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Discussion in 'General Sports' started by TFP, Jan 3, 2019.
On my way to Bandon, lot of rain and 40 degree weather in the forecast. Woot.
Yeah - the weather has been nasty here the last few days. And looks like it will stay that wait until maybe Sunday. Hope your room has shoe heaters...and try to dry all your gloves, socks, and clothes in your room as soon as possible, especially if you use them the next day. I had to do that even with the grips on my clubs last time. And maybe have a flask of whiskey handy to help stay warm too!
It's better than the weather I've been dealing with I'm Seattle. Could barely get out of my neighborhood through 1.5' of unplowed snow.
Just got here and as I'm pulling up to the lodge, there's Ben Crenshaw ripping a butt outside in the rain. This trip was worth it just for that!
That's awesome. Hope you wagged your finger at him and said "I have a good feeling about this."
Just saw him in the lodge and shook his hand and talked with him for a min. Best trip ever.
Ha awesome. Sorry you got this weather though. SF is hideous right now
Dude, WTF! I've been there like 20 times, including opening day at Old Mac and the only people I've met are the owner and the designer of Old Mac (because it was opening day). You go once and meet Crenshaw? Pretty badass. Is he working or just playing? Not sure if he's involved in the sheep ranch conversion or not.
Heading out to Long Beach tomorrow. Weather also iffy but doable, 50s and cloudy, hopefully not wet.
Playing Old Ranch Friday (nice private course as a reciprocal from my club), Skylinks Saturday (hungover hacker round just to have fun), then Torrey North on Sunday. We debated doing Trump National on Saturday but it was expensive and only had early tee times. Probably should have pulled the trigger but oh well.
Surprise appearance from @PedroSpecialK at the B’s game Friday night too.
That's exactly why he's here. I asked him if he was playing and he said he was only working on the new course. If he was willing to play, I was all about asking if he'd join me.
You should have had him take you out to the sheep ranch to walk the "course" or maybe play it. It's not an actual golf course, it's like 13 greens and you make your own track. Supposed to be the best part of the whole property. I put off playing out there every time I went and doubt I'll ever get the chance now (until it's a full course, of course).
Him and Coore are now sitting next to me at dinner. This is sick. I want to just sit at his table and listen to them talk.
That’s incredibly awesome.
They just stopped at our table and took pictures and talked with us for 20 mins. This is amazing.
You've had a mind-bendingly great trip to Bandon already and you haven't even swung a club.
False, we played 27 holes at Shorty's and I won $6 from the group. Great start to the trip.
7:40 tee time at Bandon Trails tomorrow, hopefully more money in my pocket.
I talked with Crenshaw at the 1995 Dunhill Cup in St. Andrews, when I was a student but also working for Golf Digest - and he was just as nice to me as @FL4WL3SS is making him out to be. I'm so pleased he's gone on to have so much success as an architect; at the end of the day, I wonder whether he'll be remembered most for his on-course success, his silky putting stroke, his (and Coore's) architectural legacy, or his Ryder Cup captaincy?
Awesome stuff! Hope the conversations continue.
So? Impressions from a Bandon virgin?
It was great. We played at 730am all four mornings and played Bandon Trails, Old Mac, Pacific Dunes and Bandon Dunes in that order. The first two days were awful weather and we got pulled off Old Mac after teeing off on 15 because of lightening and marble sized hail (it managed to hail at least once all four days). We got in at 1:30 on Wednesday and we were able to hit the range and Shorty's for a bit; the Preserve was closed because they lost the greens. I was super disappointed in that.
A bunch of guys played 36 both Thursday and Friday, I took the opportunity to dry out my shit and take a couple well needed naps (don't get away by myself very often). Saturday the weather was iffy to start, but it cleared up (after hailing as I was standing over a 6 foot putt worth $12). This ended up being the most enjoyable round of the weekend for me (and one of the most enjoyable rounds of my life). The scenery on Pacific is absolutely amazing. I ended up playing 36 on Saturday with my second round at Old Mac (what a fun course).
My play was pretty consistent overall after the front nine on Thursday. I shot 52 in torrential downpour, in full rain gear and not having played since September. I settled down after that and shot between 40-42 every other nine after that (shooting between 81-83 for the remaining 4 rounds, usually with at least one triple and a few doubles). All in all, very satisfied with my play and extremely satisfied with the courses and the group of guys I went with. We had one guy on the trip bring cases of wine from his 3000 bottle wine cellar and kept our glasses filled up every night.
