Glendoverr, 10/25

Kyle and I had been wanting to golf together for a while, so off we headed to Glendoveer. 18 holes, walking. My goal for the day was to break 100, something I have never done for 18.

First hole is a short, 275 yard par 4 with an elevated green, sand short and right. I had a nice 240 yard drive, pitched on, 2 putt for par. Good start. Kyle went way right with his drive and struggled, finally taking a snowman. Ouch.

The second hole is also short, about 242 yards with sand in front and to both sides of the green. I had maybe a 200 yard drive, another pitch, 2 putts, par. Kyle also scored a par on this hole, which was cool. 

3 is a tight fairway with some fairway bunkers and to a dropped green that has blind areas in front. I went right unfortunately far, had a great approach, 2 putt, par. Kyle also scored a par.

#4 is a 154 yard par 3 that is just short and straight. We both chunked our tee shots, it took 2 to get on, 2 putts apiece, a couple of bogeys. At this point I am pumped. 1 over after 4 holes is great for me.

#5 is where it gets tough. Both sides have trees that make the fairway tight. It is only 268 yards, but you cannot stray too far. Well, Kyle pulled out his 3-wood and said, "I am going to bounce it off that tree and be in the fairway." And promptly hit the very tree he pointed at and bounced back into the fairway. So I pulled my shot left, it would have been great except there was exactly one branch I could hit...and I did which knocked 40 yards off my drive. I was still in the fairway. Pitch, putt, putt. Par, Kyle not so good.

Hole #6 is a 357 yard par 4 that is again very tight. I had a complete meltdown. Poor drive, weak second shot, I think 5 to get on and a 3 putt. Suddenly my great round had a snowman. Poor Kyle did little better, scoring a 7.

Hole #7 is 335 yards and even tighter. I sliced and was behind some trees, but had a bead on the left side of the green. I punched out onto the green, 2 putt, par.

Hole #8 is 346 yards with a soft bend left. I yanked my drive badly left into the trees, punched out, hit the green from there and 2 putted to save a bogey.

Hole #9 is a 424 yard par 5 with the green guarded both sides by sand. Again I pulled left. My second shot I played my 7 wood and blasted it, a great shot that gave me a good look at the green. Unfortunately, my chip was short so I had to chip again, then 2 putted for a bogey to close the front out with a 43, including 5 pars, 3 bogeys, and the one quadruple bogey. 

I am pretty proud of that 43 as Glendoveer is a tough course for me and by hole 7 I was starting to feel fatigue as evidenced by my driver deserting me.

Meanwhile, Kyle shot a mighty fine 48 with 3 pars (including hole 9), 3 bogeys, a double, a triple, and a quadruple bogey.

#10 is only 265 with fairway sand right where you want to land. Before we could tee off, 2 guys asked if they could join us. We wanted to say no but couldn't. I do not play well with others. *sigh* I sliced, punched back into the fairway, chipped close, chipped to about 2 feet and 1-putted for a bogey. Kyle also bogeyed. 

#11 is a 372 yard par 4 with sand guarding both front sides of the green. Again Kyle and I both took bogeys. 

#12 is a 112 yard par 3 with water in front of the green. I hit just short of the green and it rolled back towards the pond but stayed just above the ater. Unfortunately, it was in front of a clump of grass and I had no footing. I decided to give a pretty good pop to the grass and overshot the green, which was tough because it is a pretty large green. A good chip left me about a 5' putt which I drained for a bogey. 

#13 is a 308 yard par 4 closely guarded by trees on both sides with sand in front of the green. My drive was not good...right and behind the trees. I tried to punch under the trees and over the sand...but hit the tree and bounced back into the sand. The sand for a different hole...well, I chipped out of the sand to about 5' from the cup and one-putt for par. 

#14 is a 340 yard down hill with trees both sides. I ripped my drive but far right. I still had a clear look at the green from about 136 yards out. But I shanked my 8 iron and ended up in some trees right of the green with a tiny window to the green which lay downhill with some rough ground between me and it and a sharp drop that made part of it blind. So I took a short swing with my 8 iron and landed about 2' from the cup and tapped in for par.

#15 is a457 yard slight left bend par 5. I scrabbled back from going way right to somehow reach the green in 3 and 2 putt for another par. I was on fire for me.

