SoSH Golf, 2022

petefungtorres

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2006
556
Portland, ME
Best part was my forecaddy (the junior club champ) had my 14 year old son ride around with him for 3 days, teaching him forecaddying, but it also got my son a chance to watch real, actual competitive serious golf in person with his dad and his friends. My son is really into the game now, but he hadn't really been exposed to that level of competition among adults. He's been playing junior PGA for years, but those are scrambles, and his buddies are there, etc. He had a blast watching us, and did a great job staying out of the way, etc.
This is fantastic - and a great way to get him even more experience with the game. I played with my son at our local men's league Tuesday night and it was an absolute blast. It's nine hole, two man better ball competition where you earn points for wins, half a point for halves. We're in the A flight and our opponents are always good players - I typically get one stroke, my son never gets any unless we're playing the guy who is a plus 2.5. We both bogeyed the first, opponents made birdie. Son made birdie on two to square the match. I made the par on the third to halve the hole. My son birdied the fourth and fifth holes to take us two up. I birdied the sixth to go three up. Solid pars down the stretch gave us the match with us three up. Team gross of 33 tied for the first place money. Such a fun match and so awesome to share with him.
 

pappymojo

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 28, 2010
6,021
Any suggestions for courses within an hour of Boston (ideally west of Boston on 495) that rent clubs for 10 year old kids and that have a clubhouse with outdoor seating for a burger and lemonade afterwards?
 

RedSoxFan

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 30, 2001
4,581
Facebook marketplace is a good option to try to find jr. clubs at a decent price. If you have a Savers nearby, may want to give that a try to see if they have anything there as well.

Question - I recently upgraded my irons to a used set of Ping I3 O-Size. However, the 5i I had to buy separately and I noticed that it has a different color dot (black) than the others (orange). I didn't know about offset until after I already bought them (and of course re-gripped them). Plus Ping seems to have a few different color codes out there making it all the more confusing. Is this something I need to be concerned about? FWIW I'm about a 25-30 handicap right now but trying to improve.
 

bsan34

lurker
Jul 31, 2006
224
C'ville, VA / Hingham, MA
Black is more upright than orange. What that means is that it’s more likely to draw (curve from right to left), while orange dots are more likely to fade (curve left to right). If the 5i behaves noticeably differently than the others, it’s an easy repair at any golf store.

Ping is also pretty great about repairs to even old models like these. Measuring yourself to see your ideal dot color takes about 2 minutes with a tape measure. +/- one color won’t make a noticeable difference. But if you’re a few colors off, you could send them to Ping and they’ll adjust them for you. Any golf store can help with the logistics here too.
 

dhappy42

Straw Man
Oct 27, 2013
13,756
Michigan
Facebook marketplace is a good option to try to find jr. clubs at a decent price. If you have a Savers nearby, may want to give that a try to see if they have anything there as well.

Question - I recently upgraded my irons to a used set of Ping I3 O-Size. However, the 5i I had to buy separately and I noticed that it has a different color dot (black) than the others (orange). I didn't know about offset until after I already bought them (and of course re-gripped them). Plus Ping seems to have a few different color codes out there making it all the more confusing. Is this something I need to be concerned about? FWIW I'm about a 25-30 handicap right now but trying to improve.
Orange is two degrees flat from black. A golf store can bend the black head to orange for a few dollars. (Or all of the clubs to black.) Or you can do the Ping measurement, as @bsan34 suggests and have the entire set bent to your proper color. Within limits.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 10, 2017
3,740
A player in my golf league aced a par 3 this evening, very happy for him! It was two foursomes behind us and we heard the yell, then received a call shortly thereafter. I ran my tee shot right by the cup on the second par 3 in an effort to make it a couple in one night, of course I had 5 feet STRAIGHT DOWNHILL left so tapped it and just ran by the lip for a disappointing par. The free beer afterwards tasted great though.
 

jercra

No longer respects DeChambeau
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2006
2,956
Arvada, Co
Oh, hey, that reminds me. I got my third ace last Sunday. Something like 15 years between my first and my second and then less than 4 months between my second and third. Golf is funny.
 

Oil Can Dan

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2003
7,312
0-3 to 4-3
Well after not breaking 90 before this season I've done it five times now, with my best being an 85 at Widows Walk. Had two birdies, six pars, five bogeys and five doubles. A weird but awesome round for me. My handicap is down to 15.7 now from 19.9 to start the season.

I am trying to let go of some of my many swing thoughts. I'm basically down to:

- shorten your backswing
- step on your left leg when starting your downswing (I've had issues where I sway to my left on my backswing which makes my swing all arms)
- follow through/finish

Oh, and don't sway.

And watch your tempo.

That's it.
 

Doug Beerabelli

Killer Threads
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
What would y'alls suggest for the best public courses to play in area of Upper Cape and Plymouth? I'll be based in Falmouth area for a few days next week, and perhaps looking to get a round in with the boy and siblings/father.