My only complaint for the whole trip was the food (other than the breakfast buffet). It was delightful at first, but the menu at all of the clubhouses was pretty similar and very heavy, I got sick of eating it by the 3rd and 4th night and ended up just eating the side salad for dinner the fourth night. They need some more variety there, especially for long stays. Next time I might pack some stuff, I'm not a heavy eater.
Oh and did I mention I met Ben Crenshaw? Because I did
Yeah, the food gets really old after 2 nights. It's great to get a nice steak on night one, then a burger on night 2, and then you just want some kind of damn vegetables. That's the thing they get the most complaints about, for sure.
Also to update - my trip was fun. Our round at Old Ranch got canceled because the course was underwater (they got 2+ inches of rain on Thursday) and we didn't find out until Friday morning. We almost went to Trump National but decided to play a local dog track for $25 because it was close and open. It was also underwater (literal standing water lakes in fairways, although the greens were great) but they still let us out somehow.
Torrey North was an experience. It's a weird mix of incredible scenery combined with a public municipal course feel. Backups on the first tee, fivesomes, 30 handicaps walking in jeans, guys playing there as tourists. I loved it, personally. We had perfect weather for the front 9, then gale force winds and sideways rain for the back 9. Sun came out on the 16th tee which was perfect for views and pictures, but rain came back for 18. Played ok all things considered, but would have liked to play better. A couple dumb triples (including the first hole where I topped 2 straight shots) ruined a chance for a round in the 80s. They also have a local rule where if you lose a ball in the rough, it's a free drop. That's necessary, because you really have to keep your eye on the ball for a chance of finding it.
One funny story - on the the 15th tee, the picturesque downhill par 3, the wind was literally blowing sideways right to left at about 30 mph. Pin is back left of the green, ravine is left and long. Since the tee is so elevated, it feels like the wind is just going to carry the ball all the way to the South course, and I'm just laughing over my tee shot not knowing what to do. I take like 3 extra clubs, aim about 40 yards right, and hit a good shot basically at the ocean. Ball goes up....and rides the wind for what feels like a full minute, curves 40 yards right to left, lands about 6 feet from the pin, and just bounces off the green. For a second I thought it had a chance to go in. Just a ridiculous shot that had us all dying laughing.
Overall I'd recommend playing there. Expect slow play, narrow fairways, brutal rough, tough but fair greens, and gorgeous views.
Yeah pretty much everyone in my group was pretty meh about the food by the fourth night.
The pro at my course is setting up another trip for next year. I'm not in a huge rush to go back, but I'll probably go next year. I'd almost prefer to go with a smaller group of buddies next time.
Yeah, I've done it as a twosome all the way up to 24 guys. A foursome at Bandon for 3/4 days is really the perfect sized group. You're with the same guys on all 4 courses and it's just a lot easier to be flexible with your time and plans.
Heading to Pinehurst next weekend. Getting in Friday afternoon, leaving Sunday night. Probably going to do the Cradle on Friday, and at least 18 Saturday/Sunday. Maybe 36 on Saturday depending on weather and such. Hoping to play at least one of #2 and #4, if not both.
Last July, I had the perpetually muddy and unwieldy turf in my small (40 square meters) backyard dug up and replaced with 18mm artificial grass. We did this for any number of reasons, not least being that we no longer have a swamp behind our house throughout the typically wet Scottish winter and into spring, and the kids can get to the trampoline on the far side of the yard much more easily, even in their bare feet. But I also took the opportunity to get three golf holes cut into the turf: one in the middle of the yard, and two at one end. I basically didn't play any golf during the second half of last year for numerous reasons, but now that my new season is about to get underway, I've started practicing my putting and chipping on a daily basis, and it's really fantastic.
