Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Penati Legend by Nicklaus Associates

6313m, Par 72, Slope 145, by Nicklaus Associates
5523m, Par 72, Slope 138 (Yellow Tees)

We thought about not playing the Nicklaus course, as we had planned:
  1. we were just SURE that we could do better, having seen the course once
  2. because of a Professional Tournament, they did not allow carts on the course, and the day before had been so hot, and the Legend is more hilly than the Heritage, we didn't think we could make it, and enjoy it .  . 
but , it was cloudy, forecast for rain, so we said what the heck . . . 
they had electric hand-carts .. . apparently a czech design, with motorcycle speed control on the handle, and an engine plus battery totally within the small axle for the back wheels, and that helped with the hills, but juggling my water, the cart, my clubs, and my camera left me short handed all day.

#1 Par 4 . . .so SURE, I am going to beat this Nicklaus design, I feel like racing to the first tee . . . it should be a short hole . .. it is relatively short, but dogleg right so if one hooks his 3wood into the left woods, that leaves a long approach . . . decided to leave the 3wood in the bag for the rest of the day . . . . 

 #2 Par 5 -- still spraying my drives left or right with the borrowed driver . . . found my ball justinside the line of trees on the right, with an awkward uphill stance blocked by trees . . .clouted a 5iron pure, straight at the green, but it clipped a stem on one of the trees no bigger than a pencil, and fell straight down, up and putt-putt for a second bogey, but now my confidence is shot . . .

 #3 par 3
Pulled my tee shot, well hit, left of the green into the bunker.
KiwiMike hits his, then groans with disgust as he picked up his tee-- Long! he grumbled . . .
but even as we started off towards the green  
 his ball was still moving, slowly picking up speed on the huge tiers that formed a bowl around the pin location, till his ball had rolled within inches of the cup.
 till his ball had rolled within inches of the cup. 

then, after his birdie, KiwiMike scorched  his drive over the traps in the middle, short of the traps on the sides, w-a-a-a-a-y past my drive, for an easy par, while I floundered to another double bogey . . . 

#5 Par 4, so i knuckled down on the short hole
and hit a drive as far as Kiwi Mike,
but then he stiffs his short iron, 
while mine jumped over the back of the green . . . 
i made an up-and-down-par,
but HE made another birdie . . . 8^D . . . 

#6 Par 5, so now I AM grumbling . . . 
Partner is out-driving me AND has made 2 birdies already . . . 8^D 
 something untoward happend here, tho', we both had "other" scores on this hole.
PBFU for KM, not sure what my excuse would be . . . 8^/ 

 #7 Par 4 , just ordinary bogeys on an ordinary hole . . . 

#8 Par 3 .. .  
KM Plonked in the water, I pureed another iron totally over the green . . . as i did all weekend with the borrowed callaway irons . . . co nadelas? . . . what can you do ? 

 #9 Par 4, a very intimidating t-shot for the first timer . . . for me anyway . . . shot squibbed offline to the right with reasonable distance, but up against a root in the trees. . . a double bogey for me , and a strong par for KM, to finish off a strong 9 . . .

 #10 Par 4 . . . sort of a mirror image of #9 . . . 
which runs parallel there on the right . . . 
that water hazard was an unavoidable attractive hazard,
we both sliced in,
knowing full well the play was to the left side of the fairway . . . 
"Other" scores, again . . . 

when it came time to approach the green, 
bladed a flyer to the back of the huge green, 
while KM chunked a couple 
sigh . . .  

#11 Par 5 . . . a very nice hole, all in front of you, 
as per Nicklaus,
did me no good . . .
another double bogey 

a straight-forward par 3, #12,
but I was too freaked out from overflying all the greens on par 3s,
double bogey. 

#13, Long par 4, and treacherous looking,
but somehow i scraped out a bogey, 
KM  suffered a letdown, suddenly . . . .
we had these arrogant German duffers behind us,
impatiently trying to play thru,
so we stopped here and let them . . .
sort of threw us off rhythm . . . 
turned out they are austrian, splains that  . . .

#14 Par 4, 
irritation at the Ostreichers caused me a double-bogey,
but the ever-equitable KM got back on track with a bogey. 

 #15 Par 5 . . .
there may be plans to make this 
the most heinous par 5 in professional golf,
'twas a very long walk to this tee,
past other dormant tee-boxes . . . 
as it was, my best hole of the day,
by luck,
tomahawked my drive left,
but it wound up in the first cut, just past the hazard,

 bladed my 5iron just over a hump in the fairway

where those bunkers are,
ball caught that backside hump
and rolled into the 1st cut on the otherside
 thrombos├ęd a career 8iron over the bunker into the bowl where the pin was,
missed the birdie by a hair

 so I'm thinking "Strong Finish" 
par into the house, 
and be satisfied . . . 
both of us were on the left edge of this green
 we wound up hiking thru this big bunker / waste area
in front of the green, it was too far to go around . . . 
we were too tired .  . 
but two pars in a row for moi . . . 

 # 17 par 4 -- middling distance, and I am confident,
but a little perplexed with the bunkers in the middle . . . 
I dare not hit another 3wood,
which has betrayed me several times today,
so I tried to hit a half-driver, down left of the bunkers, or just short,
and instead, ploughed right in . . . 
KiwiMike was safely in the tall weeds on the right,
but he seemd sure he could find his ball 

 well he could find it , but hardly could get a club on the ball,
and when he did, finally, it flew into the water hazard on the left . . .
i floundered out of the trap, chunking and blading to the green . . .
double bogey for us both . . . 
and the cold comfort that we *knew* we could do better.-- next time.

 # 18 Par 4,
we had looked at this hole all weekend, 
from the terrace-tables of the restaurant
but it looked to us,
watching others play,
that you needed the Big Ball to get down far enough to attack the island green
but instead,
the problem is,
not to go into the water on this downhill tee-shot . . .

 I finally hit the same half-driver shot as on the previous hole

which positioned me perfectly in the middle of the fairway
85M away.
KM had hooked into the woods,
then hit a perfect 3wood (we thought)
but he only found it after much looking up in the weeds on the right side of the fairway. 
but I go in the water
so much for the strong finish . . .
In Europe the sprinkler heads are measured to the front of the green 
not the middle,
except on par 3s, where they are . . .
so i hit a perfekt shot that came up a meter short of the island green . . . 
when I marched forward 20 meters
and hit the same shot,
came up to a makeable distance to the pin.

Whether this is only the best course in Slovakia,
or indeed, 
the best two courses in Europe,
well, that's hard to say.
Perfect condition, 
very, very difficult in places,
hilly, woodsy, watery, grassy
beautiful bunkering and mounding.

The cottages we stayed in were very modern and comfortable,
the restaurant is excellent,
the staff is uniformly friendly,
if not english proficient
very pleased to have played here,
very sorry that I am unlikely to return
I *know* I can do better the second time . . . 8^D . . .