Miss-te-teetsah – K-taak says its hard to pronounce even for Czechs.
6201M, Par 72, Slope 134
As we zoomed past Cerny Most, the last stop on the Yellow Line, I asked, “Where in Blazes is this place?” Cerny Most being the edge-of-the-world as far as I am concerned . . . .
“It is on the Parry-Fairy of Praha . . . ” K-taak started to explain . . .
“Wait a minute” I interrupted, “pull over, I gotta hold up a bank for some cash!”
He whipped over into a buslane in a cloud of blue smoke and parked -- I jumped out to hold up a cash machine. It was my bank, Ceska Sportelna . . . they show no golfers, but hockey players, sport-wise, in the ads, but I bank with them anyway. I dashed back to the car with my cash . . .
“what is parry-fairy?”
“Like the edge . . . “ k-taak starts again . . .
hoo-hoo-hoo-hooooooooo. Periphery. Every single Czech pities my pathetic attempts at literacy, but Parry-fairy! I’m such a word person. I will use parry-fairy from now on . . . 8^D . . .
We were gonna play Alex Cjelka’s course design, The Prague City Golf Club, but Vlasti, the venerable captain of the Company Golf League said, “I have a coupon for free golf at Mstitice. Let’s play there instead.” Well, it’s hard to turn down such an offer, so we didn’t.
“This is the best club in the
The clubhouse somehow manages to be Rustic & Modern all at the same time . . . beautiful & comfortable, except for this Golf Punk thing – I guess it’s just me . . . they were setting up for a wedding reception in the clubhouse before we teed off . . . I allus have mixed regard for such a thing . . . I mean, IF the happy couple is golfers and they want to celebrate, jeebus, it’s hard to deny ‘em, but if they’re just interlopers looking for a bucolic location, I often feel like the course is giving short shrift to the golfers for the almighty Korruni – f’r’instance, they didn’t have Krusovice beer on draft because the wedding only wanted Pilsner Urquel . . . oh, fine!
Anyway, at the appointed hour, we strolled up to the first tee and like Stout Cortez with eagle eyes surveyed the landscape . . . At this point I would say Mstitice is an inland links layout . . . no trees and very little water really in play . . . lots of uneven lies and dynamic altitude changes, but over a rolling landscape, rather than the mountain-goat range like the Prague Golf Club at Motol.
So from the first tee, you can’t see dingus . . . from the Hole Picture by the tee and Vlasti’s description we knew to hit straight away to a big wide fairway . . . I subconsciously took 5% off to make sure I got a good lick, and tho’t I’d driven the green, but I came up 40 yds short. Pin was on the front of the green so I lobbed a half-wedge short of the green, but it bounced hard and rolled 25 ft past the pin . . . it’s one of those dang greens that fall away from the fairway . . . so nuthin’ would do but I 3jack it from there . . . all I did was practice putting, and feel real-good about my speed control, but that all went away right away. Everybody had a 5 there. Easy hole, but I shudda chipped instead of pitched, but who would know, first time around? Not me.
From the second tee, you can see dingus, but it’s kinda intimidating . . . not as wide open . . . elevated tee, but just so you can see the trouble . . . like on the right, there: they call them bio-areas so, if you go in, you have a lost ball situation. On the left is some nasty hay you won’t never find your ball in. . . none of that trouble me . . . I just figgerd to hammer my drive straight at the hole to avoid that ubiquitously unnecessary tree in the middle of the Czech fairway, but I came up short . . . it’s all further than it looks . . . into the rough on the inside of the small dogleg-right. Nothin’ wrong with that shot, but on my second, that rough turned the club over on me, pulling the ball left, pin high in to a big pot bunker. Heavy sand, too. Took 2 to get out, then putted twice for my 6. Shoot.
On the par5 #3 I started getting that feeling of agoraphobia – dizziness from too much open space, like I got at first when I moved from East Texas to Arizona . . . overswung all the time from a feeling of dangerouslessness that is not real, and so here, too: it looks wide-open, but the rough is treacherous and you need to challenge those bunkers on the inside of the dogleg, so you don’t wind up where I did . . . now, K-taak takes these pictures, tho’ I told him I don’t wanna be in no pictures, especially those showin’ my odd form . . .
it looks like I’m gonna hit a weak slice over in the right rough, and as it turns out, that IS what I did, but that aint what I normally do.
