Week O’ Golf Part 1

Note:Part 1 of 2 on Week O’ Golf

This past week has been some sort of pinnacle in my golfing career, and it has nothing to do with my score(s).

This spring I made a conscious decision not to play a whole lot of golf right out of the gate. I wanted to ease into it. Last season I came out of the gate on fire, played a lot, got my index really low and then ran into a brick wall in August and watched my cap shoot up from 5.6 to 7.3. The plan was to practice lots and play little for the first month of the season. Also included in the plan is a few extended (more than 1 day) breaks from golf throughout the summer. The plan is to peak for 4 events, The Flagstick Golf Magazine Spring Amateur Shootout at Smuggler’s Glen at end of May, the OVGA  Intersectionals in mid July, the Metcalfe Golf Club Championship in early August and the OVGA City and District Championships at the end of August. 

Unfortunately, I didn’t practice as much as I would have liked this spring, nor did I play very much, so I managed to achieve half my goal. With the Flagstick shootout this upcoming weekend (May 26 – 27) last week was high time to kick my golf game into gear, and kick into gear I did!

The week of May 7 – 13, I was out of town for work for most of the week so only played once, on the 7th. I played well, shooting even par 36 for 9 holes at Metcalfe. Fast forward one week later and I managed another 9 holes at Metcalfe, this time a 42, not great, but not horrible. That was 18 holes, spread over 2 days in a seven day span, not much golf, but that was about to change.

Tuesday I had 36 holes lined up. My day started with an early morning round  at Stonebridge Golf and Country Club. I was scheduled to play with Chris, who I had met through the Ottawa Golf Forum and Twitter (check him out on twitter – @gropper76) and who would also be playing in the Flagstick Shootout.  It was my first time playing Stonebridge other than 2 scramble tournaments so I was excited to see the course for “real”. I played well shooting a 76. The course was in “spring” conditions with greens having just been aerated and sanded and 2 greens closed. It was a good way to start the day. Full score card here 

After our round at Stonebridge we met up with  another Ottawa Golf Forum member and fellow tweeter David (@davidibit), jumped in Chris’ Ford Explorer and drove an hour and a half down the 401 to Smuggler’s Glen Golf Course in Gananoqu, ON where we would meet up with our forth for the day, Ed. This would be our practice round for the Flagstick Shootout in 2 weeks time.
Upon our arrival at Smugglers we were pleasantly surprised to be joined for lunch by Flagstick Golf Magazine Editorial Director Scott MacLeod (@Flagstick), who in the spirit of making us all sweat, put up a small prize for low round of the day. While it was “only” a practice round and “only” a pack of Titleist golf balls, you would have never known it by the tension shown by the 4 of us on the first couple of holes. For added pressure, Scott decided to walk the first 3 holes with us.

After a couple of holes we all loosened up and got into the flow of our own games and it wasn’t until the final few holes that another thought was placed on the prize at hand. Going onto the 14th both Chris and Ed had played themselves out of contention and while David was high man after the front 9 he had managed to stick around on the back and was trailing me by 2 strokes with 5 holes to play. I made a really crappy double at 14, he made a par, making us even. On 15 I hit my second into the woods, gone forever I was sure, but I found it and managed to hack it to 8 feet. David’s 2nd also found trouble and he ended taking 2 to get to 5 feet for bogey. I made mine, and he missed, my 2 stroke lead was restored. We both parred 16. On the short 17th we both drove to inside 50 yards, he hit his to the front of the green, about 30 feet short of the pin. I chuncked mine, then chipped to 5 feet. He was an easy 2 putt for par, I on the other hand missed the 5 footer, my lead was 1. We both got off the tee safely on the par 5 18th, he was to hit first and safely hit up to about 140 yards. Having played this hole previously twice before I knew my normal ball flight with a 3 wood would set me up perfectly for 115 – 120 yards into the green, all I had to do was cut the corner of the water that ran down the left side of the fairway. I pured it and was left with about 115 in. David was away and hit safely onto the green, but was 40 feet or so from the pin. I pulled out my PW and hit one to 20 feet, at that point I was sure I would hold him off. Sure enough we both 2 putted and I was the proud new owner of some Titleist balls. Scorecard here.

The 18th at Smugglers – Around 150 yards from green
One would think 36 holes in a day would be enough, but no, Chris and I were going to try for 45. With 2 hours and a handful of minutes of daylight left we decided to keep going. We figured we could squeeze in a 9 hole skins game before dark. To say the least I was tired, and my game showed it. I was ball in pocket on 1 hitting 2 balls never to be found again off the tee. We each exchanged skins for the first couple of holes and than the carry overs started, all the way to the 9th. After 9 holes it was still light, I was playing like crap, but managing to make a par when needed to carry a skin over, and we had carried over 6 straight skins. We kept going. We all parred 10. We were all green side in 2 on 11, all right green side, it had become a chipping contest. Chris was away, had the worst lie and came up with the worst result, about 15 feet. David and I each hit to about 10 feet. Chris missed and tapped in for bogey and I was up. Mine was in as soon as it came off the putter. Now it was up to David for the carry over, his ball was the perfect line, but 2 rotations short, I just picked up 7 skins. I would win one more skin to make it 9 for the round. Chris was low man on that last loop with a 77, a nice way to end his day after struggling on the second 18 of the day. Although I won 9 skins I was ball in pocket on more holes then I care to remember, so no score was entered. We finished the 18th in the dark and besides going the wrong way on the 401 for 20kms or so made it home safely after a day of 54 holes of golf.
The 3rd green at Smugglers
The 4th hole at Smugglers
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