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Throwing (nit)BO Down the Well Throwing (nit)BO Down the Well

09-21-2023 , 04:34 PM
#10, par 5, 588 yards. This hole might have the thickest rough on the course running the length of both sides of the fairway. Almost lost a ball in it during a practice round. Drive in the fairway, now I have to determine the line towards a good layup as the hole bends to the right after the tee shot. Pull the 2nd shot a bit and it finds the left fairway bunker. These bunkers arenít bad to play out of because they are very tight and with any sort of decent lie the ball just jumps out of them. With this knowledge of course I catch it thin with a 9 iron and the ball ends a bit over the green but dead on line with the flag. This shot is downhill out of 4 inch rough with a shelf not too far past the hole that would take the ball 60 feets past the flag. And thereís a lot of people behind this green mumbling and shaking their heads at this situation. I take a big lazy swing and the ball comes out nice and soft landing just on the green and trickling towards the hole. Grazes the high edge and stops 3 feet past. Applause all around which I acknowledge. Make the putt. Par.

#11, par 4, 351 yards. Driver dead in the middle of the fairway leaving less than 100 yards. I make a critical mistake in my thought process however. The shot is a bit downwind and the green is perhaps the most firm on the course. Even with all this I plan on flying the shot to the hole and stop dead. Well, this just isnít going to happen especially with a downhill slope about 8 feet past the hole. I hit the shot perfect, it lands less than a foot from the hole where it takes a big hop, catches the downslope, and ends up 40 feet away with a tough putt. Great shot, awful thinking. A good first putt than trickles 6 feet past but I gut next putt. Par.

#12, par 3, 178 yards. Pin towards the back so the water shouldnít be in play. Hit a 7 iron right at it and it ends up in the fringe 14 feet past the hole. Slippery putt downhill that I hit like a wimp finishing short of the hole. Par.

#13, par 4, 423 yards. The hole with a bunker dead in the middle of the fairway right in the driving area. Take a little off a driver and leave it in the fairway short of the bunker but leaving a longer shot into the green with water in front of the left half. Hit a decent 6 iron into the heart of the green leaving a relatively simple two putt. Par.

#14, par 5, 587 yards. Good drive avoiding the cabbage left and water right, good layup with 3 hybrid leaving gap wedge to a back right hole location on top of a ledge. About 8 feet left of the hole and it will feet 40 feet away. Nipped a good wedge perhaps 2 feet left of the target and it ends up about 12 feet below the hole with a good look at birdie. Unfortunately I tug the putt just enough to miss on the left side. Par.

#15, par 4, 448 yards. Drive finds the fairway leaving it just short of a fairway bunker but still have a bit over 200 to the hole. A thin 4 hybrid on a good line to the middle of the green that rolls out a good 60 feet past the hole situated on the front left corner. This is a scary mother of a putt as itís straight downhill and left to right. But thereís a huge runoff about 8 feet left of the hole and coming down this hill from 60 feet itís something to guard against. I donít want to putt the ball off the green in front of a ton of people. Probably hit the ball enough to travel 15 feet on a normal flat green and start it 8 feet or so left of the hole. It trickles down the hill on a very nice line and both me and my caddie think Iíve made it. But the barely touches the left edge and continues about 5 feet past. Am able to make that one. Par.

#16, par 3, 170 yards. The flower hole. Pin tucked back right, I try to cut a 6 iron in there and while itís a good line itís just a bit thin. Lands where I want but it has no spin and it skips over the green and into the deep stuff. Similar shot to #10 and I catch it properly again. Ghosts the left edge of the hole and ends up 6 feet past. Not a good putt and it doesnít fall. Bogey.

#17, par 4, 369 yards. 90 degree dogleg right at the landing area. Itís a comfortable shot to hit a big cut to take a little off the distance and fits the shape of the hole. Hit the ideal shot leaving gap wedge into a green with water left and long and the hole back left in a bowl. Green light special except I donít catch it well and tug it a bit. Avoids the water but the ball is a foot above my feet in some light rough having to feel it delicately down into the bowl. Hit it well and it stops maybe 6 feet past. Caddie and I think itís right edge, hit it right edge and it breaks a lot more than we thought. Bogey.