Course I've already played and familiar with: Falmouth CC, Cape Cod CC, The Cape Club (when it was called Ballymeade), Quashnet Valley, Old Barnstable, Brookside, New Seabury (which is now completely private). Not looking to head to Hyannis area, but Mashpee/Sandwich/Bourne to Plymouth.

Plymouth has a quite a few nice courses, so I'm wondering what the faves are out there. I played Waverly Oaks a long time ago, but none of the other ones. Of the ones I listed, I'd say Cape Club would be preferred to play again.
 

FL4WL3SS

my name sucks
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2006
13,052
Andy Brickley's potty mouth
What would y'alls suggest for the best public courses to play in area of Upper Cape and Plymouth? I'll be based in Falmouth area for a few days next week, and perhaps looking to get a round in with the boy and siblings/father.

Course I've already played and familiar with: Falmouth CC, Cape Cod CC, The Cape Club (when it was called Ballymeade), Quashnet Valley, Old Barnstable, Brookside, New Seabury (which is now completely private). Not looking to head to Hyannis area, but Mashpee/Sandwich/Bourne to Plymouth.

Plymouth has a quite a few nice courses, so I'm wondering what the faves are out there. I played Waverly Oaks a long time ago, but none of the other ones. Of the ones I listed, I'd say Cape Club would be preferred to play again.
You nailed them all, really. There's not much more than that on the upper cape.

Edit: I guess if you want to drive to Plymouth, you could play PineHills
 

FL4WL3SS

my name sucks
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2006
13,052
Andy Brickley's potty mouth
Debated even posting this because who even really cares, but won the member/member tournament at my club this past weekend. Probably the most fun I've had for two rounds of golf. I play with one of my really good friends each year (last year we won the horse race and almost won again this year) and we just go out, drink a bunch of seltzers and have a blast.

I started +4 after the first 3 holes on day one and then went on a tear to shoot 74 and we were second in our flight and third overall. Day 2 I started with a double and bogey before settling in and shooting 75. My partner played round 2 bare foot because he's crazy.

After I went back to back birdies on 15/16 in round two, we thought we might have a good shot at winning. We stepped up to 17 (par 3) and after I pumped one over the green and into fescue, my partner stuck one to 10 feet and we made par. I ended up getting up and down for birdie from the sand on 18 (par 5) in front of dozens of people and immediately walked off the course to a giant party. The trophy was a glass jug that I filled up multiple times throughout the night. It was pretty epic.

Two months ago my handicap was the highest it's been in ten years. I completely lost my swing after a wrist injury in September to the point where I couldn't break 100 for two straight months. I've dropped my handicap from 7.7 to 3.2 in the last month and my average score is 78 right now. It's been a wild ride.
 

Koufax

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
5,328
Congratulations! That sounds like a lot of fun.
 
Quashnet Valley
I finished T2 in the (one-round) Greater Boston Championships when it was played at Quashnet Valley, I think in 1994 - my best collegiate finish. I shot an 83. I think the second-best score on my team was 89, and one of my friends joined the Century Club. "Quashnet" is still a swear word among my old teammates; maybe it has been softened a bit since then, but we played it on a windy day in April, and it was borderline unplayable.

(We used to play a 36-hole tournament at New Seabury as well - IIRC, that was the first college tournament I ever played in, and I remember watching a game of the 1992 World Series in my cabin there. Interesting to hear that it's gone fully private.)
 
By the by, a tip to potentially pass along from the few holes I played this evening - I've been having issues blading shots from fairway bunkers (and hitting the lips of them, these being proper Scottish bunkers), and today I decided to grip my club a bit higher on the shaft, so that my left palm was basically off the shaft. That little bit of extra length in my arc made all the difference - I hit a couple of really nice shots with short irons out of bunkers that I'd normally be inclined to just splash out of in tournament play, for fear of catching the lip and costing myself a shot. (YMMV, but hopefully that's helpful.)
 

Doug Beerabelli

Killer Threads
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
I finished T2 in the (one-round) Greater Boston Championships when it was played at Quashnet Valley, I think in 1994 - my best collegiate finish. I shot an 83. I think the second-best score on my team was 89, and one of my friends joined the Century Club. "Quashnet" is still a swear word among my old teammates; maybe it has been softened a bit since then, but we played it on a windy day in April, and it was borderline unplayable.

(We used to play a 36-hole tournament at New Seabury as well - IIRC, that was the first college tournament I ever played in, and I remember watching a game of the 1992 World Series in my cabin there. Interesting to hear that it's gone fully private.)
I played it in the afternoon in the summer a while ago. My nickname for it is Mosquitonet Valley. Not fond memories.
 

