Sunday, September 20, 2009

GCP Tournaj

“You finished 19th again,” said K-taak, “not even on the first page of the standings.”


“Gimmeanotherdoublecognac, prosim!” I signaled the waiter . . . we still had to wait for the B-flight results . . . I may as well comfort myself.


It was as I had expected . . . shot 46-46=92, 5 strokes over my handicap . . . you have to shoot your handicap, I believe, to win a tournament. . .


Twice on #2 I had foozled from 70m out, with a wedge in my hand, after a huge downwind-drive, into the front bunker, making doube-bogey.

Twice on #4 I had foozled my approach so bad, it threw off my whole hole . . . twice I lipped out the doublebogey putt from 4 ft.

Twice I made a snowman after a par-3-par.

Twice I wedged into a greenside bunker on #7, once left and once right, and made double bogey there. . .

All day long my wedges had betrayed me, turning routine holes into escapades.


The last 5 holes were the grimmest grind I ever ground. Bogeys – not a sniff of a chance at par – from 4 to 8 ft, but I made everyone. The grimmest was #18, after I hooked into the fairway and the sidehill slope pushed my ball off into the woods. I found it just to be sure, then hiked back and hit another drive properly, up unto the crown of the hill. . .


“That’s the longest drive I ever saw on this hill!” exclaimed K-taak.


“Grrr-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r” I grumbled.


I hit a 6 iron, as I had done in the front 9 . . . when I parred #9 for the 3rd time in a row. This time, it took the hook lie, and curved around the woods, rather than flying straight across the dogleg.


“That was a fantastic hook you hit!” exclaimed K-taak.


“Grrr-r-rr-r-r-r-r-r-r” I grumbled.


The sun was in my eyes after I hit my wedge to the green, 81m, uphill. I had no idea where it went. K-taak said nothing. I assumed it was in the bunker, but I found it 8 ft away from the pin on the lower tier of the green. . . I knew just what this putt would do. I made it, for my grim bogey, a virtual birdie. . . I will never eagle this hole, but now I know how to birdie it.


I went home and tucked into my Armagnac. About 9pm K-taak texted me, “I’m sorry . . . you were 4th “ I jumped onto the internet and checked the GCP tournament web site, and it was true. I was 4th, 2 stableford points behind the winner. If I made 6s instead of 8s, I would have been the easy winner. If I hadn’t foozled wedges on #2 twice, I would have been the easy winner. If I could hit a wedge on #7 onto the green, instead of the bunker, I would have been the easy winner.


4th is much worse than 19th . . . . all those bad shots really eat at me. . . not winning the special prizes is bad, but not doing my best, is worse.

Armagnac -- Guinlet

Par 70, 5675M, Slope 131
Never have been a fan of a par3 1st hole . . . while it's true that I usually DO hit a good teeball on #1, a par3 puts a little extra pressure, especially an uphill shot 201M -- I think it slows down play right from the git-go, too, design-wise, if you see what I mean --

I hit a 5wood, popped it up a little bit right. Landed 1m away from those trees, pin high.

Had just enough room to swing a normal pw . . . landed it on the edge of the green, where it rolled right up to the hole. An unexpectedly easy par.

The tilt of this fairway felt even steeper than this picture . . . I might have listed left taking the snapshot, just from vertigo . . .

While a little intimidating, it is not perplexing . . . you gotta hit a high fade at the right side to get the ball to stay up. So . . . I got a double-cross, natch: a low bullet hook that almost trimmed the trees on the right then rolled across the fairway into the trees on the left.

NFG. Here it was obvious what the problem was, but I still clipped a branch and came up short of the green.

I lobbed up over the trap past the back pin position, to the fringe . . . could have been makeable, but I didn't. A bogey.

I'm starting to wonder about this course . . . M from Mont de Marsan had never heard of it, tho' it is only oh, 40 klics away, and there ain't so many golf courses in Armagnac a golf nut can't keep track of 'em.

