Today’s round was at Rustic Canyon Golf Course in Ventura County, CA. Beautiful property, and a bargain ($39 for the round, cart and a small bucket of balls).
There was also tons of wildlife… Squirrels and rabbits all over the place, and that’s a road runner behind the rabbit! There were signs warning about rattlesnakes, but thankfully I didn’t see any.
As for the golf, I got called to the tee about 10 mins early so no time to putt… I was hoping to go as a single since it was my first round in over two months, but instead I got paired up with a local club pro and a local course superintendent. Both smoked drives on one from the blue tees as I pulled up to the tee box. They asked if I was cool with playing the blues and I said sure to keep things moving. I had planned on playing the whites, but distance is not my weak point anyway. That said, the blues rate at 72.0/133, so it was going to be a challenge for me.
I tried not to think about it too much before the first drive, didn’t want to add any more pressure! So of course I striped one down the middle and away we went. I opened bogey-par-par, bogeyed four and then my rusty short game got me with a triple bogey that involved three shots and two putts within about 50 yards of the green. I rushed the second and third pitches/chips, being as they were playing pretty quickly and I didn’t want to take extra time only to blade another one. Anyway, end result was not too bad…
I hit 10/13 fairways, which is even more impressive given that I’m pretty sure that was 10 drivers, one 3-wood and two 3-irons. But two of the missed fairways were costly OOBs, and I took the two-shot drop up where it went out.
Given the blue tees, I had a lot of mid-long irons in and very few wedges - in fact I think I only had one full shot wedge all day, and a few of the little half wedges (very rusty). It is a little disappointing to have to lay up on all of the par fives when hitting the ball well off the tee, or to rarely have a short-iron in, but I hit 8/18 greens in regulation, so I don’t know - maybe I should be on the blues? Lol… I didn’t feel like I hit exceptionally good shots with my irons, so maybe it was just playing even more toward the safe part of the greens due to having longer shots in.
And of course my putting was just atrocious. Blame the two month layoff, no putting green time, and trying to match my playing partners’ pace.
I’ll take the 95 though, seventh straight round below 100 and I believe 10 of 11. It’s also my sixth best differential in my last 20 rounds, given the course rating, and my handicap is now an 18.2.
Most importantly, it was a fun afternoon. The twosome I joined was very friendly and laid back, so I enjoyed their company… And starting off hot to prove that I can play a little right out of the gates was nice to take the pressure off.
Funny aside: I’m rarely playing with guys who are low single digit handicaps, so I’m usually the long hitter in any foursome I’m in - and usually by quite a bit. I hit my driver 260-290 pretty consistently and poke one out there 300+ maybe once every 6-8 rounds. Despite putting on a driving clinic today by my standards, I didn’t get one past the club pro until maybe the 11th hole.
Now don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t turning it into a long drive contest or even thinking about it on the tee. But every time I’d hit one really well I’d get out to it and he’d be 20 yards past me and I’d chuckle a bit. So on 11 I hit it well, and he hit it pretty well too so I expected the same. Pulling up I could tell it was close and I was thinking “C’mon let me get it past him just once!”
Got him by a yard.