Getting on the green

Blogging about some of the world's best golf holes.


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Hole # 9, Elbow Springs GC, Calgary, AB

Hole # 9, Elbow Course, par 4,

I wasn’t playing well all day. I had too much on my mind, after playing a lousy game at Lakeside Greens in Chestermere the day before. Too much golf does that to you too. Once you have a bad shot, you punish yourself for it. The bad feelings come and stay for a long time so it starts to eat away from your good feelings. After yesterday, I was going to throw in my towel on golf.

Today was a new day, so they say. I was driving better and my irons were crisper too. I wasn’t going to let my putting get away. I know my putter head was jerky all week so I tried to be more patient and make a slower and precise stroke. Our playing partners were a couple that claimed to had not played all season. I guess that removed any expectations of their performance but who cares anyways, I know I didn’t.

On hole # 9 on the Elbow course, I hit a clean tee shot to the left of the elbow. It was a dogleg left with water on the left and right side of the hole. There was a slight chance that my tee shot would find water but I figured I was short and the ball wasn’t curling left when it hit the ground. I would find it in the short stuff but I would have 170 yards to the green over water and some small trees. Honestly, I have not never been at this spot. I would always be on the right side of the fairway and get a clear view of the green. It was interesting on the left side.

I pulled out my 6-iron and decided to aim for the flag. I usually hit my irons with a low trajectory and this one sailed across the water and onto the front of the green. By the time I went up to check, my ball was at the back of the green. It had rolled on and continued past the flag which was located in the front. I should have noticed the red flag but I was more concerned about the carry over water than where the flag was. I was the only one off the green so I decided to putt it. My putt rolled straight for the hole and it dropped when it got there. It was perfect speed and it broke slightly right before dropping into the hole for a birdie. Sweet!


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Hole # 6, Lakeside Greens, Chestermere, AB

Hole # 6, par 3, Blue tees, 150 yards

Lakeside Greens

Lakeside Greens

Some golf courses agrees with you and others don’t. On Tuesday, it was clear who played well and who didn’t. It was the first time that Tom had played Lakeside Greens in Chestermere and he did exceptionally well. Both Allen and I have played here before and always enjoy the golf in a country setting. Allen recently played here on a tournament and so he remembered the holes vividly.

On hole # 6, the green from the blue tees looked exceptionally far away. It was only 150 yards but the water made it more scarier than most holes. After a great par on hole # 5, Tom decided to hit first. He hit a pretty good shot but it was leaning left fast. Unfortunately, his tee shot went into the water. I was next up and thought to myself, it would be nice if I got a hole-in-one. I chose a 7-iron and hit it well. It went straight to the pin but ran into some ground. It took one bounce and landed short of the hole.

Allen was up next. He decided to hit a 8-iron. His ball came up short but he was dry and safe. It landed on the apron, just short of the green by inches. Tom decided to hit again. His second attempt would be better as it landed on the green. When I drove up, I was amazed at how my ball was so close. It was surely a tap in for birdie.

Tom putted out and Allen chipped on. Nothing to write home about but I was happy that I got a birdie.


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Hole # 12, D’Arcy Ranch GC, Okotoks, AB

Hole # 12, par 3, White tees, 136 yards

I hope you have a chance to visit the website on my blogroll because I posted a video on it that shows how Maria Sharapova aces a par 3. Sometimes I feel like I need to use something else other than my 7-iron. (Be sure to check it out and the deals under the proshop too.)

Hole # 12 is a nice par 3 at D’Arcy Ranch. How can you tell that I like short par 3’s. From the white tees, I chose to hit my 9-iron and play the bank on the right. I hit it just right and it bounced on to the green and rolled to 2 feet from the hole. My playing partners, Tom and Doug weren’t so lucky. Doug pulled his shot into the lake. Tom mishit his 6-iron and ended up in the sand bunker.

Tom managed to bogey the hole as Doug walked away with a double bogey due to a lost ball. I single putted in for a birdie.


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Hole # 11, Mountain Vista, Palm Desert, CA

Hole # 11, Santa Rosa Course, par 4, Gold tees, 356 yards 

When I fully retire, I’m going to live at one of the many Del Webb communities like Mountain Vista. Located in Palm Desert, Mountain Vista has two 18-hole courses to choose from. Both courses are equally nice but the one we had the pleasure to play on, was the Santa Rosa course.

Teeing off on a short par 4 means that you have a chance to make birdie. If you can drive it 220 yards then you will be left with a 9-iron to the green. My favourite club is the 9-iron so I should be able to hit the green in two and putt for a birdie. The trick is getting a good drive in, but on the Santa Rosa course, hole # 11 is a tough one. First you have to hit it straight and not fade or slice the ball because water runs pretty much along the right side. Hitting it long may not be a good idea because of all the water that is in play on this hole.

No risk, no reward is what I say to my wife who is playing with me. I hit this perfect drive down the middle and it almost rolls in because I ran out of fairway. I am left with 130 yards to the green but I have to carry it over water that is on all sides of the green. Before I hit my club, I stop and admire the vista. It is absolutely beautiful here like all courses in Del Webb communities.

I keep my head down and focused as I hit a beautiful shot to the green. It lands softly and I have a chance for birdie. Unfortunately, I can’t read the green and end up with a par. At least it’s dry.


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Hole # 18, SilverRock Resort, La Quinta, CA

Hole # 18, SilverRock Resort, White tees, 446 yards

One of the most challenging finishing hole in the desert, hole # 18 at the SilverRock Resort in La Quinta, CA. Just watch the video below and check out the decisions that you have to make playing here. Off the tee, you don’t want to hook your shot because there are lot of expensive cars sitting in the parking lot (including mine). More concern is the lake situated on the right hand side. It is very reachable playing from the white tees. The last time I played there, my ball came to rest just inches from the water’s edge. It’s better to be in the middle but my playing partner (with a single digit handicap) drew his ball so badly that he ended up left of the fairway.

Lloyd was visiting Palm Springs from Nashville. His wife attended a conference in town and instead of basking by the pool, he decided to play SilverRock. Lloyd was a tall, lanky guy and talked a lot. You can tell that Lloyd was pretty well off, paying the regular price of $165 and planning a round at PGA West the next day.

Lloyd had sailed his ball some 300 yards down. But from the water’s edge, I had a decision to make. Either hit it across the lake and go for the green in three or lay up on the same side. I decided to take a chance and hit it over water. I chose my Callaway Diablo Edge 4-hybrid and hit it good. The ball ended up on the other side in the middle of the landing spot. My third shot would be short iron to the green which is guarded by water on the left. Lloyd had a 6-iron left and he hit it well. He gave out a loud yelp as his ball landed on the green. He was putting for eagle.

We all met on the green as Lloyd was celebrating his shot. He kept admiring the setting and kept saying how impressed he was about the course. After we putted and made par, he lined up and examined his putt for eagle. He used a belly putter and was pretty good at it too. He came up short but tapped it in for a birdie.


Have you played this course? Have you had an eagle opportunity? If so, I would love to hear how you played it.