Then that ball was sitting down in a very cuppy lie, so that when I hit at it, I bellied it, and it just popped straight up into the air, went about 40 yds, still in the rough . . . so on my 3rd, I didn’t want to go in the water hazard up by the green – and Vlasti’d already described his strategy on this hole for a one-putt par -- so I took a 6iron instead of the 5 again, turned it over in the tall grass so that it went into the bunker on the inside of the 2nd dogleg. Tried to hit a 7iron over the giant lip of that bunker, and barely got out . . . which is where K-taak was kind enough to come over and take another picture to show the view of my 5th shot. I hit an 8iron onto the right fringe, but on the wrong level, but somehow I managed a 2putt double bogey.
Well, I’m frumpled now. 3putt bogey on #1 because it sloped away from the fairway, Doublebogey on #2 because I jerked left into a pot bunker, and now another double bogey on #3, from bad shots & bad strategy. I resolved to knuckle down. Always a good sign. . . *^D . . .
But on the par4 #4 I smoothed a smart drive right at the proper electrical tower, cleverly avoiding the bunkers that trapped K-taak & Vlasti on the left inside of the dogleg. This was another case, tho’, where I had driven an extra 50 yards to no purpose . . . I wasn’t any closer to the hole than they were . . .8^/ . . . They got out alright, up by the green, then I jerked left into a big bunker again . . . when I got up there it was one of those sumbitch’n lies where your feet are out of the trap but the ball is in and you have to lean over the ball or put your feet in the bunker and try to armswing close to the body. I chose the 2nd notion, and promptly bladed the ball over the green. . . pitched back and 2putted for another double bogey . . . so much for knuckling down!
It was good that we could wait on the group in front of us for the par4 #5, as I sought guidance from Vlasti . . . that fairway is awfully, artfully concealed . . . “Not on the left where that guy is, he’s just out of the bunker, and not on the right where that guy is, he’s in the rough. Just in the middle.” Well sure, if you can, that’s where you want, in the middle . . . 8^) . . . So I hit it there. . . . one of those days where I was driving off the tee perfectly and still not scoring – ulcerating, if you know what I mean. K-taak wound up over on the left side of the fairway, near my ball, and we talked about the strategy on the hole. We agreed to hit our balls right away from the bunker guarding the left side of the green & the pin. We both wound up just where we had aimed, but that turned out to be a very tough 2putt—or as we made it, 3putts. I don’t know if I played this course more, would I adjust to the greens or are they so tuff that it would be a perpetual struggle? Good question. Good Course.
The par4 #6 is a good hole, but not necessarily memorable . . .
K-taak hadda remind me what happened . . . I hit a good drive down the right side, but K-taak blocked out into the #3 fairway. . . he got back into play on our fairway then I hit what I tho't was a good shot but came up short: into the wind, uphill, too much algebra to calculate the right distance from meters to yardage. . . I'm bound to adjust someday, just not yet . . . this was not one of those days where my shortgame could rescue me from such faux pas, either . . . so tap-in bogey, while K-taak took a double bogey from his inexcreble putting . . . never seen anyone else lipout so many as him, from long and short distances.
The par5 #7 #1handicap hole didn't seem so much a chore, I just confidently hit my drive over all the bunkers in the landing area, then kinda pinhooked a 5wood up the hill towards the green -- the kinda shot I always say "but laddie, that's the way we do it in Scotland!" But I left my wedge approach short -- again -- and bladed my chip over onto the opposite fringe . . . an entirely makeable putt, about 15 ft, but the ball just wound up 2 inches above the hole, never made a move left-to-right, like I tho't it ought to.
The par3 #8 looks very chancy from the elevated tee, from that giant bunker that makes it into an island green. It’s very large, but the back 1/3 slopes away from the tee again, something I didn’t notice until my ball landed, then rolled out of site. I threw down my club in disgust and angst . . . these greens are so hard, in keeping with the links-style that having an island green that slopes away from the tee is just plain unfair . . . 8^0 . . . I tho’t my ball had rolled off the back, but it hung up in the fringe, leaving me a makeable texas wedge . . . I didn’t make it of course, but that was my first par . . . finally . . .