The next hole, #16 is only 383 yards but still a par 5.  I pulled my drive left. It was a ground ball we though went maybe fifty yards. Turned out to be about 150, crushed a 7 wood from a sidehill uphill lie to a blind fairway, 136 yards and was looking at an uphill shot with sand traps flanking both sides of the green.  8 Iron left me with a 10' downhill putt which skittered a good 6' past the hole. I managed to hit that to save par.

#17 climbs sharply, playing as 341 par 4 uphill. I hammed a 280 yard drive down the middle. Pulled out my gap wedge for the first time all day. Perfect choice, it landed pin high...but bounced way up the hill. I was maybe 15' from the cup and tried to hit a 3 foot putt. Ended up 10' below the cup it was that steep and that fast. My come back putt died on the lip and I went from a birdie attempt to a bogey. Aggh!

#18 is a 144 yard par 3 with sand in front on both sides and a warning; don't go above the flag as this one is badly slanted to the front. I promptly shanked my 8 iron about 5' above the pin and 30 yards right of the green, easily one of my 3 or 4 worst shots of the day. I had sand between me and the green and electrical wires in the way. Boo! Sand Wedge...straight into the sand. Blasted out of the sand to the far side of the oversize green. My putt coming back I aimed about 10' above the hole, laying about 25' to the side. And my putt HIT the hole! but rolled about 6' below it. I yipped that and finished with a 6. 

Still, with no big numbers on the back, I was only one shot worse, a 44. I had 3 pars, 5 bogeys, and the triple. So I shot bogey golf on the back which I am ecstatic about.

For the day I shot an 87. To be honest, there was one putt I joked around with and missed so I took 1 mulligan on the front. Other than that, completely legit score. An EIGHT-SEVEN!

I am pretty jacked about that. Kyle also played well, shooting a 45 on the back, or 2 shots better than the front to finish with a 93. For two hackers, that is outstanding. On 8 holes, or almost half, I had pars. I cannot tell you how happy I am with my round.

West Killarney

Went to West Killarney with 3 guys from work. John likes best ball and likes to win. Bill, by his own admission, is not very good. Dave and I shot about even last week. I don't care too much about winning, particularly best ball format, which I don't care too much for, so I said, "Me and Bill will make a team." This made John happy as he looked forward to an easy win.

First hole is a dog leg left. About a 180 yard drive gets you to the corner, 200 yards puts you behind a tree so you really need to be accurate. John hit a gorgeous drive, Bill faded right, Dave chunked badly, and I whipped out my 7 wood. And topped it, maybe 140 yards. Terrible...but Bill was behind a tree so we played mine. We went back and forth...took us 4 shots to get on the green and then we 2 putted. Played 3 of Bill's shots and 3 of mine. Dave and John took a 5 so we were down one. 

Hole 2 is another "target golf" thing...maybe 160 yards to get past a tree, 190 yards means you might be out of bounds. Short right is trees and canyon. Both Dave and John hit gorgeous, near perfect drives. Bill had a playable drive but to the green blind. I mis-hit my 5 iron, it never got higher than knee level and sliced...fortunately, that meant it was a perfect shot. Unfortunately, I then topped my 9 iron and it went maybe 5 yards? Brutal. Fortunately, Bill put us close to the green. We then both chipped over the green. Our chip back on was okay, we 2 putted. Again, 3 of my shots, 3 of Bill's, Dave and John again had a 5 so we were down 2 after 2. About right.

Hole 3 is a 95 yard par 3. Bill chunked it way short and right. I took a half swing with my 8 iron. However, I crushed it. We thought it was OB so we played Bill's. I then blasted my ball to who knows where. When we went to play his second we found my first. So we played that. I managed to get mine on the green. We played one of my putts and one of his. Dave & John also had a 4.

Next hole is a long par 4 that is tree lined on both sides. Bill hammered out a nice drive as did John. I tried my driver but was still using the new uni-height tees. Sky-ball slice. Brutal. 7 wood went nowhere, Bill had a nice hit if a bit right. We played my chip to the green and his putts. Another bogey, as did Dave & John. 