The condition of the course was clearly sub-standard, but the layout was starting to look interesting. The second hole was lined on both sides by little cottages, called "gites" i think, under construction, as the course is apparently to be the anchor for a resort-type community.

The par3 #3 looks like it should have a sign "abandon all hope, ye who tee up here" . . . 174m, all uphill, totally blind.

I did the algebra, and selected 3iron . . . back 20 years ago, 3iron was my favorite club . . . I called it "the magic 3iron" used it for everything except sand shots, great trouble club . . . now, not so much . . . but if I pick my spots, I still get good results . . . like here . . . hit a bullet that ascended 10 feet off the ground the whole way up the hill, straight at the left side of the green.

Even blind, I knew it was right . . .

I could see by the ball trails in the dew, how my ball caromed off the left hump, rolled around the back hump, and trickled straight down towards the hole, 4 or 5 ft away from the pin.

You can see how someone else putted almost the same line and missed left. My birdie putt is in the heart . . . so this gave me the same number of birdies in Armagnac as I had in the Czech Republic.

One thinks one is past all that.
One would be wrong.
Hitting a 3iron stripe can do that to me . . . make me think I know what I'm doing . . . So I tried to hit a power-draw for some extra roll down the hill on the par5#4 . . . didn't take . . . the ball one-hopped into the treeline, which I didn't think was so bad, but, they had a hard winter here, too, apparently, cuz there were a lot of downed trees and messed up, uneven ground. . . . couldn't find my ball, which I tho't was unfair, so I generously allowed myself a Phoenix-style desert drop, instead of a lost-ball penalty.

Didn't help, really . . . I was still 2 5irons and a wedge away . . . I wonder if I was looking far enough down the slope for my ball? It's 514m, but all downhill . . . 2 putt double bogey.

This, I tho't, is freakin' ridiculous. Uphill par3s are very nice and all, but in moderatin, please!

I didn't calculate right, and came up short, but handy.

My short game reverted to form, too.

7iron chip scooted past the hole, and the comebacker lipped out.

The course looks like mid-winter condition, rather than late summer . . . tees and greens are fine, and -- for the most part -- the grass in the fairway is just brown, still playable . . . but there are large patches of, er, patch growth, too, and places where the gravelly subsoil shows thru.

I guess, on a par 70 course where you have 3 par 3s on a 9, it wouldn't be that unusual to have a stretch of 3-5-3-5 . . . but it feels weird.

Absolutely hammered my drive with a power fade down the left side . . . learnt my lesson with my so called tame hook on #4 . . . the slope took it almost all the way across the fairway to the right side.

This is what I think I want . . . an uphill lie on a par5 2nd shot so I can launch a 3wood at the green.

I guess I could claim I hadda wait too long on the 4some in front of me, by myself. Despite my best intentions and confidence, I still jumped at it and bellied the ball only about half-way.

That left only a 9iron, and I laid that on the green with a smooth swing.

Then an inexplicable 3putt, if that's not too redundant. I could still read the trails in the dew, after the fact . . . I guess that green was much slower than I figgered.

The card says #7 is only 317m downhill, but it looked further, and had some sort of trouble, some bunkers in front,right of the green.

So I played strategic-like, I didn't want to stand around waiting for the 4some, anyway, and hit a 5wood . . . pulled it a little bit, into the rough, but it was easily found and playable.

Except for a wedge-foozlin' fool like me. Incroyable! I guess there was some part of my subconcious rebelling against my club selection.

My second attempt, my 3rd shot, flew straight over the pin.

An easy 2putt bogey, that could have been an easy 2putt par, or even a 1putt birdie, I felt.

Well, except for the vile little pond in front of the tee, this is a beautiful hole . . . the grayness of the day kinda takes the shine offn't, but from the tee, even tho' it's a little bit of a blind shot, it seemed clear to me what to do.

So I hit a nice high tight draw down the tree line on the right -- to heck with lessons learnt, if I'm going to 3putt and foozle wedges, I'm going to pretend I know what I'm doing on the tee, too!

