February 21, 2014

I guess I’m a golf snob – at least when it comes to golf courses. There are two kinds of golf courses in the Valley of the Sun – courses with fairways and rough that are lush and green, and rocket-fast greens as soft as a carpet beneath your feet (all courtesy of reclaimed water), and glorified cow pastures like the one I played today at Western Skies Golf Club. Tucked into a sub-division with folks’ backyards lining virtually every hole to your left, Western Skies has tiny fairways with the thinnest of grass, lots of dirt areas as hard as concrete with some ponds of reclaimed water to make things interesting on every right, and greens with the thinnest of grass so it was impossible to guage the speed from one to another. Add to that few distance markers and a GPS system that was anywhere from six to twelve yards off on every hole, and the result was defense and recovery from one hole to another.

It’s not that our foresome didn’t have a good time – we did – but if there was one course where having a reliable stinger shot off of every tee would have been in order this was one of them, and none of us did. Hence, everyone played in recovery mode throughout the day and shot anywhere from 6-8 strokes off our normal round (if there is such a thing). Me? I simply couldn’t get used to the thin lies and slow greens, and it blew my much-heralded-of-late, inside-of-140 yards game to bits. The embarrassing result (50 + 56 = 106) underscored the need for a stinger shot in my arsenal when I absolutely, positively must get the ball in the fairway off the tee – something someone of my skills (or lack thereof) needs not just here, but back home in New England when it’s not folks’ patios, pools, and poodles you’re trying to avoid, but deep woods and water. I’ve been practicing one of late, but yesterday my attempts cost me more than they helped.

The only good thing about my round at the Cow Pasture is that I learn a helluva lot more from poor rounds than I do from good ones. And like it or not, part of my 2014 Goodboys Invitational preparation will feature a return trip back to Western Skies when the weather is blistering hot and the dirt, the dust, and the thin lies and thin greens will be even more so. As the song goes, if I can make it there I can it anywhere. Sometimes you just have to put your golf snobbiness in your back pocket and play it where it lies. After all, that what real golf is supposed to be all about, isn’t it?

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 18:01 | Comments (0)
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