Comfortably Lomb

Koko the Monkey
SoSH Member
Feb 22, 2004
12,039
The Paris of the 80s
I played Quashnet about a decade ago. I... wouldn't recommend it. I didn't experience the mosquitos but with Olde Barnstable and Hyannis Golf Course a couple miles down the road and only about $10 more expensive I don't see a reason to play Quashnet. Both are significantly better tracks. I'd rather play the par 3 course behind the conference center in Hyannis, actually.
 
I played probably my biggest round of the season this afternoon, the stroke-play qualifying round for the Esmond Trophy at North Berwick. I'd spent three hours in the car beforehand, driving back from a very tiring overnight commentary assignment in England, and I've been in terrible form and had zero expectations...but I kinda figured that this might be a good thing? That said, the wind was 15 mph gusting up to 30 mph, and because the out-and-back routing of the West Links at North Berwick heads due east and then comes back to the west - the opposite of Dunbar's routing - you have to play the front nine into the prevailing wind (which we had today), which is much harder on you if you're strugging for form: basically, you have sort yourself out straightaway, because otherwise you're just going to give away too many shots before you can fix things.

I started with a par, and then the next two upwind par 4s - the 2nd at 420 yards along the edge of the beach/ocean, and the 3rd at 450 yards - required me to hit driver/wood/9-iron to get home. I was delighted to bogey both of them, but the bogey train continued for five holes in total, and I could feel my swing unspooling. At the 360-yard 7th, I hit a driver/2-iron to about 25 feet to finally make a par, and then at the par-5 8th, still into the wind, I hit a very poor drive and then a driver out of the rough (!) to about 130 yards from the hole, and then I totally thinned/pulled/sliced a 5-iron which somehow stayed under the wind and finished six feet behind the hole. Rolled in the putt for birdie, and suddenly I was only +4 through eight holes, with the course about to turn for home.

The par-5 9th plays due north, across the wind, and I weakly pushed my drive on the wind into some dense rough. I tried to play a 3-wood out of it, but the grass caught my ball and yanked it into one of the fairway bunkers normally in range for me off the tee. I had to pitch out, played a poor driver off the deck well short of the green, left my 80-yard wedge short of the green, hit a very poor lag putt to 20 feet...and managed to drain that 20-footer for a double-bogey 7 to turn in 42 (+6). My goal all day was to make nothing worse than bogey, and although I failed at the 9th, that 20-footer was huge to keep me feeling somewhat positive. And then, now with a three-quarter wind out of the right at the 190-yard 10th, I made my best swing of the day with a 4-iron and almost aced it - the ball curled across the face of the hole and stopped four feet away, and I made the putt to get back to +5.

I then forgot everything that went into the good swing I'd made at the 10th and bogeyed the downwind par-5 11th, but I could sense I was getting closer. Made a nice par at the 12th, and then at the 13th - the hole guarded by a wall along the length of the green, and on which I'd made a 10 last year to scupper my chances of qualifying for match play - I hit a nice drive down the middle, slightly pulled my 8-iron approach but got a nice bounce to finish 18 feet away, and rolled that in for my third birdie of the day. (My putter today was red hot.) From there, I parred every other hole coming in except the tricky 16th - my nemesis hole on which I basically chose to play for bogey off the tee lest I drive into the burn crossing the fairway, hitting 4-iron/3-wood while my playing partners both hit driver/wedge - and finished with an even-par 35 on the back and a 77 (+6) for the round. I'm pretty sure that's the best qualifying round I've ever had in this tournament, and in the conditions it was absolutely superb; one of my playing partners, who is also based at Dunbar and has a +1 handicap, shot 38-39-77 despite out-driving me by 50 yards on pretty much every hole. So I've easily qualified for match play, and I'll play my Round of 32 tie on Tuesday evening (5:20 p.m. tee time).
 
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BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
17,792
Had my best round of the season yesterday. 41-43-84. Struck the ball really well most of the day. The lowlights…

- Drive into the trees that cost me two strokes. Ended up with a 7 on that hole. Ugh.

- 200-yard shot to the green on a par five, water in front. Played a beautiful five iron. Dead on the stick. A gust of wind came up and blew it just short. Hit a bank and kicked back into the water. Ugh. Like a foot short of a perfect shot and putting for Eagle.

- Par four, great drive, perfect situation for a sand wedge. Chunked it into a trap and for the first time in YEARS didn’t get out on the first try. Ended up with double bogey.

- Three putted six greens, including four from no more than 12 feet - as can be a habit for me at times, missed three putts of less than 30 inches.

