Yesterday, I played 18 holes at North Granite Ridge with my friends Mike and Blair. We decided to travel the 1.5 hours to play this fun course in order to kick start our golf season. We showed up, registered and were sent out one hour early. The staff at the course were nice, polite and professional. We were happy to get of early and after a quick snack, we trundled off to the first tee. Mike and I have played this course in the past and the challenges of this 5700 yard track quickly came back. Although this the distance seems short, the architecture of cutting 18 holes out of the Canadian shield proved that shot making can be the at the forefront of any design.
North Granite Ridge course forces players to step up their course management game. Any player being able to hit the ball straight, have distance control, and putt will score very well. Unfortunately, that was not me on the front nine. The course had extremely elevated tees and elevated greens making all shots challenging. Club selection was key to lower golf scores.
Mike and Blair played very well on the front and shooting 42 and 43 respectively. I, on the other hand, shot a smooth 49. My score was driven by multiple mishits and poor drives. I could not hit the broad side of a barn from 5 yards away. For some reason my swing was out of sink and my frustration level grew and grew. Thank goodness for Mike and Blair threw many jokes my way trying to get me from throwing in the towel. Or were they just rubbing it in! 🤣 I thoroughly enjoyed the round and they made the front nine much more pleasurable. As we made the turn, I decided to forget the front nine and try to reset my game.
My back nine was a change of fortunes. Suddenly, I was hitting the ball straight, had my distance control back and made some longish putts. My best putt of the day was from 80 feet to a lag distance of one foot. I was on in regulation for 5 of the 9 holes which led to one birdie and many tap in pars. After a solid round of ball striking, I finished with an even par 35. It was only a 14 stroke swing from the front to back nine; the most ever in my career. It was like a light switch came on and I knew how to play golf again.
The best part of the game yesterday was the company. Mike and Blair were great to playing partners because they remained completely relaxed during the entire round. As always, golf is better played with friends. My round at North Granite Ridge was made better because of their company. As my season progresses, I am looking forward to more rounds this year with many great friends.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!