in my line-of-sight, but since the wind was blowing hard left to right and there was water short-and-right I tho't I could just hit an easy 7wood at the left side and let the wind bring it back. I may have hit a better 7wood in my life, but I doubt it. Oops. It went so high I was sure it would blow off into the water, but it bulldogged and landed on the middle of the green and rolled to the back, 90 ft past the pin. I tho't 3putt bogeys were bad, but 4putt bogeys, like I had there are worse. . . much worse. Mr Science didn't get close with his 3rd, then 3putted, while PharmaDave made another par. I think he made one birdie on the back9, one of the par4s, and no bogies, so a cool 71. Mr Science wound up with an 84, mainly due to his own problems with driving -- suddenly he's got to be leary of smother hooks off the tee. I wound up with an 88 . . . just like yesterday, we were both thinking we should have had 10 less shots.

So, you know, this is a good course-- reminds me of Kokopelli in some ways -- some might cavil at the condition, the powerlines, the unsculpted, unlandscaped, hardpan desert areas, and that dang railroad tie hole, but there's really nothing wrong with the golf on the grass there . . . but there's no way you could argue it was the best course in the valley . . .


Sun CIty Riverview, Again

We returned to Riverview, I think, so we could "go low" . . . it didn't work . . . I had a 92; Mr Science an 82 . . . I was slicing all my shots, I couldn't stop . . . on to the driving range on #1, into the cement creek that borders #2 . . . the water was only a half-inch deep flowing so slowly the ball wasn't moving at all, so I just waded in with my golf sandals and hit it out of there, no prob . . . 'cept I had to do that twice more on the front 9 . . . then when I did hit a good shot, I would puree it over the green, and my short game & putting sucked . . . just a long string of tap-in bogies.

But this might be the most interesting of those sun city courses that all look the same . . .the elevation changes are the most pronounced here, and while it would never be confused with say, Hillcrest, we aren't bored while we're playing it, it's just that very few of the holes stand out in memory (unless one has to stand in water to hit a shot, if you see what I mean).

The one hole that DOES stand out is the par 5 #1 handicap #11, the river view hole . . . 'course you'd never notice the river, 500 yards away, since all that land between the hole and the river is covered by an RV parking lot -- there must be 1000 of them parked there . . . the tee is very elevated above the 10th hole, the RV parking lot, and the 11th Fairway -- it almost qualifies as a view . . . the scorecard doesn't show it but there are fairway bunkers on many of these holes, ordinarily I wouldn't give them a second tho't, but this day, not being real sure where my blows would go, I tried especially to avoid them, putting a sand-lock on my ball almost every time, if you see what I mean, and on this day, when the wind was blowing left-to-right on this hole and I was slicing anyway, it meant I had to go into the fairway bunker on the right side of the landing area . . . . course Mr Science did too . . . that trap is sunk sorta deep, not British Open deep, but sorta deep, and Mr Science had to go to a 7iron to get out and left himself another 130 yds to the steeply uphill green. I put the old west-texas tomahawk on mine with a 5 iron and got up on a level almost equal to the bottom of the green in a flat place, about 90 yards away . . . Mr Science got onto the front of the green and 2putted, like usual, but I blew mine over the green trying to soft-pedal a half-wedge to the top of the green, which left me 10 feet below the putting surface. I flopped the ball up onto the top of the hill, but it rolled all-the-way down off the front of the green, where I'd a been in the first place, if I hadn't gotten greedy, so I played a texas wedge back up the hill 45 feet to the pin for a tap-in bogey. That's a good hole. Interesting. but few of the others would hold a candle to it.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Kokopelli Impressions

Played twice last weekend: on Saturday, with just Mr Science at Cave Creek, then on Sunday, with Ms Science & Ms Cactus.
We hadn't played in a coupla weeks, since we scored at the Safeway last week, so my expectations were low . . . at least for the front9, especially on the short game, but I was on fire with the flat stick -- just as I had been when we had finally gotten back to Poston Butte a few weeks ago . . . there, to start off, on the first 3 holes I was 1 under, with 3 putts, and then I chipped in to save bogey on #4 . . . I didn't expect to finish 6 under for 18, and I didn't, but I putted well the whole day -- I was 2 over after the first 5 holes, when I finally hit one close and made the birdie putt, then on the par5 #7, I was green high in two, but on the wrong side of a greenside bunker on a bare, hardpan knob; I managed to lob my ball just over the trap, just 10 ft past the cup, then make that for 2 birdies in a row, so I was even par after 7.

If that's not a personal best, it's been so long that it might as well have been, but I doublebogied #8 & #9 (in bad luck, I claim!), to wind up with a 40. On the back 9 I had a couple of whiffs and a couple of chunked wedges that mitigated my fantastic driving and putting, wound up with an 83, unable to make any more birdies.

When I tried to complain to Mr Science, "If I can't straighten out my drives, tho', I'm going to have a hell of a time at Sanctuary!", he just grumbled that he'd an 87, even with a birdie on #18.

So, apparently he was on a mission the next day at The Sanctuary, where we had a free foursome, thanks to the QOG winning a raffle at one of her tournaments . . . there may be something in this life sweeter than Free Golf, but I don't know what it is . . . maybe that was what inspired Mr Science, especially, appealing especially to his Calvinistic Parsimony . . . at any rate he had a kick-in birdie on the first hole, then 16 pars and a double bogey, for a 73.

I had had visions of breaking my personal best for starts . . . I didn't see why if I could get to #8 even par why I couldn't finish even par . . . I KNOW exactly what I want to do on every hole there, it's just a matter of keeping it out of the desert and making the putts, I figger. . . but I double-bogeyed the first two holes and never quite got untracked . . . no birdies, but I counted 11 missed-birdie-putts, which is prob'ly another personal "best" . . . prob'ly had, if you count texas wedges, 7 3putts, too, including a missed eagle putt on #11, where I had to settle for par . . . finished with an 87, which was hard for me to be positive about, tho' I had been vaguely pleased with my ironplay for a change -- it was inaccurate, but at least they looked like golf shots instead of hockey shots.

I always have to talk about #18. I'd looked forward to it all day, since I'd never played with my new cobra metals there, and I was pretty confident that if I could get into the fairway off the tee, I could reach the green in two, especially since it was with the wind. But both Mr Science & I hit into the bunker on the slice side of the dogleg left. Scratch going for the green. Manfully taking my medicine I just hit a 7iron to get it over the lip, over the arroyo that divides the fairway, in position for a wedge to the green, but it caught the lip and rolled up to the very edge of the arroyo. I decided I wasn't upset, since now, 215 yds away I could still hit my 5metal, which was slightly right of the green, but bounced right up onto the corner of the green, about 15 ft from the pin. Meanwhile, Mr Science hit a great shot out of the trap about 125 from the pin, but -- understanding that his heart must have been pounding a little bit with the anticipation that another birdie would get him an even-par finish -- his approach came up short-right; well, it's semi-automatic for him to get up-and-down from such a lie, but he had to be a little disappointed . . . still, he proudly showed me his card in the parking lot.

"What?" I said, unable to parse the chicken scratches he puts down.
"Just the top number," he said, pointing to the 73.
"OH!" I ejaculated. "That's purty good, idn't?"

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