Didn’t get one “break” all day - not one shot that kicked favorably for me or anything like that. Easily could have shot about a 77 but shot an 84 instead.

c’est la vie
 
I've just found all of the scores for the Esmond Trophy today, btw - I finished T13 net (73, +2) and T7 gross (77) out of 172 entries. Somebody with a 12 handicap shot a net 101 (113 gross); I'm not sure I've ever seen anyone post a score in a tournament and fail to break 100 after subtracting his handicap! Only four players shot a net round under par; in gross terms, barely half of the field broke 90, and 10 guys joined the Century Club, not even counting the 35 guys who failed to post a score (and "NRed", or "No Returned" - i.e., because they failed to finish at least one hole). THAT is a brutally tough day; I can only hope the wind blows like this for the Scottish Open next week, just a mile or two up the road from North Berwick, and indeed the Open Championship in St. Andrews the week after that.

(FWIW, I've been drawn against a 7-handicapper who shot a net 75 today. A good draw - I'll only be giving three shots, which is greatly preferable to having strokes flying around all over the place.)
 

Zomp

Dope
Dope
Aug 28, 2006
13,434
The Slums of Shaolin
I’ve been playing pretty well after practicing with the G-Box training aid. I try to use it midweek at the range for a bit before going to play. After starting off the year slowly, my past 4 rounds have been 76, 78, 79, 74. I think my handicap will dip below 6 for the first time since 2014 or so?
 
Despite hitting the ball pretty atrociously most of the way around the course, I won my Round of 32 match in the Esmond Trophy this evening. In fact, I led the whole way after winning the first with a par, and then playing an 80-yard wedge into the wind to three feet at the second to save par and stay 1 up. My opponent - a 6-handicapper from Royal Musselburgh who is about to retire after 30 years as a fireman - played pretty ordinary golf, but even when he had me under a bit of pressure, I was always able to hole a putt or get up-and-down from off the green or bail myself out with one good shot. I went 2 up at the 4th, and was still 2 up going to the par-5 9th, which again proved to be a pivotal hole for me. I hit a decent drive but came right across my attempted layup 2nd shot and pulled it into deep rough. I was lucky to find it, and then was overly aggressive with my third and had the grass wrap my club over the ball. Still in the deep rough, this time I somehow drew an almost perfect lie, and from about 85 yards into a crosswind I hit a sand wedge to five feet and sank the putt for par to go 3 up.

I went 4 up at the 10th when my opponent left a shot in the bunker, and despite losing the 11th, I had a great match play moment: my opponent had already commented once about how good my putting was - I'd holed 10-footers to save par halve both the 6th and the 7th, and made five-footers at the 8th and 9th - and it felt like a sore spot to him. He played the 11th very well, and I conceded a 10-footer for birdie (net eagle) while I was 30 feet away for par; as I headed past the flag to my ball, he asked if I wanted to putt it or just have him pick it up, and I said, "It's OK - I'll have a go, what the heck." I didn't bother reading the break, stepped up to the ball, took a smooth stroke and of course knocked it right into the cup; my opponent shook his head and said, "You really have the greens down pat." And at that point I basically knew I had him. I pulled my tee shot and lost a ball at the 12th, so I fell back to only 2 up, but it was never any closer than that, and I wound up winning 3&2. So I'm through to face a scratch golfer on Thursday in the Round of 16...and will need to improve considerably to have a realistic chance in that one.
 

Bob Montgomerys Helmet Hat

has big, douchey shoulders
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
I took a lesson about a week ago, and all of a sudden I have a case of the shanks. Anyone ever battle this? It's infuriating.
Oh, I get the shanks from time to time and they blow. For me, it's always about taking the club back too far outside. I have to exaggerate taking the club back inside--it almost looks like I'm taking a slap shot for a while--and it eventually works itself out.
And make sure you're getting enough shoulder turn.
 
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TFP

Dope
Dope
Dec 10, 2007
19,739
I took a lesson about a week ago, and all of a sudden I have a case of the shanks. Anyone ever battle this? It's infuriating.
All the time. It’s the most infuriating feeling in all of sports and I’ll never be rid of them. They are always lurking.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 10, 2017
3,740
My bugaboo end of last year/start of this year was a Charles Barkley-esque hesitation at the top of my backswing. For me, it seems to originate from when I was tought my swing by my uncle and grandfather as a young teen. They stressed to not go fast on my backswing to conserve energy for the downswing. The problem with this was pausing at the top which a slow backswing seems to do, resulting in much less velocity.

Solution: shorten up my fucking swing. I take it back not nearly as much and started to hit it further with a decreased slice, the slice which had really robbed me of distance recently. I literally did not win ONE of my league matches until week 7 and was DFL.

Fast forward to an unspectacular but workmanlike round of 90 last Friday at a halfway decent course, followed by a breakthrough during my Sunday morning league. Par on 1. On hole 2, a 2 foot tap-in birdie on a 120 yd dart from the rough to a blind and fast green. Right at it but just short to the fringe on hole 3, tap in par. Hole 4, into the left hand trees to a smart knock-down to 95 yds with another(!) pin seeking approach and a tap in par. Hole 5 par 3, tee shot to 15 feet and just lipped out the birdie putt. Have NEVER been multiple strokes below par in my life and that would have been something! Had relatively uneventful bogies on 6 & 7, still sat +1 but the wheels fell apart on 8 & 9. OB on both of these holes, one was deserved but on #9 the goddamn ball hit an overhanging branch and it managed to ricochet left to the other side of the white stakes. I still was hitting shot 4 from 90 yds and hit my final dart, this one 3 feet behind the pin. I managed to blow the short putt for bogey and a round of 39, but a 40 with 2 penalty strokes feels like a big improvement from being lost in the wilderness previously.
 

