Saturday July 25, 2015…It started off like many other weekends this golf season. My brother, Kevin, and I had a 7:24 am tee time at our favourite course – Whitetail Crossing. We hadn’t golfed together since July 4 as Kev was away on a little vacation. For that reason, I was probably looking more forward than usual to this round as it would also give us a chance to catch up. AND, because my putting has done a 180 degree turnaround and I wanted to show off a little.
Ok, so before I carry on about the round of my life I will give a little background and context to my putting. To put it in simple terms, I was a BRUTAL putter on my good days and just embarrassing on the other days. In 2012 I had bought a new putter and placed my Odyssey Sabretooth in my golf closet to never be seen again. This putter took me to a whole new level of sucking when it came to putting but, never one to give up, I kept pulling it out, round after round, three putt after three putt. Finally this season, I decided all that I needed to turn things around was to get one of those cool oversize SuperStroke grips. I went to Golftown, had the grip changed and the next round I played, my putting still sucked, but I had a cool grip on my putter! So Kevin politely suggested maybe I should try practising putting someday, which is one of the craziest things I’ve ever heard because it’s usually not me that’s the problem, it’s my equipment. So I went home, opened my golf closet and way in the back was my old Sabretooth. Alright I thought, it can’t get any worse, literally! So I golfed 2 weekends in a row with my buddy Darryl and just as I suspected, it wasn’t me, it was the putter. My old Sabretooth is amazing and now my putting is the LEAST of my worries!!!
One other point, when Darryl and I golf together we always ask each other beforehand what we feel we’re going to shoot that day. If he had asked me this particular morning, I would have said that I felt like a mid to high eighties. (by the way, that is my standard answer whether I feel good or not!).
Alright, back to my magical day. I arrived at the course just before 7 am. Kevin was already there, so we got our gear and headed to the clubhouse. We were next on the tee as the one group in front of us had just teed off. As we stood on the first tee, all of a sudden the wind came up, clouds blew in, and the temperature plunged. We teed off grumbling about how wrong the forecast was and making idle threats that if it starts raining, we’re done! As it turned out, the weather sucked for the first 3 holes and then turned perfect for the final 15 holes. In this post, I will chronicle the front 9 of the day I shot 79!
Hole #1 – Par 4
My tee shot was a low, slight pull that found the fairway bunker down the right side. My second shot from the bunker, approximately 180 yards from the green, was not a good shot and I left myself about 60 yards with a greenside bunker in-between me and the pin. I hit about a 50 yard wedge and landed in the bunker. My shot out of the bunker was decent and I just missed the bogey putt and settled for a double. Score – 6; Total – 6
Hole #2 – Par 5
I hit my drive straight down the middle but right into the teeth of that strong wind I described above so distance wasn’t great but this hole is usually a 3 shot hole for me anyway because of the length and all of the trouble around the green. I hit a nice hybrid layup shot that left me about 135 yards out. Due to the wind, I hit a 7 iron that ended up on the back left fringe of the green. My first putt from the fringe ended up about 6 feet away, and now with my newly rediscovered putter and confidence I rolled in the par putt. Score – 5; Total – 11
Hole #3 – Par 4
Playing downwind, I hit a nice drive with a nice little fade that found the middle of the fairway. With the pin in the very back, I had 165 yards and hit a 6 iron that was left of the green where it hit the cart path and took a huge hop into the lateral hazard across the road. I took a penalty, dropped, and hit a great chip to within 6 feet of the hole. Stepped up and knocked the putt in, saving a bogey. Score – 5; Total – 16
Hole #4 – Par 3
The weather started to improve but the wind was still up and I hit a weak 6 iron into the front left bunker. Splashed out to about 10 feet and 2 putted for another bogey. Score – 4; Total – 20
Hole #5 – Par 4
Again, hit a nice drive with a little fade right into the middle of the fairway, 145 yards out. I hit a good 7 iron that landed pin high and just rolled up onto the fringe. My fringe putt ended up 2 feet from the hole for a tap in par. Score – 4; Total – 24
Hole #6 – Par 5
I pulled my drive hard right into the hazard that runs along the right side. After taking a penalty and drop I was lying 2 and hit a lazer hybrid to just over 100 yards out. My 4th shot was a gap wedge into the wind that came up short of the green, then I hit a chip shot that left me with a 10-12 foot putt for bogey. I lined it up, hit a solid putt into the centre of the cup saving that bogey. Huge putt! Score – 6; Total – 30
Hole #7 – Par 4
This hole is a sharp dogleg left with bunkers on the inside of the dogleg. I hit a nice drive but with a little more of an aggressive fade that found the fairway bunkers. My second shot was 180 yards out and I hit a nice clean hybrid out of the bunker that landed just left of the green but pin high. I hit a good chip that left about a 15 foot par putt that I just skidded by the hole and tapped in for bogey. Score – 5; Total – 35
Hole #8 – Par 3
Nice short little par 3 with bunkers in front. I hit a high 7 iron that ended up just on the front fringe about 25 feet from the hole. I lagged the double breaking fringe putt down to 3 feet for a makable par. Score – 3; Total 38
Hole #9 – Par 4
I hit my drive with my usual fade to the left side of the fairway about 150 yards out. My second shot was straight into the wind and I pulled a 6 iron into the right greenside bunker, which with the pin being on the left side of a large green made for a long bunker shot. I made a great shot that blasted out of the sand and rolled down to 6 feet from the whole. I rolled the putt in for a huge sand save par. Score – 4; Total 42
Front 9 Score – 42 – I was a little surprised at the 42 because I didn’t think it was that good of a front. I thought I was closer to 45 as I usually don’t keep track in my head of the running score when I’m playing. I just usually can feel if it’s good or bad. This didn’t feel like a 42. We stopped at the clubhouse after 9 to grab a drink and as it turned out, a piece of puffed wheat cake. (Anyone that knows me, knows my love of puffed wheat cake). Then it was on to #10 to start the back 9.