The par4 #9 is a blasted blind tee shot . . .
Vlasti gave us comfort that it was straight away . . . if one can hit it reasonably straight . . . so easy tee shot except that its blind and uphill and against the wind . . . but the green is thin and long, guarded by traps and water . . . . I had an half-8iron left, hit a knockdown fade that rolled right by the hole, 15 ft past . . . din’t make the birdie. . .
#10 seems like a refreshing change from the front 9 . . . a downhill par 4 . . . I was so delirious from finally parring a couple of holes, I teed off from the white tees in back, instead of the yellow . . . hit a low line drive straight at the green I was sure would be dead in the trees that protect the green and the inside of the 90 degree dogleg – but the ball was in the fairway on an upslope . . . I mighta coulda flopped it over the trees, but I probably would have gone for the #17 green next to it by mistake . . . My playing partners insisted I hit again from the proper tees, with no penalty . . . 8^) . . . now I hit a perfect 7wood down the middle of the fairway, out of sight. Vlasti was shorter and righter; K-taak was lefter and longer. Vlasti could not see the green from his position . . . this is another semi-unfair hole design . . . there’s only a section of fair the size of a medium-sized green to land in with a look at the green . . . you “could” go longer, or lefter into the rough and uneven lie, but peeee-ewwwwwww.
As it is, that green is 4 tiers steeply sloped back towards you, which is so shockingly different from the front9 that it leads to misjudgments – not to mention that there’s no exact meterages available . . . I eyeballed it and hit a good shot, short to the front of the green, two tiers too low. K-taak & Vlasti were both in the trees that crowd the green on the right. I 4putted for a double bogey . . . K-taak 2putted after taking 4 to actually get on the green . . . we disagreed which was more disgusting . . . 8^) . . .
#11 is another hole I was not crazy about . . . the drive is all downhill, but to a first timer it looks very narrow, with trash all down the left side and a gas-plant of some sort crowding into the inside of the dogleg right . . . I mean, you want to go straight off the tee, and even a little right, but it is so d-e-a-d over there it preys on a boy’s mind . . . and not to mention I had a little extra red-ass on my tee ball after that 4putt . . . long story short, everybody wound up in the left rough. Vlasti & K-taak hacked out of the long grass but I finally caught a break and found a bald knob, where I could get a club on the ball . . . course I had no idea where to go from there. . . I mean, rightish, but there were small trees and a gully of some sort all the way across the fairway . . . without a detail yardage book, or GPS, it was just a guessing game. I finally settled on a smooth 5iron, and that was the right club . . . maybe that IS the way to play that hole . . . left then middle, then a 9iron up the hill . . . that green is something else too, with a shelf on the top part of the green the size of an apartment terrace, where our pin was located, then steep slopes radiating all over the green. . . K-taak had a short pitch for his 4th shot, but he had to get over the corner of a big bunker, then stop it on that shelf . . . his short game is awesome, but that would have been a pro-shot with plenty of mustard-spin on it . . . so he wound up at the bottom of the green in the fringe, from where it took 2 putts to get back up on the shelf, and 2 putts to get in. I got up on the shelf in 1, with a 40 ft approach that broke 10 ft sideways, but I missed the 4 footer for par. Maybe that hole grows on you if you play it more than once, but it seemed gimmicky to me, as did #10.
#12 is an island green with a tiny moat. . .
that is, if you hit a terrible shot, you’re still on dry land, but if you hit a mediocre shot, you’re in the water . . . we had a fierce, gusty crosswind that had me back off twice before I hit . . . a thin 7iron that landed just on the green and rolled 25 ft behind the pin . . . dang these greens are hard, but at least this one was canted towards us instead of away. K-Taak hit a super shot to the middle of the green and he had a 30 ft sidehill putt that woulda hairlipped Ben Crenshaw. 3putt. I had an easy 2putt, another missed birdie.