Wound up in the middle of the fairway, looking straight uphill again . . . I had time again to cogitate on this shot, waiting on the 4some. I decided on 5iron, and to keep from brooding on it, I tho't about that tee shot. . . It sure would be nice to be higher up on the hill, but you'd have to challenge those trees . . . and hit a power fade to hold the roll, which I don't know if you would get far enough then. Good hole.

It IS the #1 handicap hole.

When the green cleared, I followed my plan without ado, to minimize the chance for doubts to creep in . . . hit a career 5iron with a tight draw . . . never know when that's going to happen, and off an uphill lie to an uphill green didn't seem likely, but it happened.

I tho't it might go over the green, but it was short. I gave it the ol' west texas 7iron chip right past the hole, then made that 4ft comebacker. Felt pleased as punch.

I had plenty of time on #9 tee to gloat . . . did the math and hit a 7iron 144m, slightly uphill . . .

I saw a puff of white sand when it landed, and had a bad moment when I tho't there might be a hidden bunker up there.

But it was just ground-under-repair . . . I was pin-high, with an uphill putt for birdie, coming off the fringe.

I liked my chances, but it wasn't a smooth roll . . . there were tractor tracks or something there . . . not really treadmarks, but an indentation where the wheels had rolled. Came up short, leaving a one-handed tap-in par. Sigh.

There's another concept known only to the most informed cognoscenti: PPFU . . . a condition that sets in when the confirmed duffer gains the unjustified opinion that he now controls his game, after making a par, or in my case, 2-in-a-row.

On this charming, short par 4 I attempted a smooth swing, instead tried to steer it, which for me means my swing plane flattens and I pull hook the ball . . . sometimes a solid hit, like this one, but hopelessly left, into the small copse of trees.

When I got to my ball it was resting -- as any duffer could predict -- exactly in the root of a tree on the opposite side of the green, just as moss always grows on the north side.

The 4some in front of me, walking to the 11th tee adjacent, all came over to look, with amused concern on their faces . . .
"You were unlucky!" said one, in an English accent.
"Well," I said, "I WAS careless."
They watched me chop it out, left-handed, with a pw turned over, but that didn't go well, because of the roots: it was still in the trees. I hit a 3iron trying to chase the ball up near the green 60m away, but the rough was very plush in this spot, then I flopped the ball over the green into a bunker on the other side, back onto the green and a couple of onehanded putts.

So I was not surprised to see that #11 was the #2 handicap hole, a par4, 433m hole where the tee is set back in that copse of trees, there's OB all down the left (I hate those straight-line OBs!), more trees crowding in on the right side, then all uphill from the landing area.

I've played a lot of par5s easier and shorter than this. In arizona, some of them were the #1 handicap hole, too.

But since I didn't steer it, in fact put a little west texas red-ass on it, that drive was perfect, long, long, long, with a power fade down the left side.

I could tell, by the length of time it took the 4some to clear the green that this was a hard hole, so I took the walk up to my ball very leisurely, made my algebrations thorough & deliberately, selected my club thoughtfully, then jumped and hit the ball before I could think about it. . . it's amazing how far it still was. I ripped a 5wood, thot itmight be long, a little left of the green. Worried about the OB behind the green, but I was short and handy.

I'm not making many claims of golf expertise, but I gotta tell you not many duffers could hit two shots that good on the same hole, and I still missed that green short and left. Whew!

I chipped with a 7iron past the pin 8ft. and missed the comebacker. A green on a hole like that ought to be bowl shaped so that everything funnels down to the hole, if you inow what I mean . . . 8^D . . . instead of full of ridges and mini-mounds.

As I walked to the next tee, the groundskeeper stoped on his mower to chat, his English was very limited, but he tried . . . "the grass is very . . . very . . . " he groped for words not just because of his English, but also because of his apparent frustration with the conditions . . . "difficile . . . "

I clapped him on the shoulder with as much comraderie and compassion as I could convey non-verbally and said, "And it all rests on these shoulders!"

