Note: This is the first of a 3-part walk through of The Old Course at St. Andrews by my good friend and Old Course caddy John Boyne (Boynie). I asked John to give us these hole by hole descriptions for this week’s British Open and he kindly obliged because, well, he’s a hell of a good guy. Tomorrow I’ll post part two, and Wednesday will be part three. Many thanks to Boynie for doing this special piece just for Hooked On Golf Blog and The Golf Space ~Tony Korologos
The descriptions for the holes that I summarise on the Old Course at St. Andrews will be as if the golfer has found the perfect day for golf on the links – no wind!
1st, Burn, 376 yards, Par4
Should be a relatively straight forward par 4 with the tee shot heading down the widest fairway in golf – 143 yds across the walkway Granny Clarks Wynd – No excuses for missing it really!
Practice round for the Sandy Amateur this Saturday
Today I left the blogging and hit the course at 9:30am. The course was closed due to a tournament though so I came back later and tee’d off with some buddies at 1pm. I chose to play the black (tips) tees, though my league play/scores have dictated that I play from the blues. I chose the blacks because that is where the tournament will be played from.
On the 2nd hole a huge downpour hit us. I quickly smacked my ball with my putter on the front fringe during the downpour and the ball went in. I was about 50 feet away. After that hole we went into the cart barn for a few minutes. Following that I made some solid shots on the front for a decent opening nine. All of this was with a Maxfli golf ball I’d found in the bushes. It was very soft and the model was blacked out by someone’s mark. After I rubbed off the mark, the ball just said “Tour” on it. So it was a Maxfli Tour golf ball.
On #10 I hit my 3-iron off the tee. This is the latest change in my bag, as my ball striking has gotten better, but the hybrids have not. So the 23 degree hyb is out and the 3i is in. #10 is 403 yards from the tips. My approach was 127 to the front pin. Needless to say, that was a solid long iron. I really have missed that feeling and I’m glad to start finding it again. My gap wedge was pin high left at about six feet. Birdie.
Par on 11 and a great up and down on 12 for par brought me into #13. 13 is a par-5 with an elevated tee. I hit a solid drive but my 5-iron 2nd shot leaked right into a very densely grown in hazard. I managed to find the ball and hacked it out to about five feet and made birdie. I made birdie on #14, a short par-4, after hitting a nice checking 50 yard lob to about eight feet under the hole.
The rest of the nine had some solid shots and pars. The only “bad” shot on the back was that 2nd shot on #13, which I was able to recover from. -3 on the back side for a total of 69.
After some very mediocre golf and horrible ball striking the last few weeks, why now? Today was practically the first day this year I felt some real clubhead speed. Today was the first day I’ve felt like I could swing free without any restrictions, pain, stiffness.
The difference? Could be a couple of things. Yesterday I got a massage, full body. The masseuse found knots in places I didn’t know there could be knots, like my shins. Lots of knots in my back and neck were relieved. I even had her work on my golfer’s elbow. The temperature could be part of it too. 92 degrees. I’m more loose and less stiff in the heat. The 3rd possibility is a supplement I’m trying which is supposed to relieve joint stiffness.
Whichever of these reasons, or even all of them combined, has brought me some positive thoughts about my game. This year has been mostly bad and frustrating as my scores have ballooned and my handicap crept up. I hope that today was the breakthrough which will free me to play some great golf for the rest of the season.
I’m not the biggest follower of the LPGA. I’ll admit it. But I was very happy for Paula Creamer and her victory at the Women’s US OPEN. I doubt Paula could be any more cute…
This is Paula’s first major and scores big for publicity of the LPGA.
On a side note, Paula used one of my favorite golf balls in the victory. She used a Bridgestone B330-RX.
Two nights ago I attended the Lamb Of God concert here. I’d seen them back in 2007 and it was f’n amazing. Yes I’m a metal head who golfs. A rare breed. I’m sure I was the only guy in that whole audience who had a tee time the next morning…
During the show I jumped into the mosh pit a couple of times. I got knocked all around and it was sort of fun. I did get knocked down though and was being trampled. I thank the person, whoever it was, who picked me up.
At one point in time the Lamb Of God singer announced that their guitar player was playing through extreme pain which he’d sustained from a golf injury. Haha. I like that. There’s another metal head out there who golfs, and he’s in the band I’m watching. The irony.