At this point I was extremely frustrated. I was trying to play relaxed, smart golf. I was underswinging, going with soft swings, and so forth. And I was chunk-chunk-chunking my shots. I took a ball I had found and baseballed it into the woods with my putter, went over and sat at the next tee bench.

The next hole is  the first par 5, about 475 yards. Bill hit a short shot, John hit a long one, Dave hit short, and as I got ready to swing, Bill said, "Drew is ready to unleash a legendary drive...of F-bombs."  I tried my driver with a normal tee. And CRUSHED it. It was about a 270 yard drive and right center of the fairway. I then blasted my 7 wood pin high. They reached the front fring in 3 and we were still farther then them after 2. Then John chipped to about 6" from the cup. I chipped to about 8', we 2 putted. We played 5 of my shots and got the par. Unfortunately, John's chip meant we were still down 2. 

The next hole is a 360 yard par 4 with trees tight to the fairway on both sides. John hammered a nice drive, Bill and Dave both sliced short and bad, and then I stepped up. I had to avoid the tree that inhibits a skied driver on the right so I aimed left. Again I absolutely crushed it. It blasted loose a small branch  and still landed dead center in the fairway 90 yards from the green. Bill chipped short and left, I chipped pin high and right. We took mine, I rolled onto the green and close, we 1 putted for a par. Unfortunately, John rolled in about a 20' putt. Again the stroke we thought we were going to get back was ripped from us.

Next hole was a 135 yard par 3. John landed on the green. Bill went OB past the green. Dave landed on the green. I always struggle on this hole, but this time I hit the deep left corner of the green. Both Bill and I got close with our putts but mine was slightly closer and I holed it for the par. So did Dave & John.  3 straight pars for both partnerships.

Hole 8 is a short par 5, about 475 yards. It makes up for the length by having trees even tighter to both sides of the fairway. Bill hit very short, Dave was off in the woods to the right and John hammered a nice drive into the center of the fairway. So again I demolished my drive, long and straight. We were laying about 160 yards off the green. Over a 300 yard drive and center of the fairway!  Unfortunately, both Bill and I went right but I was about pin high so we took mine. I chipped onto the green and their third shot was long. They chipped on and were laying 4. They 2 putted. I had about a 7' putt with a left bend for the birdie that would tie us. John actually laid his putter in front of the hole. When the antics were over I put the putt on the lip; 1 more rotation and it would have fallen. So I tapped it for my 4th consecutive par, all of which were exclusively my shots. I was playing awesome.

We were now only down 1 with 1 hole to go, a very tough dogleg left par 4. Bill went first. He sliced badly and hit a tree about 40 yards down and right. John stepped up and hit a great drive that looked like it made the corner and was a great, great shot. I pulled out a 3 iron, trying to get past the corner without driving the road as I usually do here. Instead I shanked it shorter than Bill's and further right. Horrible. John and Dave were counting up how many strokes they would pick up. So then Bill overdrove the fairway and went OB against the road. I decided to try my 7W over the trees, over the water, over hole 5 to the green. Instead I caught mud and a branch, hit a low overhanging branch with the ball, and ended up about 40 yards from the green...short of the pond...behind trees. Sadly...that was better than Bill's shot. I ripped out my sand wedge, took a stout swing, the ball flew over the trees and pond and landed on the green about 6' from the cup. It was an outstanding shot. Dave hit a tree and ended up further from the green. John sliced behind a tree. For whatever reason they took Johns even with no view of the flag. Neither of them reached the green. Then they both chipped to the far back side of the green. They were laying 3, so were we. Their next putt barely got closer than ours. If we made our putt we would win outright. We both missed by inches so we took a 5. John yipped so it came down to Dave...who hit the lip and it rolled in for the tie.

Still, Bill and I should have gotten KILLED. We played only 12 of Bills shots. We shot a 43, 7 over. So I actually played really well once we got past the 4th hole. I played the next 4 holes alone and then we matched well on 9. 

I ended up having a good time despite the rough first 4 holes. A good finish to the year.


Three Rivers Golf Course

I knew Dave's wife was at a lace convention and the Goose was studying so he and I headed off to Longview. Unfortunately, there was a slight flaw in the directions I got from Googlemaps...namely, they said to take an exit that...well...doesn't exist. So we did the tour de Longview and ended up driving the length of the town. Like 3 times. So I was a bit frustrated by the time we got there.