Deathofthebambino

Drive Carefully
SoSH Member
Apr 12, 2005
37,373
Well, the game has officially come around for me now that the greens have started to get faster around here. After playing great in our 4th of July tourney, I played a one day member/guest at Walpole yesterday and went out -1 gross through the first 5 holes. Ended up shooting an 82, but it was much better than that. Lost a bit of interest as we weren't in the hunt, and of course, drinking, with about 5 holes to go and think I went +6 from there.

Got a round on Friday, another on Saturday, and then off to Ireland for the 5 day member/3guest at Old Head on Monday night. Index just dropped to 9.7, probably should be a bit lower, but that's probably enough of a drop to piss off the member that's taking me again. Of course, I have no allusions our team will win anything, other than highest blood alcohol content over the week.
 
This evening I played my Round of 16 match in the Esmond Trophy...and, just, wow. I was playing a scratch golfer and a North Berwick local named Neil, and the wind was properly howling tonight - 25-35 mph, according to the Met Office - and it certainly seemed for a long time as though I would lose very comfortably. I mean, the best hole I played into the wind on the way out was the 8th, a 509-yard par 5 on which I hit a solid driver and two great 3-woods to 10 feet behind the hole, but Neil (who was pounding the ball well past me all day) holed a 20-footer for birdie and I lipped out, and at that point I was 3 down. But he bogeyed the 9th and conceded my 10-foot birdie putt, getting me back to 2 down at the turn; then after I found a terrible lie in a badly raked bunker at the 10th and failed to get out at the first attempt, I holed a 30-footer to halve Neil's bogey, which was quite a momentum swing. And after a couple of pars at 11 and 12 - the former being a net birdie - I was suddenly all square. Neil wasn't exactly endearing himself to me with his lack of conversation and a series of F-bombs he kept dropping in annoyance at the (relatively) bad shots he was hitting, so I was getting pretty motivated to complete the comeback and finish him off.

We both made pars at 13 and 14, then I bogeyed the Redan 15th to go one down, having left myself more than 100 feet down the length of the green for my first putt. We halved the 16th, his par to my net par, and then at the 17th I crushed a drive more than 300 yards (downwind) into a bunker which I didn't think I could possibly reach. Despite that, I almost managed to save par and win the hole, but I just missed a tricky left-to-right six-footer, so I was 1 down with 1 to play. The 18th is a 277-yard par 4, and after Neil bailed out to the left (away from the out-of-bounds road on the right), I went for it, smacked another good one and *just* clambered up the big false front to the edge of the green, about 80 feet from the back-left hole location. I *think* Nick Dougherty - the former English Tour pro who fronts Sky Sports' golf coverage and might be staying in North Berwick, given that the Scottish Open is just up the road - and his wife watched me hit that tee shot and then my lag putt, which finished 8 feet short, on their way into town; they were gone, though, when I rolled the birdie putt right in the middle to win the hole and extend the match to the 19th, Neil having failed to get up and down from short and left of the green.

So we teed off again on #1, with the organizer of the competition now tagging along as our referee. Back into the wind we went: at the 19th, I had an uphill 10-footer into the wind for par to win the match but pulled it to the left. At the 20th, a 433-yard par 4 along the beach which is one of the most difficult holes on the course, I hit my two best shots of the day, driver-driver to pin high just left of the green, no more than 30 feet away; the three previous times I'd played it this past week, I hadn't been closer than 80 yards in two shots. Neil never looked like making par...so of course I hit my first putt four feet past and missed the comebacker. At the 21st I got a stroke, but I kinda half-topped my second shot and had to pitch my third from a scruffy lie through a gap in the wall crossing the fairway; I hit a good 9-iron from there to 20 feet but missed and made double, and then Neil lipped out his 10-footer for the win. At the par-3 22nd I had eight feet left for par and rather generously conceded a four-footer to Neil for his par...and so of course this time I drained my putt! I played the 23rd and 24th well but missed makeable putts for par to win, with Neil resolutely refusing to play like a scratch golfer and finish me off. So to the 25th, with the light really fading - it was now well after 10 p.m. - and sprinklers now randomly coming to life around various greens, I hit a low duck-hook off the tee into a fence post that caused my ball to ricochet back onto the previous green, parallel to the tee. I burst out laughing, then took a drop and quickly played a decent 3-wood forward - quickly because sprinklers were gushing onto the green behind me, and I was fearful that I could get drenched at any moment. I was getting another stroke here, so I wasn't without hope; I had about 170 to the pin into the wind and over a burn, and I thought I hit another 3-wood well and pretty much right at the pin, but after Neil played onto the left side of the green, we went forward and simply never found my ball. It wasn't in the burn, but it wasn't over the green or in one of the greenside bunkers either (and it wasn't in the hole). I suspect it must have been in the burn, but at this point I called it a day and shook Neil's hand. (At which we point of course then had to walk the length of seven holes back to the clubhouse, which took us another 20 or 25 minutes...my smart watch tells me that I walked nearly 10 kilometers out there this evening.)
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
17,792
Hosting my annual 54 hole fundraiser tomorrow. Can’t wait. It’s always a total blast. Gonna be a lot of swings in one day!
 