He understood that and smiled ruefully. I waved au revoir, and he went on to mow.

I might say more about #12 if I had played better. It's attractively downhill, claustrophobically teed, and modestly greened. For reasons I don't understand I topped my tee shot. Lobbed onto the green 12 ft past the pin. Missed the par. Phooey.

The tee to #13 feels just like this. All I could do was keep my head down and swing smooth. Swang so smooth I put a big fade on it(didn't finish, hung back in my congenital reverse pivot) out into the sparse tree line along the fairway.

That fairways is 100% uphill, way uphill . . . the algebration were pretty complex, in addition to everything usual, I had to add in slicing around and under a tree.

Couldn't do it. Just a foozle . . . or an extremely conservative safety, if you wanted to stay positive, which is not my forte.

In my irritation I bladed a wedge over the green into an area sort of torn up for more construction of more gites. I gave myself a drop from there and desultorily got up-up-and-down.

That is one hard green. . . sloping away from the fairway, tho' elevated 10 or 15 meters from the landing area.

Now my mental set was bad, not focussed.

I hit a weak short slice into the right rough.

topped a 7wood down the right edge of the fairway.

skulled a 5iron further down towards the green.

bladed a pw over the green.

chunked a pitch back.

up-up-and-down, again.

But I was trying to right my ship, regain control of my swing, so I steer-jobbed an ungly pull hook into trouble on the left.

I hadda hit a mad ball as a provisional, and absolutely gravitated it like I hadn't hit a ball since #11.

But I found my first one, still in bounds, in deep rough, on a slope down to more gites-under-construction . . . I over-guarded against the hook-lie and wound up in a greenside bunker.

As I walked up to the green, I picked up my provisional. Dang, this game could be easy, if I could let it.

I popped the ball up out of the dep bunker onto the edge of the green, leaving a makeable par putt, 10 or 12 ft, but I didn't. so Bogey.

But I popped up my drive on the next hole, just confirming I had no game left.

Tho't I might float a 7wood the rest of the way downhill to the green, but it must have been too much club, since I didn't hit it well -- my sub-conscious rebelled.

Had a half-wedge left by my calculation, and hit it solid, which was a relief, then disbelief as I saw it fly the green . . . I mean it was downhill, but my calcs couldn't have been that wrong!

Pitched back up 4ft away, and made the bogey-grinder.


you can see my plaing companion here. He joined me on the par5 #14. He spoke no English. He motioned for me to hit first, graciously, but he had the honor the rest of the way. Played very well . . . not long, average length, but totally solid technique . . . I think he was one-over for the last 5 holes . . . .

The par4#17 runs parallel to the par4 #16, but uphill instead of down, and 90m shorter by virtue of not crossing the road.

I'm always surprised by how much distance an uphill tee-shot takes off . . . it could be I'm not seeing the slope for what it is . . . but this was no exception . . . I pushed a solid shot right into the rough, but there was no trouble over there.

I reckoned a full 9iron by subtracting my solid drive from the hole length and by algebrating the distance to the pin from my ball, but as long as the downhill shot had been, this one was short. I'm sure my playing partner expected nothing else, but I was pretty frosted.

I gotta get some camera instruction on how to not de-emphasize the slope on a downhill photo . . . it's much steeper than it looks here.

So, on in 3, 2 putt, bogey.

The finishing hole looks really cool from the tee, just full of the rollercoaster action one loves in a golf course . . . 8^) . . .

My partner just tried to cut the corner and hit a tree. I figgered he was in jail, but he seemed sanguine about it. I knew I was longer than him. So I took the same line and staid behind the ball, but I didn't get a solid hit, didn't feel like, and pushed it right.

That was ok, then, down the middle of the fairway, then taking the slope on the roll around the dogleg towards the green. Good miss.

But it left me still with a 6iron to the green. My favorite club, but I hadn't hit a full iron solid on the back 9, but I gave it the old college try. Felt fat, but I had aimed to the right side of the green, counting on more slope to the left, which was correct. I was on the green but 50ft away. 3 putted . . . I think the 4 5s I finished with were the 4 easiest tapin bogeys I've ever had . . . just great . . . like a pitcher of warm spit.


