Sunday, July 12, 2009

Golf Hostivar'

9 holes, Par 34, 2559m, Slope: 124

They Say: "Our 9-hole golf course actually has 11 holes. It is not so unusual as it might seem at first. Even our predecessors in the Scottish St Andrews originally started off with the very same number of holes (11 outgoing and 11 incoming). We have built two alternative holes (2b, 3b), believing it would be a great pity not to use for the game those two splendid hills alongside the golf course. So now we have 2 highly attractive holes, which we may include e.g. during golf tournaments in the second round of nine holes. Time and first experience from the course operation shall show whether it will be possible to fit in these holes in some way even during standard operation."

My partner Kjvetaak & I had made plans to play 3 times this week . . . a mini-golf-orgy . . . but events conspired against us. His wife was ill, so he could not play Thursday after work at Club Praha, so I went by myself, and got rained out . . . that was a very long tram ride home, wet and unfulfilled, if you see what I mean . . . Then he was ill, Friday was cancelled, then Saturday I wound up having to go play Golf Hostivar by myself . . . this involves a train, then a bus. Under the cloudy skies I saw I was very concerned about another long trip home golfless.

But I got to Hostivar, paid my greenfee, and walked right out onto the first tee -- Par 4, 347m. A brisk chilly wind at my back, I made a good swing and hit my ball right where I aimed, at the tower. I could see the guy on the green turn around when my ball landed, it was that close. Massive Blow. Was exactly 50m from the green. I leisurely shouldered my bag and walked off towards the green, and it started to sprinkle, so I slowed down even more to struggle into my rain-suit-top. The guy on the green had walked back towards me, to let me play thru, I could tell. I figgered I had a standard half-SW, but instead of the middle of the green, I landed and stuck on the fringe. Even tho' I told mys132elf that these greens wouldn't be as slow as Praha, I still hit my birdie texas wedge 15 ft past the hole. Missed the comebacker. Backhand bogey.

Fuming just a tad, I walked up to the 2nd tee: par 4, 303m. I tho't I could just hit the same shot, but that hillock gets in the way, doesn't it. I wasn't worried, I could see it bounce. Looking at the yardage, and recollecting how I'd come up short on #1, even with the wind, and recognizing that I was in some deep rough marked as a hazard, I gave my half-PW a little extra, but it came up short, too.

Now I was perplexed. Fuming even more I walked quickly over to my ball, but then I noticed another green over on my right . . . THAT was #2 . . . I had hit at #3 green . . . big dummy . . . It wouldn't have been hard to hit that same shot over the hill to the correct green -- it woulda been blind, but the yardage was solid in my head -- but no-o-o-o-o.

So I lobbed a half-SW onto the green, left my par attempt high by 4inches, another backhand bogey. Little more irritated, now.

They have some little blue signs pointing to the next tee, but I missed it, due to my fuming, and had to retrace some steps. Meanwhile the wind picks up, and the drizzle starts to sting a little bit.

The par 3 #3 132m hole doesn't look like much, but the wind was whipping across, left-to-right. I tho't I'd allowed enuf, but my 7iron wasn't solid, and it blew over into the sandtrap on the right. I had kind of a downhill lie in fluffy sand getting crusty from the drizzle, but I got out of the trap alright, but past the hole 20 ft. Missed the comebacker, and another backhand bogey putt.

The par 4 #4 462m hole looks like a long way, and that was just fine with me . . . I had some west-texas-red-ass to put on this drive. The wind didn't bother me, the rain didn't bother me, and I just planned to aim at the left rough
and hit it hard. But my grip was wet, my footing was wet, the wind picked up again, and I had this reverse-psychological OB-right lock on, because of the sign, so: first ball was an unguided missle, a push-slice riding the wind . . . probably landed OVER the train tracks . . . when I quit gnashing on my driver, I teed up again, concentrated like a bomb-defuser on beta-blockers, to make a smooth swing at my left rough target: my foot slipped, my hand-slipped, I snatched the club, trying to salvage something, and hit a weak slice, windblown, into the rough, almost OB, behind some trees . . . so I took my 3iron and hit my patented deep-rough-slice out of trouble, wound up handy on the front of the green . . . 7iron chip up short of the pin . . . missed that makeable putt for a kickin triple bogey.

I had to stop here in the woods between 4 & 5 and put on my rain pants, it wasn't raining that hard, but my pants were getting soggy . . . don't know why I didn't stop and put 'em on before . . . didn't want to admit it was raining I guess, or might've been too hot about the sloppy golf.

It's a long dang walk back there to the 5th tee, a 468m par 5 . . . mostly uphill. And the way those trees crowd the tee in the picture is just the way it looks from the tee . . . #4 is over on the left; #6 on the right.

After giving myself a pep-talk about swinging smoothly & under control, I addressed the ball and aimed to the right rough, counting on the wind to bring it back again . . . even if i hit a big fade again, I figgered, the wind would hold it in place . . . it was quartering with me from the right. . . but some other part of my consciousness chose to hit a hard-low block and my tee-shot clipped those trees on the right, just leaves, no wood. I'd reckon it went about 180m, into the near right rough, not far from #6 green.

So I had to hold a come-to-jesus meeting with me, myself, & I, concerning our golf, as I slogged up the wet hill in my swaddling clothes . . . my right foot was slipping every swing; I was snatching at the ball instead of making the smooth swing; my head was jerking like I was having a presbyoptileptic fit in my bifocals. So SNAP OUT OF IT.