Fortunately, there were very, very few people at the course. We basically paid and walked up to the tee. It is a long par 5 where the tee shot needs to be blasted to get up the hill to a blind fairway. Since Dave was taking his new clubs for the maiden tour I had him rip first.

He promptly sliced approximately 100 yards right of the fairway into some trees well short of the top of the hill. Now, I had just purchased some new tees. I habitually tee the ball too low. I also prefer to tee off with my 7 wood with which I do not use a tee. However, recently I read a couple books that pointed out doing this was a disadvantage to myself and even some of the best ball-strikers in history teed up every change they could because it was an easier shot. Taking this to heart, I decided to tee up every drive. I also bought tees that are universal in height...when you use them, you will always tee up the same height, it is impossible to do otherwise. And it is significantly higher than I have ever teed up before.

So I promptly made Dave's drive look spectacular; I might have hit it on the hosel, my hit was that bad. It was shorter than Dave's and further right.

My second shot, I decided to play "smart golf" and just hit it back onto the fairway so I could then use my beloved Fairway wood. Unfortunately, I did not hit it quite hard enough and left myself in the rough. And it was rough. My beloved 7 wood turned in my hands and I pulled it well left. And now had to contend with tree branches behind and above me. So I botched that shot. Well, Dave ended the hole with a snowman...and I snuck into double figures! Ouch. I had not put a 10 on the scorecard in years. Not an auspicious beginning.

Hole 2 is a par 4 with a slight bend left. Dave hammered his drive. Unfortunately, he had lined up so far left to compensate for his drive that he went way left...directly into trees. I crushed my drive (for me). 248 yards, just right of the fairway. My second shot landed on the right side of the green. A nice lag putt left me a 6' which I thought was in but left about 2" from the hole. I took a 5, not bad, but I wanted that par! Meanwhile, Dave had taken an adventure and took a snowman so I actually had a 1 stroke lead...

Next up was a par 3. I shanked my 8 iron. Not a good sign as that is typically one of my 2 best clubs. I rely so heavily on my 8 iron and 7 wood that those 2 clubs need regripped...but no other club is even worn yet. When it deserts me I am in trouble.

Instead of wisely chipping with my 8 I decided to hit my sand wedge. I have been experimenting with it lately and like the flop shot. Unfortunately, I chunked it past the green. Now a chip from a sidehill lie with the ball under my feet barely reached the green. A quick 3 putt and my 6 to Dave's 4 meant he was back up 1.

The next hole I absolutely crushed my drive. Unfortunately, I had elected to play for the fade I often hit and by so aligning, was aimed about 4 - 5' left of the fairway about 200 yards out. Well...I went further than 200 yards, never faded or sliced, and landed behind a tree. A quick punch onto the fairway, an 8 iron to about 20' from the cup, and I missed the putt but about 6".

A bit later we both sliced our drives. I ended up in a fairway bunker. I used my 7 wood, picked it clean, and almost drove the green. Unfortunately, the word "almost" is the operative word. I was short, blocked by a tree. I punched out...and over the green. Another 6. The big numbers were piling up. Of course, Dave took a snowman, so I was back up 1...

We went back and forth until at one point he was up one. The hole is a sharp dog-leg right to an elevated and blind. Neither of us had any idea how far to the bend. I decided to unleash the driver and my overswing would cause a slice. This would, in theory, carry my somewhat up the hill. Unfortunately, I skied the ball. It probably went 250 yards. Of course, 242 of those yards were up in the did not even get to the ladies tees. I crushed my 7 wood but aimed poorly. Had I aimed better it would have been a great shot. As it was, it was about as far from a great shot as you could get. Once more I was blocked by a tree. I could punch it right of the hole, but out of bounds loomed. Or I could go OVER the out came the sand wedge. Took a good, hard swing, got over the tree, but left myself needing to fly a sand trap. Another sand wedge...except I skulled it. It bounced off the fence marking out of bounds. An 8 iron, my backswing hit the fence. Another snowman. It was UGLY.

