Getting on the green

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

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Hole # 18, Inglewood Golf Course, Calgary, AB

Hole # 18, par 5, White tees, 487 yards

Some days you can walk on water and other days, you can’t. The last time I played at Inglewood Golf and Curling Club in Calgary, AB, I started my round underwater. I was just not hitting my drives, irons, wedges or putts. Everything went errant, no matter what I did. With days like that, all you want to do is to give up. I knew I had to do something, otherwise I would be posting a 100+ score.

On hole # 9, I inventoried the damage and moved on. I knew if I could go back to the fundamentals, I would give myself a chance. I turned the scorecard over to show a blank card. It was like starting over again. I cleared my mind and reset. I managed to par holes # 10, 13, 14, 15 and 17. I was only 4 over going to the last hole.

Hole # 18 is a long par 5. It’s a nice stretch of fairway from tee box to green. Both Allen and I hit it straight and long and were the only two balls in the fairway. Tom missed the fairway slightly and Wayne went left but with lots of distance. I decided to lay up with my Callaway 4-Hybrid but ended up hitting it thin. I would have 180 yards left to the green with a low hanging branch on my left and a pond with a fountain on my right. I decided to hit my hybrid, start it right (or towards the fountain) and have it draw in. The distance was a bit scary to do that but I figured it was worth the risk. I kept my head down and made a sweeping shot. Unfortunately, the ball took off towards the fountain. It was short but slowly drawing towards the green.  To our amazement, it skimmed the water twice and on the last bounce, it landed pin high on the green. What an amazing GIR! Tom reminded me of my repeat performance on hole # 9 in the last game. He couldn’t believe my ball had so much spin on it. Me too.

I two putted for my sixth par, squeaking under 100 for the round. Mission accomplished.

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Hole # 13, Maple Ridge GC, Calgary, AB

Hole # 13, par 3, Blue tees, 204 yards

Instead of waiting a couple of hours to get onto a fully booked course on a Friday, Rob (a marshal at the Maple Ridge Golf Course) advised the starter to let us join a twosome at the turn. It was great and we thanked Rob for thinking out of the box.

As we approached hole # 13, the group ahead of us had just teed off. Sam and I talked at the tee box. I told Sam that I had started a golf blog and for him to check it out after the round. He promised he would so Sam, if you’re reading this – welcome to my blog! Sam is a retired school teacher that taught English. His plans for retirement is to become a well-known writer for short stories. Best of luck to your writing career, Sam! If it doesn’t work, the Champions tour can use you.

I told Sam that I was aiming to hit the green with my Callaway 4-hybrid or go over the pin. There was no trouble at the back of the green meaning that if I had sailed it over the green, it wouldn’t be so bad to chip on. It turned out that my tee shot was perfect, straight and right at it. It would bounce and settle left of the pin. My wife’s tee shot was perfect as well, pin high and to the right. Both Len and Sam’s tee shots were short of the green but these two were magnificent chippers. I envied their short game, especially Sam’s sand play and Len’s bump and runs.

I walked away with a 3-putt for bogey while my wife celebrated a par with a 2-putt. The greens were a bit slow today because they were punched recently. Overall, it was a fun round with Sam and Len. Hope to see you two again the next time we play Maple Ridge.

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Hole # 1, Rustic Canyon GC, Moorpark, CA

Hole # 1, par 5, White tees, 495 yards

Getting on the Green - Free Shipping on Callaway at Fairway Golf

Getting on the Green – Free Shipping on Callaway at Fairway Golf

Wished I had Bubba Watson’s pink driver here to tee off on hole # 1 at Rustic Canyon GC in Moorpark, CA. At 495 yards from the white tees, it’s not terribly long but the hole looks a long way from the tee box. Sure it would be nice to drive it long and try to get it on the green in 2 for an eagle putt.

The hole is a dogleg right. It is best to cut some of the corner off on the right but don’t flirt with it. Losing your ball right is not a good idea. Just blast it a little right with a fade and you will be perfect for the second shot. I dropped my tee shot just over the crest and it bounced and rolled for another 30 yards.

I decided to use my Callaway 4-Hybrid Edge for a low boring shot leaving me with a wedge shot to the green. Luckily my ball ended up just short of the dry river bed that is carved in front of the green. I hit a nice high shot that landed hard on the green and bounced off. If you’ve played Rustic Canyon before, you would know how hard it is to stick your ball on the green.

My ball ended up on the apron which at Rustic is like an extended green because it is compact, just like the green is. You can putt right from the apron and your ball will roll as though it was on the putting green. With undulation, it is difficult to get it right, especially on your first hole. I would double bogey, even with a GIR. Putting has to be improved.

