Monday, May 18, 2015

What did you shoot? Birdies at the 9th and 18th! Nice finishes!

My late uncle the golf pro once told me and anyone else who he instructed that no matter how tough you play all the holes of a golf course, it’s the last hole and how well you play it that will keep you coming back for more. If that’s true, after a mediocre overall round at Lonnie Poole Golf Course Saturday, there will be plenty of additional rounds of golf in my future. There were two last holes to recount at the 19th hole.

Because of a terrible winter, the fairways and fringes of the Raleigh course at NC State University are not in very good condition. Some of the tees are suspect primarily because of the amount of play there. The greens with bent grass surfaces are actually in good condition except for the pitch marks that many players simply refuse to fix. It’s a public golf course, and for some reason, the public doesn’t care to help take care of it. That’s also obvious with footprints in the sand bunkers which were renovated recently and are much more playable than previously.

Iif you play the ball as it lies year-round, while it would be nice to have a solid base of Bermuda under the ball on ever shot from the fairway, while it would be nice to have closely mowed grass encircling the greens, hitting from bare spots or from dead (not just dormant) grass is not an issue, at least not for me. Hit it, find it, hit it again. You learn to pick the ball from the turf or just make sure you connect with the ball before the ground. You make the best of it, running the ball onto the putting surface instead of landing it short and expecting a bounce. That’s just not going to happen with the current fringes. It’s a grind out there with those conditions, hitting ball to the best positions you think are there and proceeding to do the same with the next shot. 

Saturday, playing with my two brothers and a brother-in-law of one brother, was a fun day. Approaching the 9th tee, my score was a fine 3-over par. A drive and a 58 degree wedge on the 395-yard par 4 placed me just a couple of feet from the cup. The putt went in for birdie 3 and a 38 on the front. The back side was not so kind to my scoring. Approaching the 18th, a 441-yard par 4, the total score was not important. A very good drive placed my ball about 190 yards from the green. A five iron shot to the left of the green took the slope just perfect and my ball rolled onto the green and stopped about 7 feet beyond the cup. With a slight break to the left, my putt was smooth and there was a second birdie on my card. “What did you shoot?” was asked of me later. “Birdies on 9 and 18!” was the only answer. There’s more golf ahead for me.
-------------------- word of the day
bucolic (adjective) [byoo-kol-ik] of, pertaining to, or suggesting an idyllic rural life

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