The grass isn't really designed for putting - the company we used offered a 12mm artificial grass that was meant to roll more a proper putting green, but my wife didn't like it at all, as it didn't feel great underfoot and it looked much more like astroturf than what we've gone for. And really, the grain (if you want to call it that) of the 18mm artificial grass we did install is so strong that you can only really putt in one direction, down the gentle slope of the yard toward the end with the two holes at it - we're talking about maybe a 7 or 8 on the Stimpmeter downhill, and like a 1 or 2 going back uphill. But on the positive side, the longer length of the grass is perfect for chipping. Having actual holes to putt and chip toward is so much more rewarding than putting to a bottle or the equivalent on my living room carpet. The gentle slope means I can practice breaking putts across the grain to some extent. And most importantly, I can pop out of the house whenever I want to and practice for any length of time. I always struggle with longer practice sessions: e.g., in a 30-minute putting session, I know that after a certain point my muscles start aching and twitching, and I sense that I cross over to where I'm reinforcing bad habits instead of good ones. Now, though, I can pop out for five minutes several times a day - in my slippers and pajamas, if I want - and spread that same load of practice across multiple mini-sessions. I've found a nice feel in my putting stroke at the moment that I want to reinforce, and I'm literally just back at my desk after making 9 of 12 six-footers in a quick burst outside. I have no idea how much all of this is going to help my scores this year, but I can't imagine it's going to hurt!
I played 18 holes yesterday for the first time since last July. (I'd played three holes about a month ago, and had one short range session in our club's practice field the other week, but that's been it since then.) My score wasn't legitimate, because I hit a second ball a few times on the first few holes - and one again on the 9th after duffing a wedge - but that aside I shot a 73, which was very pleasantly surprising. Bogeyed the first, bogeyed the last, and 16 pars in between. Although the ball was not carrying at all in the cold, the course was set up very short and there was relatively little wind, but still, I'm calling that a win. Very nice to play by myself, leave the flag in the hole from however far away I wanted, and not feel like I was breaking the rules of golf!
On the subject of wind...do you guys ever thinking about climate change in the context of your personal golf experience? I do that all the time over here, because on the whole it does feel to me like the weather is generally getting more extreme, and there are fewer days like yesterday when the wind is calm and my home course feels gettable. And I do fear climate change is going to make golf marginally harder and less enjoyable over time - which I know ranks at best 1,000th on the list of important climate change-related effects, but still.
Super jealous man. I went about 15 years ago or so right after they opened Pacific and I e been dying to go back. Just an amazing place. And Crenshaw!?!? Did you throw him an ‘I’ve got a feeling...’?
I went out this morning and wound up playing 11 holes, and I did something I've never done before - I hit a wedge shot from just over 100 yards on a par 4 that hit the flagstick about a foot above the hole, landed two inches away from the cup, and spun back off the green. I think Hunter Mahan was the worst victim of this I can remember, on the 16th hole at Bethpage in 2009 when he was in contention during the final round at the US Open, although I'm probably forgetting someone.
Bump for this. Weather looking iffy but improving. Friday might be a washout, Sat/Sun looks like 65-70 and overcast with scattered showers.
I'm heading down with my gf (who golfs better than me) and my brother (ditto). Visiting the gfs mom who lives on #5, and my gfs friend is coming up from Charlotte (also played college golf). Playing #5 on Saturday afternoon and #4 on Sunday morning. Weren't any good times for #2 and with the weather we didn't want to play it in potential rain. Really looking forward to #4. Would love to get the Cradle in if possible too. Looking forward to it.
Tiger in The Masters famously hit the flag and bounced into the water, followed by an illegal drop. He possibly wins another major if he hits a slightly worse shot there. Or do you mean specifically that it spun back off, not just bounced back off?
Enjoy the foursome!
See, I told you I was forgetting someone! Yeah, that's definitely the most famous such incident, although you could argue that Mahan's was more crucial, coming on the 16th hole in the final round rather than the 15th hole in the third round.
It's happened to me as well, but more like Tiger's. 18 at Bandon Dunes (on Bandon) I hit my third (par 5) from about 100 out, bounced once, hit the flag stick and it ricocheted hard right, off the green and into the lateral hazard (all gorse so no going in). I don't remember what my score was going into that hole but I'm pretty I has having a good day before making a double I didn't deserve. I should not, flag sticks at Bandon are metal so they don't break in the wind so hitting one is almost always punitive, but usually not as bad as I got.
That's happened to me before, though no lateral hazard. Perfect PW into a Par 4, dented the cup and rolled into the bunker where I was so rattled that I proceeded to make double. Fun shot.
See.. you all have the problem of hitting the ball in the general vicinity of the flagstick . If you play the "I hope it goes thataway" game, any result that is close to "thataway" is a bonus.
In my defense, I was like 16 when I did that. Haven't really come close to replicating that.