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Hole # 6, DeBell Golf Course, Burbank, CA

Hole # 6, par 3, Blue tees, 125 yards

Just when you think your game is right on, you come to the short par 3 at DeBell Golf Course in Burbank, CA. If you haven’t played here before, you have to. It has some characters of a bigger course because of the size of trees but it’s tight on land because land in California is expensive and the course is backed up into a mountain.

Hole # 6 is short but with swirling winds down below, it plays like 140 yards sometimes. To make things worst, the green is not straight ahead. Instead it jogs a little left. Sometimes, the pin is so far back on the green that the tree to your left comes into play by blocking your tee shot. A player who can draw in their balls have a perfect shot to the green but it has to stop on a dime, otherwise it can roll into any one of the three bunkers.

From the blue tees, I am always tempted to hit my 9-iron. However it is downhill so I would go down a club to a PW. However, the green is a long way down so maybe hit a three quarter with a 9-iron. With all that doubt swirling in my head, I mishit and my ball dribbles down to the bottom of the hill. I’m left with a pitch shot to the green. Finally after two horrible shots, I’m putting for par. I’ll end up with a double bogey.

Have you played here recently? If so, please tell me how you did by adding a comment. If you haven’t played here, mark your calendars for May 12th, 2012. Between 9:00am and 2:00pm, the 2nd Annual Super Demo Day will feature all the new clubs from TaylorMade, Callaway, Ping, Cleveland, Nike and Titleist. Maybe we’ll see you there!

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Hole # 10, River’s Edge Golf Club, Okotoks, AB

Hole # 10, River’s Edge Golf Club, Blue tees, 404 yards

Risk and reward means different things to different people. On hole # 10 at River’s Edge Golf Club in Okotoks, near Calgary, AB, Canada, players often take risks and bomb their tee drives over the rough to reach the green in one. The trouble with that is either losing their ball to the long grass and shrubs that litters between tee box and green or they hook it so badly that players on the par 3, hole # 11 has to duck for cover.

Other players not taking risks will play their ball straight and occasionally, slice their ball into fairway one where they can easily recover from. After teeing off from the blue tees, I found my ball a little right of the cart path. Luckily, I had a clear view of the green and decided to hit a 8-iron to a pin located in the back of the green.

A safe shot off the tee earned me an easy GIR. I 2-putted and walked away with a par. My playing partner took the risk and lost his tee shot in the rough. He ended up with a double bogey. Better luck next time.

For those of you in the area, visit River’s Edge on Saturday, April 28th for their 2nd Annual Monster Demo Gala. Lots of new equipment to demo from Callaway, TaylorMade, Ping, Exotics, Titleist, Nike, Adams and more.

Part of giving back, be sure to bring a non-perishable food item for the food bank. See you there!

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Hole # 2 – SilverRock Resort, La Quinta, CA

Hole # 2, par 5, White tees, 502 yards

Something wacky happened on my drive on the first par 5 of the SilverRock Resort golf course. The ball veered right as though I hit it on the toe. If you’ve played the course before, you will remember that this hole parallels the road leading into the golf course from the street. When the ball took off, my playing partners and I were holding our breath, hoping that the ball would stay in play rather than hit an incoming car. It was scary to say the least.

My ball luckily ended up short of the road and the sandy wasteland on the right. I estimated my drive to be around 225 yards. Playing it safe and giving myself a chance to hit the green in three (ie. GIR), I decided to hit an easy 8-iron to the middle of the fairway. I wanted enough loft to clear the longer grass and to guarantee myself an approach shot from the fairway. I chose my 8-iron because it is my second most trusted club in the bag. I think it’s a good idea for every golfer to turn to their favourite club after an errant shot, just to regain some confidence and to get the good shot feeling.

My ball ended up in the fairway leaving me with a 190 yards approach to the green over water. My playing partners all laid up and had nice wedge shots to the green across the pond. I pulled out my Callaway Diablo 4-hybrid, kept my head down and swung the club. The ball took off nice and straight, cleared the lake and landed barely on the green. GIR achieved. Now I was left with a long putt towards the hole. Today I three putted for a bogey, but was happy with it. I saw this as a good recovery from a bad tee shot and managed to bogey the hole.

Have you played SilverRock in La Quinta? If you have, I would love to hear how you played hole # 2. Please add your comments, tips and any ideas for me to improve my chances for a better score. Or if you think I played it well, please “like” this post. (Thanks!)