I went to my go-to-club, my 7wood, to dig the ball out of the wet rough and gain me some yardage toward the green. Clipped it sweet: high and straight. I watched it all the way cuz I wasn't sure of the lay of the fairway, but I saw it bouncing twice in a ground-hook and knew it was good.

Got up to that ball, still 150m from the green, hit 6iron off the toe, but totally straight toward the pin, like a bulldog fighting the wind. Bounced once off the green, then rolled up 12 ft short of the pin . . . from the fairway it looked stiff . . . if it'd been dry, it would've been. . . .birdie putt was an inch left, leaving a backhand par . . . a little disappointing, but in the wet like that, I couldn't complain.

Charged over to the par 4, 309m #6, uh, recharged with energy, but I didn't like the look of that next hole . . . kinda closed off . . . I should've dropped down to 3wood, but instead I went back to the hammer, slipped by foot and by hand, and hit another booming boomerang slice back over onto #5 fairway . . . one good thing about playing in the rain is it holds down the number of duffers . . . I didn't shout Fore, even . . . so I had a good lie and a reasonable idea about the distance, about a 100m, so I tried to hit half-9iron to the middle of the green -- the pin was stuck way in the back of the long-thin, very elevated green. Came up short into what I tho't was sand, but instead was some sort of convex rock hazard that rejected my ball with a huge carom away from the green. I hit a semi-good flop shop from 30m away and 5m below the putting surface to 18ft from the pin . . . missed it for another backhand bogey . . . oh, what difference does any of it make? . . . 8^/ . . .

So I trudged over to the par 4, 250m #7, only to see this totally closed off fairway . . . I stood there looking at it, then the map on the tee-box, trying to figure out what was what for 5 minutes. I finally settled on a smooth 4iron off the tee . . . it was with the wind, and in a scramble, you might go for that green, but, first time around, playing solo, playing uncertainly, safety-first . . .
so that shot was straight, but kinda thin . . . wound up 95M short of the pin . . . you don't see many true blind second shots in golf courses . . . but this is one . . . like #10 at Sanctuary in Scottsdale if they haven't trimmed back the palo verdes regualr . . . I hit a little half-9, kinda thin but straight again, and wound up on the fringe 12 feet from the hole . . . my birdie chip roostertailed out of the fringe and 6 ft past the hole, breaking 3 unseen feet to the right. Need I say I missed the comebacker, for a backhand bogey? Very Exasperating, again.

So, then over to the par4, 263m #8 . . . it looked a lot like #6, not as closed off as #7, but to do over, I'd hit a 3wood, or even a 5wood.

I always feel, now, that when I don't hit a good shot, that that is my subconscious telling me that my conscious was making a mistake in clubselection or strategy, so my subconscious hit a week flutter over into the right rough . . . didn't matter, I was only 90m from the pin, but I hit another straight but short wedge to the fringe of the green. I gave it the same 7iron putting stroke my daddy taught me as I had on the others, maybe with a little extra, this time, and got it up 3 ft away, from where I actually was able to make the par-saver.

This shot of the #8 green is from their web-site . . . I figgered they deserved at least one nice photo . .. 8^D . . . and I was so preoccupied by juggling my brolly and my bag in my michelin tire boy outfit in the rain and wind that I couldn't be bothered about photos, sometimes.

Exhausted, hot & sweaty, cold & wet, I trudged thru a tunnel over to #9 . . . it'd actually quit raining, but the wind was still gusty. Kjvetaak'd told me that they have 4 different cameras on this hole, in case someone makes a hole-in-one. You might win a car for an ace, but the real prize would be a dvd with 4 different angles of your shot . . . I think that's the most interesting green on the course, but that may mean it's just the most obviously contoured. It's only 125m, but it was all water carry and against the wind . . . I was too tired to think about it much, so I just hit an 8iron as hard as I could . . . I hope no one was watching that swing, it was even more odd than usual . . . solid, but with some fade-spin . . . so it went right of the pin, landed short of the green, like a foot past the water and stopped dead . . . it was only 20 ft from the pin, but at an awkward angle to the contour of the green . . . I tho't . . . it was basically straight, but I'd worried so much about the line, I didn't hit it hard enough, then missed the knee-knocker, and wound up with . . . a backhand bogey . . . .

This a picture of the clubhouse there at Hostivar' . . . this is right up there with the most unusual architecture I have ever seen . . . it's like a Frank Gehry . . . I don't wanna make fun of it, but it's pretty hard to resist . . .

as I left the course, I walked past the restaurant . . . the plates I saw on tables by the window sure looked good . . . the only reason I don't have pictures of the food on people's plates in the restaurant is that I don't think even the most avid Japanese tourist would interrupt someone's dinner like that . . . 8^D . . . so that held me back . . . so stymied, I almost didn't stop to take a picture of this installation outside the door to the clubhouse, of irate people stalking into the clubhouse . . . 8^D . . .

can't say that I love the course . . . to short, too tight, too many electric wires going thru the course, but there's actually nothing wrong with it . . . the condition is great, the greens were faster and rolled-better than Club Praha . . . I'll go back if I can try out the restaurant . . . but I might just go for the food and eschew the golf . . .

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