#18, par 4, 428 yards. Dogleg left up a pretty good sized hill. Hit what I thought was a good drive but it feeds right into fairway bunker. Pin is front right, and just have to keep the ball right of this pin. Catch the bunker shot clean but tug it a good 20 yards right of my target leaving perhaps the scariest short game shot Iíve ever seen. Pin is probably 12 feet from the left edge, my ball is sitting on fringe cut that is probably running 10 on the stimpmeter and basically impossible to get underneath. Did I mention the bunker between me and the hole and the fact Iím a good 6 feet below the surface of the green? So I canít go high and I canít go low. And there are grandstands all around this green that are definitely not empty. I notice on top of the bunker there is about 2 feet of flat ground that is rough before it transitions to the fringe and the green. I hypothesize that if I land the ball in that 2 feet that it might kill it just enough to stop it on the green. If Iím short of that it lands into a slope and it wonít move. Long of that and itís racing over the green towards the gallery ropes. There is no other shot, I have to go for that 2 foot patch. And I ****ing pull it off, lands on the flat, jumps straight up in the air as the gallery audibly gasps. Then trickles onto the green and towards the hole as applause fills the air. I smile and acknowledge such as much as one shooting in the 80ís can. The putt isnít too tough, about 14 feet uphill and a couple cups outside right. Hit my line and it stops 4 inches short dead in the middle. ****. Bogey.

Itís about a 70 yard walk to the scoring building through a throng of people behind the ropes. Make sure all the numbers are correct and that the total matches what was recorded by the walking scorer. Then take two golf balls from my bag, sign them, and give them to the walking scorer and standard bearer. Standard in these events. Get a big, well needed hug from my girlfriend and parents and we head to the clubhouse for food. I am hungry, hitting a lot of shots takes energy! I am last to sit down and I notice the table is very quiet as if they are scared to talk about the round. I tell them, ďGuys, if you think the number on my scorecard is going to put a damper on all of this youíre wrong. Iím certainly not satisfied with my score but after we eat weíll go out and hit balls and putt and figure out how we can do better tomorrow. This is still a great time.Ē And I meant it. We all chowed down, talked about the round, and rested a bit before going back out to work. These are definitely some very long days but itís still a great challenge. Needless to say I slept very well that night especially with an afternoon tee time the next day.
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09-21-2023 , 04:58 PM
Awesome experience. Thanks for another episode!
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09-25-2023 , 10:38 PM
After the round we worked on putting a band aid on my weak fade and found something workable just trying to turn my back to the target on the backswing before ripping through it. Started hitting it with a straighter ball flight and a decent amount farther. On to round 2!

Afternoon tee time and the course is just filled with spectators, fun stuff.

#10, par 5, 566 yards. Solid drive down the pipe. Since Iím farther down the fairway I have a better look at the green and decide to be aggressive and hit 3 wood. Bleed it just a bit with the shape of the fairway and leave it perfect about 20 yards in front of the green. Pin is on the lower tier, green light special. But I donít hit the best shot leaving 10 feet but straight uphill. Not the best stroke. Par.

#11, par 4, 361 yards. Since Iím hitting it farther I decide to take 3 wood so as not to go through the fairway. But I get under it a smidge and have much farther in than expected. 152 a bit downwind to a back right hole location on a ledge. Ciphering through the wind, the fact this green is probably the firmest on the course, and the tight fairways, I come to the conclusion I want to carry this 130 yards under normal circumstances. I ask caddy for the wedge and he is confused, I canít hit wedge 152 yards. I quickly explain my figuring and can tell heís still not sure, but I am. Since standard wedge carry is 135 I actually take a bit off of it. Lands where I want and finishes where I want, about 20 feet for birdie. Itís a tickler, hit it on a good line but not enough weight. Par.

#12, par 3, 163 yards. Pin today is on the front close to the water. Normal 8 iron but with no margin for error with the water short. Good contact and good line leaving only 9 feet for birdie. Tugged the putt, frustrating. Par.

#13, par 4, 418 yards. Decide to take driver and lace it at the bunker in the middle of the fairway figuring 5 yards one way or the other and Iím perfect. Naturally I hit it dead straight into the bunker. No big deal, not a big lip with 8 iron in. Give it some room to the right to avoid the water and just catch it a bit heavy coming up short. Pretty straightforward pitch landing it on the flat and letting it release to the back small tier where the pin is. Bad contact the the ball doesnít make the small ridge and comes back a bit leaving 15 feet. A good roll but it doesnít fall. Bogey.

#14, par 5, 559 yards. Good drive followed by good 3 hybrid leaving about 100 yards to a front left hole location. Ball must land a few paces on the green otherwise itís going to spin off the front. Catch it clunky and it lands barely short and comes back a few paces. Screwed up a green light special and the full grandstand behind the green groaned audibly. Dammit. Super tight lie so decide to putt it. A little uphill and breaking left. Hit my line, glides through the fringe perfectly, and once on the green is tracking towards the hole until it drops in the right half. The stands erupt and I happily acknowledge them. Back to even for the round. Birdie.