I recall once sculling a shot out of the greenside bunker on a short par 3 into the flag on the flagstick, and then the ball dropping into the hole.
To save par.
Done similar on a short par 4 at Pumpkin Ridge in Portland (#17), except it was from about 40 yards out and was for an eagle. Worst eagle I've ever made.
Finally started some lessons last weekend and I don't know what took me so long. Turns out the high, weak block slice that was killing my game was because I was coming over the top, my hands were lagging way behind my body, and I was hitting the ball off the heel. My instructor got me working on a proper takeaway, back-swing position, and weight shift and I already feel so much better without even hitting any balls yet. I'm swinging the club every day trying to get the motion ingrained before I start trying to hit balls. Can't wait for the next few lessons.
There was nothing more demoralizing than having a ~100 mph swing speed and not having enough distance to hit 375 yard par fours in two or carry water 175 yards out. My 50% power shots were going as far as my 100% rips at the end of the first lesson. I feel a good year coming.
My one career ace was on a sculled 8 iron. "Kept it under the wind", I said. Of course, I now tell it as hitting it 10 feet past the hole and spinning it back in.
My home course for much of my childhood was Atlanta Country Club, which used to play host to the Atlanta Classic - e.g., John Daly won there in 1994. You might remember the 13th hole, a short dropshot par 3 with a covered bridge in the background (shown below); there was a member who very famously made an ace there on a shot that landed on the roof of the bridge and ricocheted back onto the green and into the hole. I'd be hard-pressed to imagine a better "lucky ace" story than that one!
Moved to Dedham and not sure I’ll be re-upping at Norton (10min ride last year versus 35 this year). So I’ll be looking for some golf buddies this upcoming season.
And this years work trip includes a round at Kapalua Course in Maui. So there’s that for this season.
I played a few holes after lunch today, and I had my first negative experience of leaving the flag in the hole under the new rules - I had a 25-foot putt down a severe slope that I hit pretty much perfectly, and I thought it was tracking for the right half of the hole, but I *think* it grazed the flagstick (which wasn't as centered in the hole as I'd thought) and lipped out. Not having had any positive experiences yet under the new rules where the pin came to my rescue - I know the season is young, but still - I think this may sour me on the concept pretty much permanently except on very long putts that I'm only really thinking about lagging, and for which the stick is markedly more likely to save me from going 6+ feet past the hole than it is to reject a ball that otherwise would have gone in the hole. (Which is probably how the rule ought to be applied, now that I think about it...)
What are your thoughts and plans regarding this new rule? Perhaps your answer might depend upon the type of flagsticks on the course(s) you most often play?
I haven't really given it too much thought, but it is a good point. I'll probably pull it out for anything in "makeable" range, which my ego says is 20-25 ft or less (6-8m). My routine is usually get the line, step aside and try to dial in the speed, then get over the ball and pull the trigger. I think that having the pin in may be a visual distraction*. For me- the final thing I want to be thinking of is speed... and having the flagstick there may divert me. I don't know until I try. And I am not necessarily your average golfer- I grew up trying to pattern my game after Corey Pavin**.
* For instance... I may have my line/speed as 3 balls outside left, a 5 inches short. And then if I see the flag, my head goes to "SMASH AT HOLE!". But again, just a personal quirk...
** Aided, no doubt, because my go-to club growing up was a 4 wood. And Pavin hit a 4 wood into the 18th at Shinnecock (going on memory here, but pretty sure that is accurate) . So we were kindred spirits.
Leaving the flag in has, so far, in my experience been a horrible rule change. Since no one agrees on whether they want it in or out, in a competitive setting it's constantly being taken out, put back in, taken out, put back in. It's not only a pain in the ass to deal with on every green, it's going to cause people to get hit into on holes where the green is blind but you can see the flag and/or it's going to slow things down as people wait to make sure they don't hit into the group in front of them. I can't think of a single positive that's come from the change outside of possibly speeding up my group in mess around type rounds where no one in the group cares if the pin is in or out. Of course, that only works if the whole course is filled with people with that attitude. I think the impacts of the change weren't thought all the way through and I hope they rescind the rule ASAP.
I leave it in for a lot of golf already (non tournament rounds playing by myself or with family where we want to move things along), so I'm likely to leave it in. That being said, I agree with jecra that is could cause more slow play than it'll reduce.