It is no surprise that every golf course offers its own unique challenges. Regardless of which course I played over the past 45 years, each track I noticed that they offer something. Many times, the bunkers or longer rough will play into the mix. Other times, the greens provide challenges I did not normally encounter. The list is endless. The best part about what each course offers is that provides a new and sometimes unique challenge to my game. It is those challenges that drives my desire to play different golf course and on a fundamental level, golf itself.
I like to have a plan when I play golf. I generally play to my strengths as they compliment the course itself. Unfortunately, there are times when I overlook what the course is presenting and play a plan that is not conducive success. I ignore the challenges and just play my game. I figure I can bend the course to may will and by golly, I will not give up my plan regardless of the results.
I remember playing Wildfire Golf Course in Peterborough a few years back. The first time, I just banged my ball off the fairway and tried to hit all other shots as long as I could. Well, let me tell you that that plan was complete folly. As looped around the course, I was in every hazard, most bunkers and the long rough for most of the day. It was a day of grinding and boy was that a long 4.5 hours.
As you can see, the bunkers on this course were strategically placed and the first time I played it I visited quite a few of them. The second time I played, I throttled back a bit and hit to distance. This approach complimented Wildfire’s layout better and as a result my score the second time was 8 strokes lower and much easier to play.
Another example would be the Loyalist Golf Course in Bath, Ontario. Instead of a great deal of bunkers, the course architect used the undulations of the land to add to the difficulty. As you can see above, hitting to distance was important. Where I fought the course was pin hunting on every shot. I thought that this was going to be the approach needed, however all that did was add to my scores. I was on the wrong side of the hole (if I made the green at all) most of the time. Looking back, I should have followed the play book they provided. It recommended driving locations and what side of the hole to be on; of course I knew better and well it really cost on the scorecard.
There are many other examples where I decided to fight the golf course layout instead of going with the flow. I realize I should do this all the time, but my ego sometimes gets in the way. I am hoping that next year that I have learned my lessons and will accept what the golf course gives provides. If I can, then there well much less fighting and more enjoyment during my round.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!
2 thoughts on “Fighting The Golf Course”
This evenings round was both exhilarating and monstrously frustrating. I used the 4 wood off every tee on the par 4’s and it and my irons were about perfect with very few exceptions.
The day started with me on the tee box and one of the guys telling another no one can hit the green today, go ahead and tee off. There was someone spending a couple moments practicing a couple of chips shots that hadn’t noticed up yet. But I had the tee and I waited. My drive landed and stopped dead 8 feet right of the flag and all of maybe 3 inches past it. Right about where I last saw that guy standing. I was staring at what should be an easy putt. It’s inside my practice range, and just a tiny bit of right to left and I missed that eagle put on the high side. The ball was so close to the hole you couldn’t see green between it and the hole as it rolled by about 8 inches.
And that pretty much sums up the entire day. I hit great shots, then hit so so putts that just wouldn’t drop. All I could do was try my best not to fight myself and leave my disappointment behind as I walked off the greens.
I left the round with mixed emotions. I’d never had ball striking day that good I don’t think. Especially with that 4 wood. And I seldom have such a bad day putting with all the practice I put in. I must have missed 6 birdie ops inside 6 feet and two were inside 4. I don’t know, maybe I had my glasses on crooked or something. 😂 Anyway, I left pretty disgusted with my putting but really excited over the ball striking.
I think the key point to the successes of the day would be a 10 o’clock swing and setting my body up to rotate better by just flaring the back foot, and keeping my shoulders square to target, but allowing my hips to rotate to what felt like half way between the new toe line and square. I know I had a pretty good turn going because I was hitting distances I usually have to swing harder or rather longer to get to. That and making a better connection made for some good accuracy too. I think I hooked one and pulled two today. Only the hooked one enough to get to trouble and I think I let the lie of the land fool me into it. Any that shot ended up in a spot I looked at as fun more than anything. I had hooked it to the wrong side of an 8 foot high fence put up for protection from another tee box and had to hit a flop to get it over. So I got to pull out the inner Phil and I landed it 4 feet under the hole. It ran out to 12 or so so not great maybe, but it looked good and was a ton of fun pulling it off. A nice fluffy lie in the rough. I used the sand wedge because that knife of a lob wedge in my bag would likely just slide right under it. The guys seemed shocked I didn’t use the lob after watching it, but I know my bag. And full open face is a full open face. A little more bounce though works wonders at keeping you from just sliding under and not getting the contact you need.
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The days that you hit the ball extremely well, but cannot putt can be frustrating for sure. Like you, I just try to keep swinging away in hopes that my putting catches up. The last shot your described sounds like a fun shot for sure. The fact that it rolled out is nothing, the fact that it stayed on the green and gave you a chance…..is everything. Thanks for sharing.