#15, par 4, 433 yards. Good drive leaving 7 iron to a simple pin pretty much dead in the middle of the green. Sadly, I tug the shot and it catches the ridge and funnels 15 yards off the green. No problem, practiced this shot earlier in the week and know how it reacts. Catch it about right and it goes 6 feet past the hole. Putt was tugged and never had a chance. Bogey.

#16, par 3, 195 yards. The flower hole. Pin is in the opening on the front, even though it plays a few yards uphill I decide to hit a hard 5 iron because short is definitely better than long. Come straight over the top and pull my ball into the ****ing flowers. Silence from the two grandstands surrounding the green. USGA official comes over and we walk through the ruling. I get free relief from the flowers and my nearest point plus a club length is close to a sprinkler head. This is important as Iím now getting closer to the fairway cut. I carefully drop so that the sprinkler head is now hindering my stance. So I now once again find the nearest point of relief and measure one club length. Voila! I am now able to drop in fairway cut. I do so, the USGA official is satisfied and returns to his post behind the green. A good pitch that doesnít quite grab and Iíve got 8 feet for par straight down one of the steepest slopes on the course. Burn the edge. Bogey.

#17, par 4, 363 yards. Even though Iíve been hitting a straight ball off the tee, this shot calls for a cut. Start is way left and let it slide back to the perfect spot leaving a little over 100 yards. Since this green slopes away from the fairway have got to be careful not to fly it too far. Land it about a yard short of the green on a downslope and it bleeping stops dead. So frustrating. Feed a super fast putt down the slope to about 4 feet. Hit the 4 footer exactly like I want and watch it spin out. ****. Bogey.

#18, par 4, 446 yards. Another good tee ball down the middle leaving 6 iron to a back left hole location in a little finger. Push the shot a bit and it stops on the back fringe pin high but leaving a funky shot. Plan on clipping my 60 just right and having it check near the hole. Catch it ever so slightly off so it wonít stop, rolls 15 feet past. Feel good over the putt and hit it firmly on my line. Ghosts the left edge and runs 4 feet past. And then for good measure in front of infinite grandstands miss that putt as well. Not happy. Double bogey.
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09-26-2023 , 07:57 AM
Great updates! Thanks so much for taking the time to share that experience with us.
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09-26-2023 , 12:28 PM
ugh at that finishing hole, but another enjoyable episode to read and play along.

Thanks again!
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09-27-2023 , 01:15 PM
Just adding to the chorus on how interesting a read all of this is. Much appreciated!
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09-27-2023 , 08:14 PM
we can't catch every wave
but the roar of a crowd after a shot like that is one to wait for
thank you for walking us through that sequence
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10-07-2023 , 11:21 PM
#1, par 4, 453 yards. Good tee ball leaving only 8 iron to a pin on the front guarded by a bunker short and right. Fan the shot just enough that it catches the bunker leaving a farily simple shot from no more than 10 yards. Catch a little too much ball and it goes about 12 feet past. Leave the downhiller in the jaws short. Bogey.

#2, par 4, 498 yards. Not a typo, 498 yard par 4. Definitely not downhill. Have I mentioned we are all 50 and over? Good drive leaving 5 iron from a little over 200 into a back left hole location somewhat behind a bunker but open in front. Tug iron shot into the bunker, this will become a major theme of this nine. Have to deal with a ridge on the green with my bunker shot and donít give it near enough break leaving it 14 feet under the hole. Simple putt though, hit my line, and once again it comes up short dead in the jaws. The greens were definitely not rolling out today like they were on Thursday, but youíd think I would have learned that by now. Bogey.

#3, par 3, 155 yards. Tee moved up a box because the hole location is tucked on the very far back left of the green over a bunker. The hell with playing it safe, Iím taking dead aim. Soft 8 iron dead at it, clears the bunker by a little and stops 2 feet away. Applause. I can make that one. Birdie.

#4, par 4, 378 yards. Flare drive way right with some trees in front. Ball of course is in 4 inch rough. Canít really go low because thereís too much rough the clear. Decide to go high and catch it halfway decent but because the rough is brutal thereís no way Iím getting there. Decent shot though, simple pitch from the fairway. Not the best pitch and miss another 15 footer but at least I got it there. Bogey.