@Conigliaro's Potential - that was a fun read and must have been a fun match. It is amazing how late you can play in Scotland!
@Conigliaro's Potential wow what an adventure that round was! Nice read.
Thanks - it's nice to know that my posts aren't *entirely* an exercise in vanity. :)

By the way, there was a weird postscript to my match: at the end of our long walk back to the clubhouse, we encountered an American on his own in the 18th fairway, playing with a pencil bag. It was very dark by then, and he'd paced out his distance to the hole (about 40 yards) before walking back to his ball; he commented that he'd gone out in six over but was six under on the back, and we watched him hit a very professional-looking low pitch that took one bounce and stopped inches from the hole. Was he a pro I didn't recognize, sneaking in a game between Scottish Open rounds 1 and 2? Or maybe - and probably more likely - a caddie of one of the pros? Had he snuck out onto the course - probably starting after 7 p.m. - without paying? Either way, he thanked the three of us for bringing him luck on his pitch shot and disappeared into the night...very strange indeed.
 

Deathofthebambino

Drive Carefully
SoSH Member
Apr 12, 2005
37,373
This evening I played my Round of 16 match in the Esmond Trophy...and, just, wow. I was playing a scratch golfer and a North Berwick local named Neil, and the wind was properly howling tonight - 25-35 mph, according to the Met Office - and it certainly seemed for a long time as though I would lose very comfortably. I mean, the best hole I played into the wind on the way out was the 8th, a 509-yard par 5 on which I hit a solid driver and two great 3-woods to 10 feet behind the hole, but Neil (who was pounding the ball well past me all day) holed a 20-footer for birdie and I lipped out, and at that point I was 3 down. But he bogeyed the 9th and conceded my 10-foot birdie putt, getting me back to 2 down at the turn; then after I found a terrible lie in a badly raked bunker at the 10th and failed to get out at the first attempt, I holed a 30-footer to halve Neil's bogey, which was quite a momentum swing. And after a couple of pars at 11 and 12 - the former being a net birdie - I was suddenly all square. Neil wasn't exactly endearing himself to me with his lack of conversation and a series of F-bombs he kept dropping in annoyance at the (relatively) bad shots he was hitting, so I was getting pretty motivated to complete the comeback and finish him off.

We both made pars at 13 and 14, then I bogeyed the Redan 15th to go one down, having left myself more than 100 feet down the length of the green for my first putt. We halved the 16th, his par to my net par, and then at the 17th I crushed a drive more than 300 yards (downwind) into a bunker which I didn't think I could possibly reach. Despite that, I almost managed to save par and win the hole, but I just missed a tricky left-to-right six-footer, so I was 1 down with 1 to play. The 18th is a 277-yard par 4, and after Neil bailed out to the left (away from the out-of-bounds road on the right), I went for it, smacked another good one and *just* clambered up the big false front to the edge of the green, about 80 feet from the back-left hole location. I *think* Nick Dougherty - the former English Tour pro who fronts Sky Sports' golf coverage and might be staying in North Berwick, given that the Scottish Open is just up the road - and his wife watched me hit that tee shot and then my lag putt, which finished 8 feet short, on their way into town; they were gone, though, when I rolled the birdie putt right in the middle to win the hole and extend the match to the 19th, Neil having failed to get up and down from short and left of the green.

