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.
Golf Course Review - Journey at Pechanga