Guinlet is not a bad layout, but the condition was a little worse than you could overlook. So a 3 on the Kokopelli standard . . . a little more wide-open than Mont de Marsan, but there are places where the trees do intrude into play, especially off the tee.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Armagnac -- Mont de Marsan

5907M, Par 71, Slope 140

I was looking for a course called St. Avit, not Mont de Marsan. I new it was near St. Avit, near Mont De Marsan, but the sign in the driveway said Mont de Marsan, and there was no course in the miniscule hamlet of St. Avit, so I whipped up to the pro shop to ask directions, and the tres charming femme said, "that is here"! So, I hustled back out to the car, grabbed my sticks, and ran to the first tee.
My playing partner wished to be anonymous, since he had not been playing up to his handicap, so I will call him "M". I wish to be anonymous, also, so I call myself PukkaDave . . . 8^D . . .

This is not a long hole to start on, but with the sun glaring in our eyes disguising the sharp dogleg around a large bunker, it takes a certain amount of savoir faire to challenge that corner.

Then, again, a certain amount, also to find that rather nondescript green, over and around that bunker guarding the front . . . it was much more interesting in the actuality than from back in the fairway. Difficile to read and putt. 2 pars for us.

I stopped at an advantageous place to take a picture of the very interesting hole . . . but M said "this is 15, come on over to #2" so you will see that picture later . . . 8^D . . .

I always have to say that some holes do not photograph as well as they appear in person, to cover up my inadequacies with a camera . . . this is one of them . . . a very treacherous green complex, with moundings and mouldings that could cause problems to the careless paganican . . . that is, an uncautious golfer, rather than an insouciante. We both made careful pars . . .

In his facile, but limited English, M said "Now", and I comprehended perfectly. The introduction is over. The challenges will begin now. This is not a hole to hit a driver on. It is short-ish, 338m, but very narrow with trouble and OB on both sides.

We both hit fairway woods to the middle of the fairway: he with a single-handicapper's draw that traced a conservative, confident like down the right side of the fairway, skirting the treeline; me with a double-handicapper's angst-filling hook around the corner that caromed off the hump on the inside of the dogleg back into safety.

Where we were was on the crest of a slope at the crux of the dogleg, looking downhill at the wide, narrow green protected all the way across by a big bunker. It took some algebra for me to figger what club to use: wind, lie, meters-to-yards, slope; still wound up over the green, on the fringe, in an abundance over over-caution and the way the ball released on the speedy green downhill, after M had plugged into that trap, but he blasted out to 4 ft, while I texas-wedged back to 8 ft. I made that little bugger, tho', swelling my chest with pride. "M" joked, now you can make this one for me, too? a nasty little side-hill slider, which he missed.

This is pretty close to how claustrophobic it feels on this par 5 tee. M hit a confident fade over onto the right side that he was unhappy about, but it seemed ok to me . . . was in the rough. I block-faded my 1st drive into the tops of the trees on the right, then hit a provisional exactly the same way. Dangit.

Couldn't find the first one, but the second had bounced out not far from M, into ankle deep rough. Despite everything I tried, my 5iron turned over in my hand and I hit a smother-hook to the left rough, dangerously close to a creek hazard. M caught his cleaner, but it turned over a little too, and the whole dang fairway slopes toward that creek up there, too, so his ball one-hopped into the creek where it pools in front of the green.

He calmly dropped and skipped his 4th shot up by the hole -- he'd been there before, I take it . . . 8^) . . . I found my ball dry, but I promptly chunked it into the pool trying to dig it out of the deep rough . . . sometimes I wonder, and sometimes I know . . . I dropped in the same place and hit the same shot properly onto the back of the green, just to be sure. 2putt quad bogey.