So we teed off again on #1, with the organizer of the competition now tagging along as our referee. Back into the wind we went: at the 19th, I had an uphill 10-footer into the wind for par to win the match but pulled it to the left. At the 20th, a 433-yard par 4 along the beach which is one of the most difficult holes on the course, I hit my two best shots of the day, driver-driver to pin high just left of the green, no more than 30 feet away; the three previous times I'd played it this past week, I hadn't been closer than 80 yards in two shots. Neil never looked like making par...so of course I hit my first putt four feet past and missed the comebacker. At the 21st I got a stroke, but I kinda half-topped my second shot and had to pitch my third from a scruffy lie through a gap in the wall crossing the fairway; I hit a good 9-iron from there to 20 feet but missed and made double, and then Neil lipped out his 10-footer for the win. At the par-3 22nd I had eight feet left for par and rather generously conceded a four-footer to Neil for his par...and so of course this time I drained my putt! I played the 23rd and 24th well but missed makeable putts for par to win, with Neil resolutely refusing to play like a scratch golfer and finish me off. So to the 25th, with the light really fading - it was now well after 10 p.m. - and sprinklers now randomly coming to life around various greens, I hit a low duck-hook off the tee into a fence post that caused my ball to ricochet back onto the previous green, parallel to the tee. I burst out laughing, then took a drop and quickly played a decent 3-wood forward - quickly because sprinklers were gushing onto the green behind me, and I was fearful that I could get drenched at any moment. I was getting another stroke here, so I wasn't without hope; I had about 170 to the pin into the wind and over a burn, and I thought I hit another 3-wood well and pretty much right at the pin, but after Neil played onto the left side of the green, we went forward and simply never found my ball. It wasn't in the burn, but it wasn't over the green or in one of the greenside bunkers either (and it wasn't in the hole). I suspect it must have been in the burn, but at this point I called it a day and shook Neil's hand. (At which we point of course then had to walk the length of seven holes back to the clubhouse, which took us another 20 or 25 minutes...my smart watch tells me that I walked nearly 10 kilometers out there this evening.)
Awesome story. Wish it turned out different, but this is really what makes golf special.
 

petefungtorres

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2006
556
Portland, ME
By the way, there was a weird postscript to my match: at the end of our long walk back to the clubhouse, we encountered an American on his own in the 18th fairway, playing with a pencil bag. It was very dark by then, and he'd paced out his distance to the hole (about 40 yards) before walking back to his ball; he commented that he'd gone out in six over but was six under on the back, and we watched him hit a very professional-looking low pitch that took one bounce and stopped inches from the hole. Was he a pro I didn't recognize, sneaking in a game between Scottish Open rounds 1 and 2? Or maybe - and probably more likely - a caddie of one of the pros? Had he snuck out onto the course - probably starting after 7 p.m. - without paying? Either way, he thanked the three of us for bringing him luck on his pitch shot and disappeared into the night...very strange indeed.
That's a cool encounter. My kids (19 and 16) recently caddied in the Korn Ferry tournament when it was in town. The eldest was on the bag for Tom Lewis, the 16yo for MJ Maguire. Tom Lewis was paired with Harry Hall (the English version of Bryson). Their pros couldn't have been more different in terms of personality. After a practice round on Tuesday MJ didn't have anything to don on Wednesday so my kid took him up to play a round at Sunday River (and unsurprisingly had an absolute blast). MJ played well enough thursday and friday to make the cut and then followed that with really good rounds on saturday and sunday to finish top ten. Tom Lewis showed up Wednesday night and hit the course on Thursday having never seen it. His ball striking is truly awesome but he putted terribly. He made the cut and played the weekend but just couldn't get putts to drop. Apparently he's just playing to see if he can earn a tour card and if not is going to take a cushy pro job somewhere.
 

Chance17

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Apr 25, 2003
856
Thanks - it's nice to know that my posts aren't *entirely* an exercise in vanity. :)
As someone who just started reading this thread (have a couple times in the past as well)— definitely not, that was a fun read. Liked that I couldn’t guess how it was going to turn out…
 
I hosted @jercra at Dunbar this afternoon, on a gloriously sunny day. Not too much wind, and owing to a freak tidal thing, we were downwind on the front nine and also for the last four holes or so on the back nine, with only four holes in total playing into the wind all day and 12 holes playing more or less downwind. So the course was playing relatively easy...but still, it's not every day that I make five birdies and shoot a one-under-par 70. I birdied 1, 8, 10, 16 and 17 - the latter two to get from +1 back to -1 - and then got up-and-down with the putter from short/right of the 18th green to confirm the under-par round. I wasn't hitting the ball very far today, but I hit it straight enough, and as seems to be common these days, I putted rather well. So that was very pleasing! (I'll leave it to my opponent to confirm the margin of my match play victory, if he's at all inclined to do so...)

He was staying in Edinburgh, but rather than him heading straight back, we hatched a plan to go to North Berwick and play the big putting course on the east end of town before he took the train back into the city. If you're familiar with the Himalayas Putting Course in St. Andrews, North Berwick has two different Himalayas-lite courses to choose from: one beneath the public tennis courts to the east, and a slightly smaller but still fun one just to the east of the West Links golf course I'd been playing in the Esmond Trophy. The grass was more fairway height than green height, but there are all sorts of amazing slopes you have to putt up and down and across, and it's still an incredibly fun 30 or 40 minutes (for £3.20 each). I won a tense 18-hole match on the main course 1 up, and then we played the more family-friendly nine-hole course, which I'd never experienced before. That was really bizarre: the holes on that course were twice the normal diameter, but they were only about an inch deep (with a wooden base and a normal putting flag such that you'd get on a practice green secured to the centere of each hole). So basically, it was easy to find the hole, but unless your pace was very good, the ball would easily bounce back out again, which actually created a surprisingly good test.