By the final hole we had traded the lead 3 or 4 times and were tied. I promptly pulled my drive left. I hit a provisional and this time I just dropped a ball and ripped my 7 wood like I used to. It was a great drive, slightly left side of the fairway (which is what I wanted since it was a dogleg left hole) with an easy 160 yards to an open green. Found my first ball and it was about a foot out of bounds per the local rules so I took my second shot and was laying 3. Dave promptly chunked his second shot into the pond. So now we were both laying 3. I pulled out my 5 iron. Earlier on a 160 yard par 3 I had landed on the green with a 3/4 swing with it. So this time I went full swing. Yep, pulled it left. Dave landed on the green but it skittered into the sand. I overshot the green, he got on. A weak chip, a 2 his 3 putt. We tied.

For the day I rang up the highest 9 hole score I have had in probably 6 years, a 58. Only twice all day did I hit the green in regulation and both times left putts on the lip of the cup. It was horrific.

But it was also fun. Good time. And if I were smart and went back to teeing off with my 7 Wood I would easily be back in the 40s. We will see if I get smart. Don't count on it.


Lake Oswego Golf Course

Since I have only played "best ball" this year, I wanted to get in at least one round that was just me seeing what I could do. So I header over to the Stafford Road course for a quick 9. It is a short par 3 course. Happily, I did not get paired with anyone. Of course, in some ways that is bad; I tend to play too fast. If I slowed down I would play better more often than not.

First hole is maybe 136 yards. Went with the 8 iron. Usually I don't tee up on par 3s, but some recent reading has led me to believe that is a mistake that makes the game more difficult so tee it I did. And promptly hit a worm burner. Pulled it left but pin high. My chip was almost awesome as it rattled the flag pretty good and left me about a 6' putt which I promptly missed. Oh, well, an opening 4 ain't bad. If I can bogey most holes and maybe par a couple I will be happy.

Second hole is a slightly elevated tee box and maybe 119. Tried my 9 iron. Hit it short. Decent ship, but a horrific 3 putt. gave me a 5.

Third hole is 175 yards, slight left bend to a slightly elevated green. 5 iron. Started good but tailed at the end. I was on the green, though. But it was probably a 25' putt, nothing I really had a chance at. I rolled the ball about 5' past the cup and made that for a par. Sweet!

About this time I caught up to a threesome who was behind a foursome of high school girls who were playing slow so it gave me time to kick back and relax. It was a 119 yard tee from the top of the hill. I wanted to air it out so the ball would sit. I figured a teed up Gap wedge would be perfect. I will never know because I skulled it badly. Line-drived that sucker. It flew right over the green about 40 yards the other side and rolled behind a tree so I could not even see the flag. Grr. I punched out and managed to land on the right side of the green, leaving maybe a 15' putt which I promptly botched. Another 2-putt.

Hole 5 goes slightly uphill and is maybe 135. I thought a pitching wedge was right; I hit it 135, the hill was slight, and since I fly it essentially the entire distance, that is a good selection, right? Eh. 20 yards short (!) and slightly right. Decided to try a flop shot since at this point the green was somewhat elevated. And hit it maybe 10'. Brutal. Chip, putt, putt, putt a SIX! ouch.

Next hole is 119, sharp downhill. 9 iron. First time all day I hit almost exactly the shot I attempted. Nice, high arch, landed just left of the pin, looked like it rolled real close to the hole, left me about a 5' putt. It is the first shot I have ever hit where I thought I had a chance at a hole in one, I was pretty excited when the ball was rolling. Missed the birdie putt but got my par.

That was about it for good golf. Closed out with a 5 and then hole 9 was brutal. 175 yards uphill. Yanked my 5 iron right, tree, landed behind it. Punched out into the fairway. Chunked my chip maybe 6 yards. Awful. My next one wasn't much better. So 4 to get on and then a 3 putt. A SEVEN to finish off. 12 over the last 2 holes. I finished with a 43...

Overall I guess for not having played my own game tee to green at all this year and only once last year, that is not terrible. Not good, certainly...but not unbelievably bad. I definitely need to get my putting back. A couple 3 putts, and an unbelievable 4 putt were the difference between an acceptable (by my standards) round and a bad one. And 22% of the time I still got par. So I can definitely get my game back if I get to playing regularly.