10th Hole – RIver Oaks
Last Tuesday I played round one of my 2015 club championship, defending my 2014 title. I’ve been struggling the last few weeks and I struggled during the first round. The course was playing as tough as it can play with 20-25 mph south winds. From the tips of this mega-tight course and with those winds, big scores can happen, and they did.
It was a bizarre round to say the least. My normal group of players all could not make it, so I ended up playing with a group of players I did not know. They were all seniors and very high handicaps. While they were nice gentlemen on the course, it was a bit wonky for me to be playing two tees behind them, and watching them card nines and tens on holes while I was trying to grind out pars and an occasional birdie.
It got more weird.
The group I was playing with were only 9-hole competitors. So I headed to the back nine with nobody to play with. With nobody to play with, I was sure to card a hole-in-one on every hole. I was going to have to wait for a foursome of league competitors behind me to catch up in order to complete my round with league members. So it would be weird because I’d be in a five-some.
Then the pro shop sent out a league member to play with me as a marker. It was the player I’d beaten in the final match of the 2005 club championship. He proceeded to tee up no less than four balls on the 10th, spraying them all over hell. As he was there just to play some practice golf, he was hitting multiple balls all over the place. Near the greens I would chip on, then he would chip 3-4 balls. On the greens he was putting several balls all over the green. It made it hard for me to concentrate.
On the par-5 13th into a heavy wind I decided not to go for the green and to play a 6-iron layup. I pulled it into some very long grass left of the fairway. I searched for my five minutes to no avail. The marker sat in his golf cart on the other side of the fairway and did not offer to help. I ended up making a double-bogey on that hole, the easiest hole on the entire course.
It gets more strange.
Dissatisfied with his poor play of his 3-4 balls per hole, the marker decided he’d had enough and LEFT after the 15th hole. I was on the 16th tee in my club championship, playing by myself. This is messed up. I’d talked to the league president via text about it and he understood I had done everything I could do and that he trusted me to finish the round by myself. Great! 16-17-18 will all be aces! I ended up finishing par-par-birdie. Damn near aced the par-3 18th. Imagine how screwy that would have been with no witnesses?
As mad as I was, especially with making some horribly stupid errors on the course like losing a ball on a par-5 layup iron shot, I’m only TWO shots behind the leader with one round to go tomorrow.
I not only have a chance, I have a good chance. That is, if I find someone to play with.
I hate cart paths. They’re a menace and diminish the game of golf in my opinion. You will see no cart paths at the Old Course in St. Andrews, ever. The revenue generating aspect of cart paths, especially for American/resort golf is a fact of life for most courses. Without that extra revenue many more courses would go under.
On my recent HOG World Tour stop at Pechanga in Temecula, California I saw a fun twist on cart paths. Rather than having small streams go under them, the resort has the water flowing over them. If you must have cart paths, might as well have some fun with them!
A golfer in my group named Mike jokingly said the flooded cart paths were the main reason he chooses to golf at Pechanga because he likes to get a running start and fly through the water in his golf cart. Me being the opportunist I am told him to let me have my camera ready before he did it. I managed to snap the pic below at the absolute perfect time!
That’s a different kind of water hazard at Pechanga!
The unique cart paths were just one of the interesting aspects of playing at Pechanga. More to come.
I’m such a diehard with the grammatical details…
Every time I play the 3rd hole at one of my home courses I read the lower sign and think to myself, “Since I’m only responsible if my shot was ‘errant’ I’m not liable if I knock out the house windows intentionally? I don’t have to cover damages resulting from a shot which is not errant, but purposefully hit that direction and executed perfectly?”
Today I had the pleasure of whacking the white spheroid around the Pechanga Golf Course here at the Pechanga Resort/Casino in Temecula, CA.
Above you can see my shot on the scenic par-3 17th hole. I hit a 9-iron past the flag left and it came back down the hill, nearly dropping for an ace. That was one of the highlight shots of today’s round.
Pechanga Par-3 15th
Now that I’ve made my way around the course for the first time I’m looking forward to taking another shot, or journey at Pechanga, tomorrow. I’ll know better where to hit shots, and not where to hit them. That doesn’t mean I can control where they go, however.
I’m not sure what’s more fun, setting up my golf club glam shot photo shoots, or testing great golf clubs. Today we are getting a first look at the new Bridgestone Golf J15 Driving Forged Irons, or J15DF.
Bridgestone Golf J15DF Irons – click to see more
I will start testing these irons soon, and post a review when I’ve got enough rounds with them to give a proper evaluation. Translation: I’m not going to hit three 7-irons on the driving range and rave about how great they are…
Bridgestone Golf J15DF Irons