Yesterday, I played in the second leg of the Senior Men’s Ryder Cup event in our region. Our second match was played at the fantastic course of Timberwolf Golf and Country Club. I have played this track a few times in the past and after yesterday’s round, I can say that I am never disappointed. It is the perfect mix of challenging tee shots, well place hazards, and undulating greens that make me think. My partner, Wes, and I played against a tough team from Timberwolf who played steady and unwavering golf. As they continued to rack up the Aggregate Match Play points, it was apparent to Wes and I that we had our hands full. However, never to backdown for a challenge, we teed it up with the expectation to making a game of it.
As we arrived at this wonderful golf course, we were met by a deluge of rain. The forecast called for precipitation periodically throughout our round and that was definitely the case. Fortunately, Wes borrowed a cart cover from his son and we stayed relatively dry throughout the round. Additionally, the cover kept the brisk wind off us as well so we were basically protected from the elements for our round.
Our playing partners were Mark and Paul. Mark was a long hitting player who navigated the course very well. He hit very few errand shots and was in play 95% of the time. Paul was a smooth hitting player that was sneaky long. Both hit some great approach shots and definitely knew how to putt on the greens. Lastly, both players chipped very well. When they did miss the green on their approach shot, their chipping prowess made it difficult for us keep pace.
Both Mark and Paul were great guys to be matched against. Their were fun to chat with and provided many light moments during the round. On a side note, I worked with Mark’s brother, Ken, for many years in the military; it is amazing how small the world really is.
Wes and I did not play our best front nine. We were a bit erratic and could not seem to get anything going. Unlike last time we played, it seemed that we both hit good and poor shots together. Plus, playing an aggregate best ball match, it only took one of us to have a poor hole and we would lose a tick to the total score. Basically during the front nine, we struggled and they closed us out on the sixth hole. We could not get any momentum going or prevent Mark and Paul from racking up the points.
At the turn, we decided to try and make a game of it. As our opponents continued their steady play, Wes and I actually picked up our game. They did close us out on the 16th hole, but we actually won a couple of holes and pushed a couple. At the end of the back nine we lost by one point and felt a bit better. Unfortunately, we did not win any points for our team, but Wes and I had a great time playing our second round of this competition at Timberwolf.
I do want to tell you about one other hole. With the wet weather, we also played in 60 kph winds. It was quite a challenge. On one par 3, we were hitting into the teeth of gale. The hole was 185 yards uphill to the pin. Normally, this would be a smooth 4 hybrid for me, but I decided to hit my 3 wood. I hit it fairly well and only came up 25 yards short of the green. Yup, 25 yards short of the green in the middle of the fairway. I was a bit shocked and disappointed, but still made my par, so that is a good thing. We fought the wind for most of the back 9, but it too was a fun challenge.
Last point I want to bring up is that aggregate best ball is the toughest of all games to play. Both players, like Mark and Paul were, have to be on. If one player has a bad hole, then the team is done. I do not mind the game, but I do find it challenging.
When playing a fun course like Timberwolf, it is important to have a solid steady game. Mark and Paul proved that hitting fairways and greens was the way to score low and rack up the points. Congratulations to our opponents for winning yesterday and I hope we get an opportunity to tee it up against each other soon.
Lastly, I want to offer a big shout out the the Timberwolf staff. I found them to be very courteous, friendly, and professional. Their excellent service added to our great golfing experience.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!