We had a plan; we had a course of action; we were all in ready to shoot a low score! Well, as we always say: “The first causality of contact is always the plan! And yesterday’s round definitely followed suit. The course was in great shape and the weather was overcast and warm. The wind was light, so overall the playing conditions were perfect for the 3-person scramble. Blair, Rick and I felt that everything was in place to score well and maybe compete for some prizes. Well, we started off great, but as quickly as we heated up, we cooled down and went into simmer mode.
Before I delve into our match, I want to discuss our playing partners. Tom, John, and Rebel were fantastic players to be teamed up against. Right from the first shot the trash talked started amongst them and it took about one minute for them to turn their barbs our way. We accepted their run banter with chuckles and carried on. All three players were solid sticks and proved that they could hit the ball under all conditions. I would suggest that one player had the corner on a specific area, but overall they complimented each other perfectly. The best part of the day (other than their score) was their light-hearted approach to having a great time on the links. It was the by far the most fun we had with a different group in years. Thanks fellas for a great round!
We started off on a par three and were putting for our first birdie. This was left of the pin, 30 foot try and we did not expect anything by a par. This was a great way to start, putting for birdie, and as per our normal Rick went first. He made a great putt and lipped out to our chagrin. Then it was Blair’s turn to show us the way. Blair was a great student because he sank the putt like it was a natural thing to do. What a great start.
We decided to be more aggressive on most shots and in the early stages of the round, our plan worked perfectly. We were three under after six holes and felt that there were many more left on the course. Then suddenly, a switch was thrown and the aggressive shots we were making were off by just a smidge. As a result, 15 foot putts turned into 30 foot putts and although we did lip out many, there was no expectation that we could consistently sink them to score well. And we did not.
I lament about our score, but we really did not play poorly. We all contributed equally and each made some great shots. Not as many as our opponents, but we made our share……for par. Rick hit the ball off the tee better than any other time this year. He consistently hit straight, long and in play. Additionally, he putts very well out the gate. He was either in the hole or provided a perfect line for Blair and I to follow.
Blair was hitting very good long irons and chipping very well. Additionally, he was putting great. His strong play around the green helped us save par on many occasions. He played into his strengths which resulted in steady and consistent play that I could build upon.
My play was fine. I hit the ball well off the tee and made some clutch putts. It was not my best game, but I was able to make a shot or two. I did try to play aggressively and until I was making an approach shot, it all seemed to be working well……until the approach shots.
I figure you guessed that we did not overly impress with our approach shots. From 120 yards to 60 yards we struggled. On one hole, we were 60 yards from the pin and only Rick hit the green. I chunked many approach shots from all distances. I was pulling almost every shot left. This is a challenge I have as of late and it really disappoints me when playing. Of course I will not dwell on this challenge much, but I need acknowledge that my expectations are much higher than a performance. But, alas that is golf right?
As you surmise, we started off strong. Our game was consistent, but not a sharp as we hoped. We did play aggressively when we could and that put is in many great positions to score. However, our approach game let us down and we shot a weak four under par 67. I will say that our plan of being aggressive worked for part of our game, but in the areas to allowed us to score lower.
I do want to give a huge shout out to Jeff Rogerson and his staff at Osprey Links Golf Course. As always, they were very well organized and put on an outstanding tournament. The steak dinner was delicious and amenities outstanding. Additionally, I want to give offer our thanks to Craig Moody, Osprey Links Superintendent, and his team for keeping the course in awesome shape for us hackers to loop around yesterday and the other days of this years season.
Forget the score because the round is in the books. What I will remember is playing a great round with Tom, John and Rebel. This was our first time playing golf with them and we all agree that we hope it is not our last.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!