Sunday, October 4, 2009

No Place to Go, But Lower

I finally played my first round of golf since beginning the blog. On Saturday, I played with my friend Digger. Digger has been a long-time client and friend. He is a new member at Moon Valley Country Club. Since Digger joined the club, the course superintendent has been purchasing extra grass seed because Digger's divots are as big as tiger pelts. Generally Digger hits a big fade (some might call it a slice) and I hit my duck hook so we are not good cart buddies. When Digger is playing well he compensates for the fade and hits the ball into the fairway.

Moon Valley Country Club was originally built and owned by the Solheim family, the owners of Ping. It was the home of the LPGA Standard Register Ping Tournament from 1987 to 2003. It is an urban course that meanders through the local neighborhood. Driving to the course, you pass Winged Foot Road, Medinah Drive and Pine Valley Drive. From the tips it is over 7,200 yards. We played from the gold tees, which are 6,584 yards. The slope rating from the gold tees is 120. The slope rating for a course of average difficulty is 113.

Let me begin by saying that I stunk! I started off well hitting two of the first three greens in regulation and it was all downhill from there. On No. 4, a 511 yard par 5, I was hitting a pitching wedge and thinking birdie when I skull-hossled my third shot over the green and out-of-bounds for a 7. I hossled another pitching wedge on No. 9 and made the turn at 46, thinking that I could still shoot in the 80s. Other than the two pitching wedge disasters, I actually hit the ball pretty well on the front side.

My partner Digger was driving the ball brilliantly but the rest of his game was a disaster. For some reason he was not taking his normal tiger pelt divots from the fairway (I think the course superintendent may have talked with him!). More sand was added to the greenside bunkers since the last time we played and Digger hit a couple of really nice sand shots, but it was too little, too late. Digger also made one of the most remarkable shots I have ever seen. No. 6 is a 393 yard par 4. Digger hit his drive right down the middle (again!) and was 165 yards from the pin and 15 yards directly behind the 150 yard pole. He hit his next shot low and straight and the ball hit the 150 yard pole and ricocheted never to be found. I know that if Digger and I tried to do that 100 times we would not be able to hit that pole again!

On the par 5 13th hole I hooked my drive into the swale and wedged out into the middle of the fairway. I then hit my best shot of the day, a 3 hybrid 190 yards that cozied up to about 7' from the hole. I putted well all afternoon, but in this case I pushed the putt right and had to settle for a par. On No. 14 for some unknown reason I changed my driver set-up to hit a high draw and instead badly duck-hooked the ball. Frustrated, I told Digger that I was taking my traveling mulligan and I hit a beautiful high draw that just caught the lip of a bunker on the right side of the fairway. I bogied the hole, but the golf gods did not take kindly to my use of the traveling mulligan and I fell apart on the last couple of holes and shot a generous 48 on the back for a 94. Being the eternal golf optimist, I actually did some things pretty well, especially my putting. After watching Tiger Woods and vowing to get my putts to the hole, I only left one putt short all day (I three-putted that hole). I made a couple of nice putts and lipped out one or two other putts. I felt like I hit the ball better than my score indicated (don't you always feel that way!). There is no place to go, but lower.

1 comment:

JAY KRAMER said...

I received my first product placement today, a left-handed Rippa 460 cc driver. I think that the sender was telling me that I might have better luck playing left-handed!