It finally happened! I shot even par at Osprey Links Golf Course. I am excited to see that my game (although streaky) was sharp enough for 18 holes to shoot my lowest round of the year. The funny, I was just playing golf and not worrying about the score at all. The only time I mentioned my score was on the 18th hole when I needed a birdie putt for a 71. However, my round was a bit of a roller coaster!
It was 7 am last Friday when Blair, Rick and I met up for our usual game. It was a cool 13 degrees Celsius (55 F) and we were dressed warm for the occasion. The grass was very wet because of dew, but the sun was shining and there was very little wind. It was the perfect day for a round of golf.
The front 9 was not my best golf. With 2 bogies, 1 double, and 5 pars, this round was shaping up to be less than stellar. With 9 holes to go, it was important to forget that I doubled the 7th hole from after lying 1 at 150 yards. Apparently, pulling your second shot into long grass is not conducive for paring the hole. But, that is life sometimes on the links and it happens. Well, on to the second 9!
The first hole is a par 5 dog leg left which requires a drive of 240 yards uphill to have a clear level shot at the green. I actually pulled my drive a bit left and for some reason my ball shot forward instead of its usual bounce into the trees. I stopped 198 yards from the green, so it was go time. I hit my 3 hybrid pin high on the fringe and was putting for eagle. After a smooth 3 putt, I walked off a little hot under the collar and a tap in par.
Then my fortune changed. I sunk a 15 foot putt of birdie on the 170 yard 11th hole; a 25 foot putt for birdie on the 110 yard 15th hole; a 35 foot putt on the 16th hole; and a 8 foot putt on the 18th hole. I realize the two longer putts were a bonus, but I did miss a few shorter putts on other holes, so it balances out.
With a 4 over on the front and 4 under on the back, I walked off smiling with a smooth 71. However, the interesting thing was that I did not do anything flashy on the back nine. I hit every fairway and only missed one green in regulation (GIR). It was my GIR stat (that I have been talking about for the last month or so) that was the bright light. Putting for birdie on 8 of 9 holes really helps lower my score if my putter is working and it was last Friday.
Another difference between the front and back 9 was the playing conditions. The front was cool, very damp, and the greens were slow. The back was warm, dry and the greens were putting normally for our course. I am pretty sure that this had something to do with my final score, but I cannot be certain. Regardless, it was a fantastic day for golf and my score reflected it.
I want to give a shout out to the Craig Moody, Superintendent at Osprey Links, and his team. This year they found a very cold damp spring, 6 weeks of little to no rain, and a large amount of winter kill. The course is in fantastic shape and everyday you can see improvement; although subtle if you are not paying attention, it is definitely there. Thanks Craig, I and the rest of the members appreciate it.
I am not playing now until Tuesday for my practice round of the Tee It Up For Mattawa Healthcare Charity Tournament at the Mattawa Golf and Ski Resort. But, I can tell you that I can hardly wait to hit the links.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!