Instead of confidence, tho', I felt tension from M on the next tee -- apparently this hole worries him some . . . he cautioned me against going right, into the dogleg, but that's what he did. He just gave the gallic shrug and a sheepish grin.

I made dang sure I hooked the ball away from the dogleg, in response, so naturally, it was over-cooked.

His brow wrinkled in concern, "You may be in the bunker" which is one of those that makes a fine target, but a very bad landing place.

But I was just outside the bunker, in the rough, with a side-hill lie, only 90m from the green, with a little tree trouble on the right you can see there, but I didn't think it would be a problem. M found his ball easily out in the open and was able to go at the green with a short iron. I saw it bounce around the bunker, and reckoned he was fine.

Mine was one of those shots you always want a do-over on. Didn't stay down on it, hit a weak slice into the bunker. Shoot, if ya just dig it out of the rough and pop it up, the dang thing will land on the green and roll up to the pin -- but that's not what happened. Then I chunked the fried egg. Then I splashed out 4 ft away, but I missed the bogey. I want a do-over on the whole course just for this one hole. M wound up with a bogey. Couldn't get up and down. That's another tricky green.

These par 3s are just not showing up well in these photos. They really are more interesting than they look like. This one must be. Only 154m, but we both made 4.

Those trees on the left really got in my head on my tee shot, tried to do too much with it, hit a smother hook into the left rough, only about halfway home. That was bad enough but the ball was in a cuppy lie.

Despite the pep talk I gave myself, I still bladed my 4iron & came up well short of the green. NFU, at all. Bladed another wedge over the green and took 3 to get down from there.

M had played right away from the trees, then was able to go at the green from the right rough, but he had some tough lies too, floundered a bit and wound up with 6, too . . . . just a dam' tough hole.


M told me the course lost 1200 trees during a big storm last winter . . . you can see huge cords of wood stacked up in some of the photos. I said, "dang, I'm not sure I want to see this course with 1200 more trees on it!" I guess most of 'em would have been OB, but the claustraphobia-factor would have been significant, I reckon.

M hit his drive just off the dogleg, center-cut. I hit mine thru the dogleg. He said it was in the drop-zone . . . a heavy rough area damaged by the heavy equipment they'd brought in to clean up the trees. It took so long to find my ball, I flat forgot about taking a drop . . . consequently, I shanked an unwise 5iron, then chopped back out into the fairway trying to play smart, bladed over the green, up and down for double-bogey.

M nearly birdied after a perfect approach, but these greens are almost all tough, with subtle breaks, usually, rather than steep inclines, and about twice as fast as the greens at Motol.

I admit to being a little disheartened, now . . . I just wanted to start-over and just not make the same mistakes again . . . started out so well . . . and now my whole game was breaking down, not driving, approaching, nor putting well.

True to form, I hit a not-so-solid fade into the right rough. . . not really in trouble, but unsatisfactory, if you see what I mean . . .

M was even deeper in the trees, and it took a couple of tries for him to get out, like Mickleson at the Open. He wound up with double bogey.

I had a clear shot at the green, but bladed my 9iron over . . . again . . . couldn't get up-and-down. Bogey.


Don't remember #10 at all . . . these dang par3s are so . . . . je ne sais quoi . . .


Had a lost weekend on the par5 #12 . . . I don't remember what on #11 had upset me, but I pull-hooked into the woods, foozled out, foozled, foozled into a fairway bunker, chunked in, chunked out, bladed over the green, chunked up, chunked up, bladed past, 3putted for 13.

Just easy shots, hanging out on the right would make an easy hole. But that falls into the category of advice easy to give and hard to take, I guess.

Well, that was so bad, I knew if I didn't overswing I would hit a good tee-shot, and caught the first pure one I'd hit all day . . . M raised his eyebrows in mock-shock when he saw . . . it was actually a little toey, but that just kept it inside the tree line . . . that's a short hole, I was only 40 yards from the green . . . a little too close for a comfortable half-wedge for me . . . so . . . on, but not close, and a 2putt par.

M had pushed his out into the trees on the right, then chunked a couple, then floundered again, to a triple-bogey . . .