Anyway, we finished that up about an hour before his train was due to depart, so I drove him to the 18th hole on the West Links and suggested that he walk at least as far as the Redan 15th green and back again, to get a taste of what that course is all about. Hopefully he'll report back presently to say he enjoyed what I pointed him towards!
 

jercra

No longer respects DeChambeau
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2006
2,956
Arvada, Co
I hosted @jercra at Dunbar this afternoon, on a gloriously sunny day. Not too much wind, and owing to a freak tidal thing, we were downwind on the front nine and also for the last four holes or so on the back nine, with only four holes in total playing into the wind all day and 12 holes playing more or less downwind. So the course was playing relatively easy...but still, it's not every day that I make five birdies and shoot a one-under-par 70. I birdied 1, 8, 10, 16 and 17 - the latter two to get from +1 back to -1 - and then got up-and-down with the putter from short/right of the 18th green to confirm the under-par round. I wasn't hitting the ball very far today, but I hit it straight enough, and as seems to be common these days, I putted rather well. So that was very pleasing! (I'll leave it to my opponent to confirm the margin of my match play victory, if he's at all inclined to do so...)

He was staying in Edinburgh, but rather than him heading straight back, we hatched a plan to go to North Berwick and play the big putting course on the east end of town before he took the train back into the city. If you're familiar with the Himalayas Putting Course in St. Andrews, North Berwick has two different Himalayas-lite courses to choose from: one beneath the public tennis courts to the east, and a slightly smaller but still fun one just to the east of the West Links golf course I'd been playing in the Esmond Trophy. The grass was more fairway height than green height, but there are all sorts of amazing slopes you have to putt up and down and across, and it's still an incredibly fun 30 or 40 minutes (for £3.20 each). I won a tense 18-hole match on the main course 1 up, and then we played the more family-friendly nine-hole course, which I'd never experienced before. That was really bizarre: the holes on that course were twice the normal diameter, but they were only about an inch deep (with a wooden base and a normal putting flag such that you'd get on a practice green secured to the centere of each hole). So basically, it was easy to find the hole, but unless your pace was very good, the ball would easily bounce back out again, which actually created a surprisingly good test.

Anyway, we finished that up about an hour before his train was due to depart, so I drove him to the 18th hole on the West Links and suggested that he walk at least as far as the Redan 15th green and back again, to get a taste of what that course is all about. Hopefully he'll report back presently to say he enjoyed what I pointed him towards!
The weather was indeed beautiful but my host was rather rude in letting me win 0 holes before the match embarrassingly ended at 7&6 (I'm a 2 handicap, so this doesn't happen to me often). Even when I did manage birdie, it was to save a halve after watching yet another 15 footer find the back of the cup. CP's putting today was really off the charts. I made plenty of mistakes (3 doubles) but played plenty of holes well enough to take some back. Instead I watched putt holed after putt holed. It was pretty fun to watch, honestly and an overall great day.

The putting courses in North Berwick were really fun. I have no idea why that's not a thing in the States. I've done the course at Pacific Dunes a bunch of times and it's always fun, but this was another thing entirely because its just sort of in town, and not part of the golf course. At least in this one I had a one-up lead for a good chunk of play before succumbing yet again to some drained long putts (and missed short putts).

All in all, it was an amazing first day of golf in Scotland ever for me. I'll be back to play Dunbar again once I figure out how to get out on North Berwick. What a beautiful course in a beautiful town.

Thanks again CP (hopefully my writeup is a close enough approximation to your descriptive tomes)
 

Over Guapo Grande

panty merchant
SoSH Member
Nov 29, 2005
3,050
Worcester
Well that beats my excitement from yesterday. I broke 80 for the first time in about 25 years yesterday (Par 71). I didn't make it easy on myself as I bogeyed the last 4 to sneak in just under the number. The flat stick was money from 5-10 feet, as I had a number of longer-than-desired par putts drop in. There was a certain amount of golf-god makeups-- a number of the putts circled the cup and dropped as opposed to spinning out, or died just into the hole as opposed to stopping a half revolution short. All in all, a feel good round on a perfect day.
 

Over Guapo Grande

panty merchant
SoSH Member
Nov 29, 2005
3,050
Worcester
Congrats OGG! 80 is a huge milestone - where'd you play at?
Thanks. I fortunately hit a giid first putt on the last to ensure myaelf a kick in bogey for the 79 (about the only longish putt I got to the hole all day). I wouldn't have wanted to stand over another 6 footer for it.
I was at Franconia out in Springfield. When I lived out there, my house was a thinned 3iron from it, so I played it all the time.