The course was set up perfectly. The rough was about 2-2.5″ of thick Bermuda grass which is playable but penal. The fairways were plush and competitors played the ball down (as it lies) through the green. Now this brings us to the greens. Well, some would say they were quick. Others might even say slippery. I even heard one player call them fast.
I’d say quick… like how quick Michael Phelps takes a shower.
I’d say slippery… like how slippery sliding down black ice is with Clark Griswald’s sled.
I’d sayfast… like how fast you head to the baño after eating a Rochester garbage plate.
Hence there were a lot of bogeys. In the 36 holes of the tournament I carded four bogies, two double bogies, and two triple bogies which also included 4 three-putts.Ouch! Others didn’t even fair that well. There was one stretch of holes that I scored double bogey, bogey, triple bogey, par, bogey… but not to whine.
Finally with six holes to play, my mind kicked in gear. If there is one lesson I re-learned, it is that:
Good decisions, backed up by action, will always produce great results.
On my 13th hole, the 520-yard par 5 fourth hole(I started on the back nine), I hit a good drive into the wind down the left side of the fairway which left me 230-yards to a back hole location. This is normally not an issue, but I was semi-blocked by the trees guarding the left side of the fairway which left me a high draw shot shape to the green. Out of bounds, just right of the green, did not leave me a high percentage shot. My goal was to make birdie and get the momentum swinging back in the right direction. I decided to lay up with a 7-iron (I know, wimpy, right?), and swallow my ego. This left me a perfect sand wedge into the hole and set up a 10′ putt. Drano! I got one back!
I pared the 14th and smoked a drive splitting the fairway on the 15th, pitched to about 12′ and made another birdie.
The 16th hole was a 272-yard par four with a pond protecting the front-right part of the green. I hit a high fade driver off the tee to the front of the green about 50′ from the hole. Like I alluded to before, the greens were on the speedy side, so a lag putt below the hole was critical. I two-putted for another birdie.
The 17th hole is a short par five. I chose to hit3-wood off of the tee and stay short of the pond, which loomed about 270 yards from the tee. This set up an 8-iron approach to about 8.’ I read my putt, visualized the line, and stroked the ball in the hole for an eagle three. Sweet!
Eighteen was an easy par 4 of only about 320 yards. In my attempt to hit the greens I double-crossed it and pulled the ball into the trees justleft of the fairway. As I approached my ball, a little steamed from the miscue, I was faced again with a choice. I could try a miraculous shot around the trees, while keeping it under the limbs or punch it to the left side of the green and have a tough pitch to get up-and-down for par. I chose the latter, which left me a side-hill pitch to thegreen that sloped up to the hole and then downhill past the pin. I hit the best shot I could, but it ran about 10′ past the hole. I did manage to knock that one in for a par.
Five under par on my last six holes! All because I made good decisions. Too many golfers throw countless shots away due to poor choices on the golf course. That usually leads to impatience, which in turn, produces big numbers. Decide your goal for each shot and make the decisions that will most likely achieve the desired result and watch your scores come down.
That finish secured my first Seafood Invitational Duck, which are awarded as trophies to the winners of each flight.
I know you want to see my duck. Here is a picture: