It is still raining in Ottawa, day 3 now, and the Flagstick Shootout kicks off tomorrow (I have a 10:30am tee time). I have to assume it has also been raining at Smuggler’s Glen in Gananoque as well (2 hours south, along the St.Lawrence). The good news is there is no rain in the forecast for Saturday and even Sunday has turned the corner after looking like it was going to be a rainy day.
Even with two dry days of play, the 3 days of rain prior are likely to leave the course wet. The crew there does such a great job that I have no doubt the greens will be firm and quick, but there is only so much that can be done with a soaked fairway. I don’t expect the course to be as wet as it was in 2011 (standing water on some holes), but I do expect it to be wet enough to make the course play long. From the black tees, the course plays a little over 6500 yards, which is pretty much in my wheel house for course distance, but the wet fairways will stretch my game for sure.
What does all this mean to my game? In 2011, playing the course wet I had a two day total 164 (84, 80) and was generally happy with my play (considering I played the course blind in round 1 since I didn’t have a practice round). Last year, in dry conditions I had a two day total of 167 (88, 79), and besides the 18th hole of round 1, I hit the ball really well. In a nut shell, the wet conditions didn’t have a negative impact on my game. A wet course will mean a lot more long irons and hybrids into greens, and in the case of the 15th hole a fairway wood, but I am ok with that.
Overall, its a tough course, that is generally set up tough, but fair, for the Shootout. There are a couple of holes I will take my licks on, and a couple holes I need to take advantage of to score well, but that is no different than any other course I play.
My goal is top half of the field (top 36) and to set an event personal best for my two day total (beat 164). If I can get off the tee, make a few putts and avoid big numbers I am confident both goals will be within reach.
Wish me luck,
See you at the turn,