|June 27, 2000
Let me tell you about my golf game..
The trick with this par three is to make it over the sand trap that guards
the front of the green. This hole usually gives me trouble, but today
my tee shot found the center of the green. A near birdie as the ball
rolled just past the right edge of the hole. Never complain about
Hole #4: My playing partner had not played this course before, so I offered my advice how to play the course - taking what the course would give you. I started following my own advice - and I think that's what made the difference. I drove my tee shot down the left edge of the fairway, 135 yards from the dogleg left. My second shot was to the middle of the green - 2 putt for a par.
Hole #5: I had another good drive. I was about 150 yards out but had to play my second shot over some trees which guarded the right side of the fairway. My ball found the right front of the green - unfortunately, the pin was in the back. My first putt came up 10 feet short - a 3 putt for a bogie.
Hole #6: This is a par 5 that is reachable in two - even for me (I'm not a long hitter.) I aimed down the left edge of the fairway and that's where I hit it - plus another 5 feet, into a sand bunker. My second shot went from a left edge sand bunker to a right edge sand bunker about 70 yards further out. My third shot went about another 100 yards - to a third bunker on the right - nestled up against the front edge. My fourth shot hit the front edge of the bunker and rolled back. Shot 5 made it to the edge of the green. Two putts later, my ball was in the hole. Ouch - seven!
Hole #7: This 145 yard par 3 plays over a wetland area to a green with little depth. I played my Ebay 11 wood, dropped the ball on the green. I was close with the first putt for a tap in par.
Hole #8: South Hampton is always toying with your mind. It dares you to hit over sand traps for a shorter approach shot, but always a risky shot. I chose the safe route, to the right side of the fairway, but that required a high approach shot to the green. Again, my Ebay wood came through. I had a severe uphill putt and ran it six feet by the hole. I couldn't chance running by with my downhill putt, so I lagged it close with my fourth shot and tapped in for my bogie.
Hole #9: This is another of those "I dare you" tee shots. Again, I took the safe route, choosing to go for the green in three. It paid off and a two putt from 12 feet ended the front nine with another par. Well, I wondered, what did I shoot for the front nine? 41 - is it possible? The best 18 hole score I ever had was 84. I was on track for perhaps the best round of my life. I tried not to get too far ahead, but decided to stay focused and see what I could do.
Hole #10: With my new found focus, I hit another long tee shot (for me) down the middle, about 110 yards from the green. An eight iron took me to 10 feet from the pin. Another near birdie but a tap in par.
Hole #11: This is a 90 degree dog leg left. All I wanted to do was hit the ball 180 yards down the middle to the corner of the dog leg. Unfortunately, I pushed the tee shot to the right and left myself 180 yards instead of 150. My second shot was straight, but long, with the ball coming to rest a few yards off the back of the green. A poor chip shot left me too short of the hole and two putts led to a bogie.
Hole #12: This par 3 has always given me trouble. It's short, but tough. My tee shot found the light rough to the right of the green. A chip shot and two putts resulted in another bogie. I wasn't concerned - if I could stay focused, I could get back on track and two bogies would not ruin my round.
Hole #13: This is a thinking man's par 5. It is short but there are two sets of fairway bunkers to be negotiated and the green is guarded by a front bunker and is narrow, front to back, and requires a high approach shot. I played over the first set of fairway bunkers with my tee shot, placed my second shot over the second set of fairway bunkers and left the ball about 20 yards in front of the bunkers guarding the green. Next, I hit a high, soft chip shot landing 10 feet from the hole. My first putt missed by less than an inch, but an easy tap in got me back into the par game.
Hole #14: This hole is a dog leg right. I told my partner, stay left of center on the fairway, don't hit it right - the trees on the right make it near impossible to reach the green in two. Guess where I hit it. Right - literally. My ball was lying on bare dirt with a bunch of scrub trees between it and the hole. There was the smallest opening - I had to try. I took my 7 iron - the ball found its way through the trees, landed 15 feet short of the green, and rolled to within 10 feet of the hole. What a break! Two putts and I had a very lucky par.
Hole #15: This is a long par 3 with sand bunkers guarding the right side of the green - don't be short. I took my five wood, landed the ball in the middle of the green, and it rolled to the back fringe. I was 40 feet from the hole, but only needed to two put for another par. Putt number one got me close, number two found the hole. Par.
Hole #16: Another "I dare you" hole. A short par four. Once, I hit my tee shot to within 3 feet of the bunker that guards the front of the green. But, that is a high risk shot on this relatively narrow fairway. I chose to use my tee shot to set up a second shot of 140 yards. I was closer to 115 yards and my approach shot came up 3 feet short and bounced into a gully to the left front of the green. I knew where I was score wise and desperately wanted a par. I took my pitching wedge, popped the ball onto the green and rolled it about 8 feet past the hole, leaving a long par putt. I carefully lined it up, checked every angle and gave it my best - it found the bottom of the cup. I had my par.
I was really getting into the "zone" at this point. I had played 16 holes and so far, had a score of 70. I had a par 5 and a par 4 remaining. If I could finish par par, I would break 80. I knew it and I wanted it.
Hole #17: This is the signature hole at South Hampton, a double dog leg - Z shaped - par 5. Before I hit my tee shot, I knew how I wanted to play this hole. Driver was not part of the equation. My first shot would be about 150 yards to the center of the fairway, setting up my second shot. Done. The second shot required a straight shot down the middle of the fairway, leaving an approach shot of between 100 and 150 yards. I pushed my shot left, and my approach shot to the green of 90 yards, was blocked by a row of tall pines about half way between me and the green. I looked, figured the yardage and angles. It wasn't the time to throw in the towel - no guts, no glory. I took my 9 iron, hit my approach shot over top of the pines to within 10 feet of the green, about 30 feet from the hole. I studied my pitch shot - how hard to hit it, where to land the ball, how far did it need to roll to get near the hole. Pitching wedge - back and through the ball. It landed exactly where I wanted it to and rolled to within one foot of the hole. I had the par!
Hole #18: I knew what I needed to do. Another dog leg left. All I wanted to do was hit my tee shot to about 150 yards from the green on the right side of the fairway for an open shot to the green. I skyed the ball. It went high and when it came down, it was 145 yards from the green, on an uphill slope on the left side of the fairway, and I was hitting to an elevated green protected by a six foot deep sand bunker on the left. 145 yards - that's the shot I bought the Ebay club for. I was committed to that club for that shot. Click - the club hit the ball - a straight shot - it landed over the traps, on the green, 12 feet from the hole. Yes! Two putts would give me 79. I carried my putter to the green. It was uphill putt with a slight break to the left. I checked every angle, lined up, and sent the ball on its way. Down the throat of the hole - BIRDIE - and a score of 78, with a back nine score of 37, one over par. Looking back, I was really pleased with the finishing six holes: par, par, par, par, par, birdie. I'm still smiling!