Saturday, June 20, 2009

Golf Club Praha, assessment

so Kjvetaak said to me "they want to know what you think of the club".

This I say, objectively --

totally unpersuaded by the booty they have graciously bestowed on me despite the fact that I was obviously over-handicapped . . . but then that could just be my ego . . . it would be very pleasant to believe that I deserved first place in the tournament (for the 3rd flight), with all the benefits that accrue to that position of honor, but I would like, LOVE, to compete at a higher level and contend successfully, if you see what I mean --

I love this course, not the least for how quirky and unfair it is in places: the trees in the fairways of #2 & #6; the top ledge on the right of the green of #3; the hump in the fairway on #4 that keeps me from hitting more than a 7wood IF I can find the fairway; the blind tee shots on #7 and #9; the brutal bounces from shocking elevation changes side-to-side on #5 and #8; and the awful, grainy, slow greens . . . I mean, I accept it as a failure on my part, the inability to adjust to the greens, but most courses that use slow, grainy greens as a defense are flattish, undistinguished courses with little rough, where this course not only has amazing elevation changes, but also ankle deep rough, narrow fairways (at critical distances), dense copses of trees, and a prevailing wind that makes staying in the fairway a major challenge.

I tried twice to get a new putter, a heavier putter to help me with the greens, but I've had no luck, so far. . .

GCP is a quirky layout, with dangerous intersections between holes, awkward routings, inconvenient retracements, not to mention the road crossing several fairways, but within the confines of each hole, the shot values are of the highest quality. The par 3s are all interesting and challenging, even tho' of all mid-iron length. The par 5s are true 3shot holes, by virtue of being so long and so uphill. The 4 par4s are varied, with unique challenges each, without being over-long. I wish the greens could be faster, but they would have to be re-contoured less dynamic, if you see what I mean . . .

The Club was built in 1926, and it has that "bursting at the seams" look of such an old course, but I don't know what I would change, really: more than any other club I've played, you HAVE to keep it in the short grass, or pay a half-stroke penalty; if you go off in the trees, that's a full stroke -- ANOTHER full stroke. Missing the green requires a superior short game to recover -- which I don't have now due to rustiness, but, even in-practice would test me fully, because of the gruelling, grainy, slow greens.

Today, while I was warming up, just putting, I suddenly stroked a few putts properly, I could tell, by the way they rolled . . . I tho't the feeling might stay with me, but it came and went, several times . . .if one could roll-the-rock that way every time, it would help, but the lack of it makes for 3putts, which puts stress on the short-game, which puts stress on the iron game, which puts stress on the tee-game, if you see what I mean . . . I feel my game has imploded from the green out.

On the back9, I tho't I'd gotten it together: I parred #3with a good up-and-down, but bogeyed #4, missing a 4ft. par putt; double-bogeyed #5 out of the sand; parred #6 after leaving my birdie putt 2 ft short; bogeyed #7, taking 4 to get down from 70 yds; double-bogeyd #8, taking 4 to get down from 15 ft.; triple-bogeyed #9 after leaving one in the trap, then missing a 3 ft for double-bogey.

my playing partners frequently said "dobry" for "Good shot", but they also said pekna (pee-yekna) for "Good One". . . not just for me, for everybody . . . this is a course you can hit a ton of good shots on and wind up still making double bogey. That's one definition of a great course.

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