The par4 #13 still befuddles me in recollection . . . I don’t know why it went so wrong . . . I wasn’t frustrated yet, was even over-confident in my driving, but I got over the top of this tee ball and pull hooked it into the hay on the left . . . I really hadn’t been in the hay before . . . I had no idea what is was like . . . it’s like british open rough, not mere US open rough . . . On Vlasti’s recommendation, I hit a provisional, a pop up short in the fairway, but I was still thinking I would find my ball. Didn’t tho’, and looked for it longer than I normally would, cuz I couldn’t believe I couldn’t find it . . .finally gave up and trudged back to my 2nd ball, and promptly hooked another into the hay. . . K-taak found that one for me, somehow, and by hacking it like a wheat harvest I was able to get up on the green in only 3 more, with 2 putts for a 9.
Day definitely had a red-tint to it then. That’s a long uphill par 4, but there ought to have been plenty of room on the right – no reason to go left there, twice . . .
So on the par5 #14, Vlasti suggested I could cut the corner over the wheat field, I was amenable. Why Not? Why not is because that inside corner is full of that hay, even if you get over the actual wheat field, not to mention those two deep bunkers . . . and instead of going for the green in two, I was just trying to hack it out . . . 2 balls and 4 strokes later I finally got back into the fairway under the green . . . I skipped a ball up onto the elevated green with a chance to salvage a double bogey, but I three putted from 20 ft, instead.
Meanwhile K-taak was wandering a different path thru the same travail, but he stepped on a hole coverd by the tall grass and wrenched his ankle . . . he tried to hit another shot but his weight transfer was totally dead. We were walking too, not riding, so I worried our round was over, but he manfully intended to walk us in . . .
The thing about Red-Ass, is it can work for you or against you . . .
I now coulda bottled the stuff like a coca-cola factory, and unloaded my tee shot on the par4 #15 deep, deep, deep, over the bunker in the corner, thru the rough, into the fairway. . . that’s a downhill shot, but you can’t tell from the picture how steep back up hill that green is . . . I only had a halfwedge, that I hit pin-high right of the pin . . . not really that good a shot. Vlasti hit a hybrid from much further back in the fairway very right of the green, but he pitched on and two-putted to save his bogey, whilst I tried a texas wedge for the 9th time this day without any success, I just hockey-sticked the ball to the hole for a double-bogey.
So, on the short uphill par3 #16, I hit a half9 to the middle of the green with only a modicum of interest . . . K-Taak was hobbling bad here, especially climbing the hill. He’d tried to hit a tee shot and just blocked it way right . . . that’s his tendency anyway, and that ankle was not helping. Since I was 18 ft away, and I still don’t have a birdie in the
You know, on the front9, the holes I remember all seemed to be downhill with greens going away from me, but on the back9, they seem to be uphill with greens sloping severely into me . . . I guess you’d have to regard that as a cogent variation, rather than a foolish inconsistency, but its murder on a first-timer, according to me. . . 8^) . . .
On the par4 #17, its clear to me to avoid the inside of the dogleg left. . . there’s just too much trouble over there, but my subconscious had taken over cuz the rest of me was too distracted, and I hammered a pull over the traps . . . or around the traps, I’m not sure, I saw it bouncing but I can’t say that it wasn’t tip-toeing between the bunkers . . . at any rate, it wound up in the middle of the fairway, 90m from the front of the green . . . an awesome drive, but my wedge came up short to the front of the green, leaving me 50ft downhill from the pin . . . when my birdieputt wound up 15 ft above the hole, I hastily 3 putted from there, indifferent.
The par4#18 looks like #9, but I hooked my tee shot into the bio-area . . . with as little fuss as possible, I dropped a ball up there, and hit a knockdown 7iron onto the green, and 2putted for a virtual par – double bogey to you . . .
Did not make one single putt all day long. 7 missed-birdies.
Great Course, but I hate the electric wires going everywhichway, aesthetically. At least 2 of those holes are borderline unfair, #10 & 11. With fairways this wide, it’s hard to complain about the rough, but man I hate that hay . . . it’s like water it’s so penal . . . most of the time you can’t find your ball in there . . . for pros with spotters, it’s ok, but for a course where you have to find your own ball, it really takes away half the hole options. . . . you just cannot go in there, it’s an instant double bogey. The layout is great in the way it takes advantage of the rolling terrain, and although there are tight places where the fairways rub against each other, it never gave me the feeling of peril from errant shots . . .
Definitely a 2 on the Kokopelli Standard.