Reflections of a 71

This past Friday a good friend of mine from the Toronto area happened to be in town for work, and being a club link member was able to get me out to Greyhawk for a late afternoon round. We had played Greyhawk a couple of years earlier and played the Talon course, but on Friday we were scheduled to play Predator. All day I was looking forward to the round as I always enjoy getting out for a round on a new course or a course I don’t get to play all the time.

Having worked all day, rushing to the course an heading to the 1st tee without a solid warm up, I wasn’t expecting anything special. On the other hand, whenever I get out to a new course, where I have to pay a green fee, I put a fair bit of pressure on myself to play well. Also, my friend and I have have a history of not playing very well when we get together. He being about a 5 index and me being around a 7, we are both fairly competent players, and yet I can’t ever recall either of us shooting under 80 when playing together. With all that said, we headed to the tee just before 4pm on Friday June 17, neither of us expecting what was about to transpire. Below is a detailed account (with my friends shots left out) of the lowest round to date of my golfing career.

Greyhawk – Predator: Par 72, 6696 yards from the blues, 71.3 rating, 122 slope.

Hole 1 – A 395 yard par 4. I hit a driver right down the middle, over a fairway bunker, leaving myself about 130 yards into the green. My approach shot, a 9 iron, look bang on, but flew about 20 feet past the pin. I 2 putted, leaving my 1st putt 5 feet short, a knock in a key confidence putt for my par.

Hole 2 – A short par 5, playing 480 yards. Again I hit a driver straight down the middle, leaving just under 200 yards to the green. Not quite confident enough in my 4 iron I pulled out my 5 expecting to land 15 yards short and have a good chance for an up and down for birdie. Instead I pured it to 20 feet. Again, my 1st putt was weak, and again I dropped a knee knocker for 5 feet. 1 under after 2.

Hole 3 – A long par 4, 444 yards, #1 handicap hole on the course. Another driver down the middle. This time I pulled out the 4 iron as there wasn’t much danger near the green and hit it to 10 feet. For the 3rd straight hole I hit an awful 1st foot. Another 2 putt. 1 under after 3.

Hole 4 – A long par 3 at 174 yards. I don’t remember my club selection, it was either a 5 or a 4 iron. Nor do I remember where I hit it on the green. I do know I hit the green and I 2 putted, again. 1 under after 4.

Hole 5 – 528 yard par 5. Water all the way down the left hand side was somewhat intimidating, but I hit a driver straight down the middle again. Knowing I had something going I didn’t chance it and hit a 7 iron to lay up. Had I known that the water came across in front of the green I would have hit the 7 iron out to the right, luckily my ball held up just short of the rough and the ensuing water hazard. I knocked a SW onto the green, and again 2 putted. 1 under through 5.

Hole 6 – 393 yard par 4. I hit a great drive off the tee, leaving myself with 110 yards into the green. I hit a gap wedge inside 10 feet and once again 2 putted. If I wasn’t hitting every fairway and every green my putting would have been really getting to me at this point. 1 under through 6.

Hole 7 – 416 yard par 4. Another driver down the middle. This hole was playing into the wind a bit, so I still had a good 140 yards to the green. I hit a 7 iron, caught it a little thin, causing a much lower ball flight than I anticipated, it landed just short of the green, caught the down slope and rolled inside 5 feet. Finally a putt I can make, and I did. 2 under through 7.

Hole 8 – 202 yard par 3, with a left to right cross wind. I hit a 4 iron that was the perfect distance, but a bit far right. My 1st putt never had a chance, leaving me with a long par putt that I missed. 1st bogey, on a 3 putt. 1 under through 8.

Hole 9 – A 400 yard par 4. My first drive off the tee that I didn’t pound it down the middle of the fairway. Instead my ball came down on the right hand side of the fairway, about 10 yards short of a water hazard that runs the length of the hole. I hit an 8 to the front right of the green, rolled my birdie putt to within a foot and tapped in for a 1 under 35 on the front.

Hole 10 –  I hit another great drive down the middle of the fairway on the 439 yard par 4, but was still a solid 4 iron from the green. The 4 iron got away to the right leaving me with a chip up to the green from a collection area. I hit a decent chip, but missed my 5 footer. Even par through 10.

Hole 11 – 211 yard par 3. I hit a 4 iron to the front lip of the green. Putted up to within 5 feet and knocked in the par putt. Even through 11.

Hole 12 – 357 yard par 3. This was definitely a hole where I would normally lay up short of the fairway bunkers, but on this day I knew I could hit the driver straight and long. I hit a driver up to 80 yards or so, hit a SW onto the green and made a nice downhill 8 footer for birdie. Back to 1 under through 12.

Hole 13 – The shortest par 3 on the course, playing 156 yards. I hit my second worst shot of the day here off the tee (worst shot still to come), skulling a 6 iron into what I thought was the front right bunker. Turned out the ball came to rest a few feet short of the bunker. I chipped up to 5 feet and drained the par putt to remain at 1 under.

Hole 14 –  The 521 yard par 5 was almost the death of me on this day. After pulling a driver down the left hand side of the fairway I had the bright idea I was going to cut a fairway wood from left to right, hopefully leaving me with a short approach shot. In reality, I shanked the shot off the heal of my fairway wood and it traveled 20 yards into the water hazard running down the left hand side of the hole. Double bogey, 1 over after 14.

Hole 15 – A 225 yard par 3. I hit my hybrid to 40 feet and managed to hit 2 solid putts for par. 1 over at 15.

Hole 16 – A longer par 5 at 537 yards. The 16th hole would be the 1st fairway I missed all day, hitting a fade into the right hand rough. From there I hit my hybrid up to 100 yards, and knocked a gap wedge inside 10 feet. Another birdie and back to even par for the round. It was now hitting me that this could  a personal best round. I had shot 1 over at Metcalfe Golf and Country Club (my home course) once before, but never even or under par.

Hole 17 – A 302 yard par 4. A short par 4 with water down the left hand side. The green is tucked in behind the water, so you can’t really hit the green off the tee. I hit a drive down the left hand side of the fairway, stopping inside 10 yards from the hazard (close call). With only about 40 yards to the green I hit my SW to 10 feet.A rolled in another birdie. 1 under through 17.

Hole 18 – 516 yard par 5. Could I go birdie, birdie, birdie to finish 2 under? I hit another great drive down the middle of the fairway and followed that up with a hybrid to 60 yards. The pin was tucked in the front right hand corner of the green right behind a mound and I would have to drop my ball right on the top of the mound if I wanted to get close at all. I came up a bit short of the mound and my ball kicked left, but onto the green. I had about 25 feet for birdie. I rolled it up close and tapped in for my par. 1 under 71 for the round, personal best!

And that’s how it happened.

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