M's triple bogey on #13 gave him the red-ass, but he just tomahawked his drive over those trees on the left . . . a majestic drive, but the driving range is over there, too . . . so I tho't it might be OB, but he found it and played it . . . had to hit an equally awesome 5iron onto the green then 2putted for a par.

I felt like I'd finally hit my stride and hit this drive on the screws, straight and high . . . I tho't this one would be up by the green too, but it was afull 9iron left. Just like when I played with Mr Science, he got closer with his 5iron than I did with my 9iron . . . grrrrrrrr. Then I 3putted just like him, terminating my streak of pars at, uh, one. Very disappointing.

Again, these greens are not awesomely difficult-looking . . . instead, they are treacherously subtle . . . not quite panksian, but still deceptive . . . I say this, because, fooling me, as a first timer, is one thing, but they sometimes fooled M, too, who plays there regularly.


The par4 #15 is difficult, not only because it is a dogleg right around water, but because it is so flat that there is no sense of how much to bite off and it is long enough that poor strategy or poor execution will make it costly. I pulled my drive too far left, away from the water, into small mounds, so that for my second shot I had a downhill-sidehill slice lie in ankle deep rough . . . I chopped out with a fullswing 5wood . . . it went straight, but right, into a bunker between the water and the green.

M had hit a perfect shot, maybe his best of the day, faded courageously with the curve of the fairway towards the water, but center-cut . . . evenso, he had a mid-iron still to the green . . . he was disappointed in his approach but he was still closer than I was after I pitched out of the sandtrap. 2 putts for us each.

The best par3 on the course, practically a signature hole . . . it does not look as flat in real life as it does in the photo. . . but it's a long 150m to the middle of the green and all water carry . . . I cannily hit a weak pull to the front of the green, safely dry . . . I chipped too strong to the back of the green. M had hit to the middle of the green, but putted off the back of the green trying to get it up to that back tier where the pin was, so that then he was short-sided with a very steep slope back up to the putting surface. His first pitch came right back to him, so . . . the next one had to be long. . . then 2putts more for the 6. I had 2putts from the back fringe and the good sense to be glad of it.

M had pointed out the the fairway and the green to 17 from the 16th tee . . . what a hole.

I only hit a 6iron from the tee, but I hit the old doublecross-draw so it was on the wrong side of the dogleg. . . long way from the hole, but even on the right side of the fairway, that wouldn't be an easy shot . . . but at least it would be with a 7 or 8 iron instead of a4iron . . . as it was, I came up short of the trap even, 20 ft below the surface of the green.

Meanwhile M had a lost weekend, slicing into the woods, at the bottome of the hill, trying a miracle shot that couldn't get even get up out of the trees.

I have him down for a 6 on that hole, so he must have had a hell of up and down after that!

I lobbed over onto the green with a few feet of the hole, but didn't make the par putt. Another hole I'd just like to play again for the do-over.

Our favorite thing in the whole world: a shortish par 5 for #18 . . .that's kind of an intimidating t-shot, back over the same canyon as in front of the 17th green, and to a tight fairway, but we both hit good drives . . . straight between the two pine trees in the middle.

M tried to play strategically, and strategically hooked into the woods, anyway . . . I hate when that happens. I muscled up on a 3wood and chopped it into the woods on the left.

We still weren't that far apart when we finally foundboth balls.

From there, no choice for either but to punch out and then go for the green. He was short and I was long. That's me on the back of the green. . .The net effect is a 2putt bogey for both of us.

I think in the long run, the lost trees will make this a better golf course . . . the grass will get more sun, then wind will play more havoc. It's a great course, even if the par 3s seem a little mundane . . .the 4s and 5s are all so super-standard that that's a minor consideration . . .

the conditions were a little sub-par, tho', but I'd bet this was an off-year, maintenance wise . . .because of the cold winter and the odd summer weather. I'd give it a 2 on the Kokopelli standard, because of the layout, despite the conditions. Love to play it again.