#5, par 5, 512 yards. Good drive turned over a bit with the shape of the hole. Only have 200 left to a back hole location all carry over water. Had not really expected to be in a position to even consider going for it here but from 200 thereís no way Iím laying up. Stripe 4 hybrid high and right at it, but the green it super firm and while it lands on the green it scoots over into a deep bunker. Walking to the green Iím thinking no big deal, but when I see where my ball is my mind changes. It got most of the way through the bunker and is sitting on a slight downslope. Pin is about 4 yards from the back fringe. Not totally convinced I can hit this shot and keep it from going off the front of the green and into the water. Caddie suggests I go out 30 feet right of the pin where thereís a lot more room. I look at the fringe and see that the first foot of fringe outside the bunker is actually on a slight upslope before it starts sloping down to the hole. OK then, this shot requires a high, clipped shot from the sand off a downhill lie that lands in a one foot area so that it can kill the ball before trickling onto the green. Easy. I step into the shot, take a deep breath, catch it clean and the ball carries the lip of the bunker by about a ball and reacts perfectly, trickling down the slope to 3 feet from the hole. Significant applause. Best part was there was a USGA official right there when I walked out of the bunker. He said that he had been there all day and that was the best shot by far he had seen out of the sand. High praise indeed. 3 footer was not fun, actually had to start it outside left but thereís no way I was missing that putt after the sand shot I had just hit. Birdie.

#6, par 4, 475 yards. Solid drive but was trying to cut it off the left bunker that juts into the fairway and it just didnít cut. Ends up in the sand with a pretty good lip. Donít catch the shot very clean and it ends up well short and right in the rough. Pin is on the front with a false front. Have to land it short and let it tumble on out of the hay. Hit the shot exactly how I wanted but it didnít tumble very well and rolls back off the front. Really tough little short shot that I donít quite catch clean and it goes 20 feet past. 2 putts. Double bogey.

#7, par 3, 213 yards. Pin tucked way back right behind a bunker. I see the shot perfectly in my mind and it calls for a hard cut 3 hybrid landing in the middle and feeding towards the pin with the slope. I catch it precisely the way I wanted and watched it come up short in the sand, I could not believe it. Straightforward bunker shot, just have to land it a little on the green and the downhill left to right slope would feed it to the hole. Only I catch it heavy and it stays on the top part of the green leaving a very slippery putt. Hit the putt just a bit too hard and it trickles 5 feet past. Then miss that. Not fun. Double bogey.

#8, par 4, 391 yards. Take driver at the left fairway bunker thinking I couldnít get there. I was wrong, ball finds the bunker by about 2 yards. Caddie is not happy, all heís been doing is raking bunkers this nine and he had suggested less than driver to stay short of the sand. But itís a realitively basic shot with a sand wedge from just over 100 yards to a back left hole location. Catch it clean, a little pull, but it finds the green about 20 feet from the hole. Uphill putt, am tired of leaving these short and give it a little extra. It dives straight in the middle. Nice. Birdie.

Walking to the last tee I apologize to the standard bearer as I have now not made a par for 14 holes and heís had to change my score after every one of those 14 holes. We have a good laugh about it.

#9, par 4, 426 yards. Good drive right down the pipe leaving only 8 iron to a back left hole location. I go right at it and it comes up about 14 feet short of the hole. Fairly easy putt, about left edge. In my mind thereís just no way Iím missing this putt on my last hole of a major. Hit it dead on my line but it just doesnít break. Ghosts the left edge of the hole and stops a foot past. Sigh. Par. But the standard bearer is happy.

Iíll end this here for now and touch on the after round thoughts in the next installment.
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10-08-2023 , 10:05 AM
Great read! Pardon my ignorance but earlier you mentioned the greens being close to 14 on the stimpmeter. Do they provide that information to all the players or is that your estimate or is there another way to get that?
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10-08-2023 , 12:53 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnzimbo
Great read! Pardon my ignorance but earlier you mentioned the greens being close to 14 on the stimpmeter. Do they provide that information to all the players or is that your estimate or is there another way to get that?
The USGA tests them every morning so they know exactly but of course they can change throughout the day. The NBC guys said on air that they were almost 14 which sounded about right. My educated guess is they started at around 13.5 and got slightly faster throughout the day.
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10-27-2023 , 07:26 PM
thanks bo
i'm trying to imagine the adrenaline jolt after pulling off a shot like that in any meaningful tournament
and wondering if you would have played it the same way if you were two under instead of over on the day.
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