My First 18 Holes of the 2020 Golf Season

Spring golf is a crap-shoot in my area. The weather is so unpredictable that forecasting when we play an entire 18 holes is a challenge. In years past, I have played a full round as early as 8 April, but alas this year it was on 1 June! Regardless, my golf season has officially started in earnest because I can loop the entire course at Osprey Links. So, what is next?

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Golf – When to Say Uncle!

Today, was an unusual day for me. I was excited to have the opportunity to play in the afternoon after travelling for 3.5 hours home from helping my brother-in-law build his house. The forecast was for rain, but that does not stop me! With the Regional Military Competition in just 3 weeks, I need to hit the links as much as I can. So, I called my friend Jean and convinced him that it was only drizzling and it was suppose to clear up. After bribing him with coffee, he agreed to meet me at the course.

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First green at Roundel Glen Golf Course! Just a little wet!

As we prepared to go out, our friends at the Proshop gave us the lazy eye and shook their heads in disbelief that we were heading out to play a round. I was still full of hope and confidence that the weather would quickly change and we would be playing in the sun and warm weather!

Well, the shroud of hope quickly turned to the realization that we would do well to finish the round! As the rain continue to pour down, it was like a boxer taking body blow after body blow!

As I walked up to my ball on the first hole, I realized that my dream of a great round continue to fade. But, ever the optimist, I refuse to give in. The fact the bunkers had 6 inches of water in them was nothing, I convinced myself that this was only one bunker and the rest would be fine.

Walking down the par 5, second fairway, we dodged a lake of puddles. I am not talking casual water, but standing water we could fish in! But, I was not to be deterred! It was going to get better….oh yeah, it started to rain harder!

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Second green at Roundel Golf Course. Just a little wet!

When I reached the second green, I was convinced that my dream of a 18 holes today was still possible, but the probability of finishing was in question. As I saw the river flowing down the 2nd green, we realized that it might be time to look for an exit strategy!

With our course design, it was just as quick to play 3 and 4, then 8 and 9, then to just walk in. So that is what we did. We played six holes on a course that was actually unplayable. I was just fooling myself from the beginning. However, I am sure, if the rain had stopped I could have convinced my friend to play all 18 holes.

But since the rain has not stopped, and it is 2 hours since we left the course, it was a good decision to call ‘UNCLE’ and walk off the course! Having played 6 holes was fun and better than nothing, but tomorrow is another day and I am looking forward to hitting the links after work!

Have you ever left the course because of rain? Share your story!

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

Casual Water?

Before I delve deeper into my article, I want to send a huge shout out to the Roundel Glen Golf Course staff for managing the flood conditions and keeping the course open today. We are all grateful for your efforts!

Today Rule 25-1 was without doubt the most important rule while on the links today. Before outlining the effects of this rule on today’s round, it is important to understand what it means. Golf Canada states that “Abnormal Ground Conditions – An “abnormal ground condition” is any casual water, ground under repair or hole, cast or runway on the course made by a burrowing animal, a reptile or a bird.” “Casual water’’ is any temporary accumulation of water on the course that is not in a water hazard and is visible before or after the player takes his stance. Snow and natural ice, other than frost, are either casual water or loose impediments, at the option of the player. Manufactured ice is an obstruction.
Dew and frost are not casual water. A ball is in casual water when it lies in or any part of it touches the casual water. Okay, I think you get my point.

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Fourth hole, looking back to the tee. Three wood off the tee clears the water. Normally this area has no water at all!

Roundel Glen experienced flooding from three days of hard rain. Over 20% of the course was under water and an additional 30% was extremely soggy. The amount of water on the course almost made it unplayable. However, that was not the case and I am grateful to have hit the links today.

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Walking between the 12th and 13th hole!

The water posed many challenges. There was no extra roll on any shots (so most of us were 20 yards shorter off the tee!), all approach shots were from soggy ground which resulted in deep divots, and the ball plugged on most shots. Lift, clean, and place was definitely an asset today.

Rule 25-1 allowed us to move the ball to dry-ish ground. Sometimes the nearest point of relief was 30 yards from where the ball came to rest. The difficulty, in some cases, was to find relief without going closer to the hole. Regardless, we were able to find relief and play a great round.

A couple other challenges  included the temperature at tee off time. It was a nippy 6 degrees Celsius (43 degrees F). It did warm up on the back nine, but four layers of clothing was required initially. The cold weather turned our golf balls to rocks so carry was a challenge. Finally, it took longer to loosen up during the round than normal! Overall, many difficulties were faced today, but regardless of their impact on our games, we had a great time and are looking forward to playing again on Sunday!

IMG_20140517_082721A couple highlights: On the 7th hole, I found myself behind a tree. It was the most interesting shot of the day. Keeping in mind that the tree was directly in front of my ball, I also had to consider the soft ground, wet soggy landing area, and a quick sloping green. Drawing my 7 iron, I kept the ball low and did not worry about the pin (which was behind the tree). After two hops, my ball landed on the green and rolled 10 feet past the pin. Unfortunately, I missed my par putt, but was happy to walk away with a bogey.

IMG_20140517_085818Another interesting thing about my round happened on the 11th hole. Teeing off, I was quite happy to see the ball head towards the center of the green. Walking up to where my ball landed, I was confused not to see it on the short grass. After about a minute, one of the grounds keepers came over and said that my ball landed about 5 yards short of the post, skipped once, hit the post and fell into the water. Slightly dismayed, I stuck my arm in the hole to retrieve my ball. Thinking it was only a couple of inches deep, I quickly found out something different! I would never have found my ball without the help of the greens keeper.  Thanks Buddy, I appreciate the help!

Rule 25-1 was a major player in today’s round and despite the wet conditions, I had a great time today! The company was awesome; the wet adventure fun; and I learned many things that will help in the future!

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!