Monday, June 20, 2011

On the Reservation

It is starting to get hot in Phoenix. I had to cajole Chad Feldheimer into playing golf this weekend. He wanted to tee off at 5:30 in the morning, but I eventually talked him into playing late in the afternoon. We were joined by the Gardener for a 3:30 Saturday afternoon tee time at Talking Stick Golf Club - North Course. Talking Stick Golf Club is owned by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and operated by Troon Golf. It is part of the Talking Stick Resort and Casino complex in Scottsdale on the Indian reservation.

The North Course is 7,133 yards from the black tees and plays to a par 70, which means there are only two par-5 holes, instead of the normal four par-5 holes. The course rating is 72.7, which is high in relation to par, but the slope rating is only 125, which is low given the length of the course. There are six par-4 holes over 445 yards and the par-5 holes are 552 and 582 yards. The fairways are wide open and there are not a lot of greenside bunkers, which partially explains the low slope rating. The course was in relatively good shape and the greens were very fast, although bumpy because it was so late in the day. Some of the greens were burnt out because there was a water main break and the greens were not watered for a couple of days in early June.

I started off with three pars and shot a 39 on the front 9 with one birdie on No. 8, 4 pars, 3 bogeys and one double-bogey when I lost my ball in the desert. I parred the first hole on the back 9. No. 11 was a 261-yard par 3! I hit my driver right of the green past pin high and the ball trickled into the desert for an unplayable lie. If the shot had been 3 yards shorter it would have ended up in the collection area and I may have been able to chip on the green and make par. Instead I made a double-bogey. I started to leak a little oil at that point and was not driving the ball well, but I was hitting my irons straight and long to save par or bogey. On the 194-yard par-3 16th hole I knocked the tee shot to about 2' and had a gimme birdie. The final two holes are the 582-yard par 5 and a 471-yard par 4. I bogeyed 17 and needed a par on No. 18 to shoot 79. I hit a good drive and a pudgy 3-hybrid and made a good bogey to shoot an even 80. It is really hard to complain about an 80 so I won't.

The Gardener has been kicking my butt the last few rounds. He had an off day and shot bogey golf, but it should not hurt his handicap index because you only count your best 10 scores from your last 20 scores. Chad Feldheimer was hot and cold and shot his normal 78. I think he was a little worried that I might beat him the way I was playing. Chad hit a couple of shots that embarrassed him, including rolling a 3-wood about 80 yards, chunking a wedge and pulling a 9-iron about 20 yards off-line, but he also made some great par saves along the way (and a few of those 8' rakes on the green).

Next week I am going on vacation to Montauk on Long Island with SO and all of my family that lives back in New York. We rented a house on the Montauk Downs public golf course that looks great so I am looking forward to playing some golf on vacation. St. Andrews is only a month away and my game is rounding into shape.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

...thought we might get a "getaway" post...