Sunday, September 28, 2008
I started out 1 over on the first 3 holes, with 3 missed birdies (including a 3 putt bogey). Then on the par 3 #4, for some reason -- maybe because the wind was gusting in our face, I muscled up, turned on, and turned over my tee shot into the desert left of the green . . . some how that upset me so much that I had to muscle up every shot for the rest of the front 9 hitting those gawd-awful smother hooks right into the fairway bunkers on every hole put there for that purpose on #5, 6, 8 & 9 . . . the good news was it didn't take me 3 to get out of 'em . . . I just took my medicine and tried for a 1 putt par . . . of course on the par 5 #8, I went in a greenside bunker and took 3 to get out of there.
Re-dedicating myself, on the back 9, I started out with 4 4s before stumbling to a 7 on the par 5 #14, the #1 handicap hole.
I smashed a drive straight down the middle, but I still had 280 to the green, against the wind, so I started strategizin' . . . tried to hit a commensensical 5iron away from the water & traps, but still wound up 150 yds short. Tried to hit a 6 iron to the back pin position but flared it weakly right. Tried to pitch-and-roll but it rolled off the back. Tried to pitch-and-stick from 5 yds off in the rough, but it rolled 15 ft past the pin.
It's hard to accept that a par 5 is truly the #1 handicap hole, tho' so many are, here in AZ, but this one . . . next time, I'll just hit a 3wood right of the green and go from there. . . 8^D . . .
I finished the back 9 with 2 more pars, then 2 bogeys. On the long par 3 #17 I hit a half-7wood straight as an arrow, but up onto the back hump above the back pin position . . . from the fringe, I breathed on it and it ran 15 ft downhill past the cup, then I missed the comebacker . . . don't know what to do there . . .
On the par 5 #18, I absolutely masticated my drive into the gathering gloom . . . just enough sunset left to see it flying above the horizon. I only had 205 left to the green, but I over compensated for my slice lie (fearing the nursery, again) and hooked left of the green, pin high. I lobbed my 3rd shot above the hole, where there was more green to work with, but it still ran over into the fringe, so I didn't even really have a realistic birdie chance after all that. Made bogey.
So I finished 44-40=84 . . . enuff better than last week that I can sleep, but I still feel I could do better, if I don't have a lost weekend smother hooking balls into fairway bunkers, and I just know I can eagle #18 . . . I was so close today . . . if I hadn't been rushing to get thru before dark . . .
Outside of #14 & #18, the individual holes didn't really make a lasting impression on me . . . oh, maybe add #11, 15, & 17, the 3 par3s on the back side, but as a whole, the course is a challenging mix of uneven lies, cavernous bunkers (both fairway & greensides), uphill, elevated greens, and panksian devilish putting surfaces . . . I didn't make a putt over 6 ft today, but I made a bunch of 6 fters to save par, unlike last week. The staff here is worth mentioning, too, for their unfailing polite friendliness.