The Day I Almost Had My Best Round Ever
This morning was one of those mornings where for whatever reason I just couldn’t focus.
I did a great interview for Tim Conley and his Foolish Adventure podcast, but then another two hours went by and I just wasn’t getting anything done.
Golf had been on my mind since my game finally started coming around earlier this week, so I decided that instead of sitting in front of a computer wasting time I’d go out and hit a quick nine and come back.
If only it were that simple.
I walked right on to the front of the Great Blue and was hoping that some of what I’d found in my last round had stuck around.
I ended up playing with a really nice guy name Cliff who was a fellow entrepreneur and golf lover.
We got to talking and before I knew it I was even through 4.
Any greens I missed I made up for with a couple excellent up and downs, and then on 5 even though I’d setup everything perfectly, I flubbed my second shot and had to drain a 10 footer to save bogey.
I was playing out of my mind and the scary thing was that it just felt natural. I wasn’t nervous, and there was this confidence that I’d at least save bogey if I hit an errant shot.
I setup 7 perfectly and missed my birdie putt by about half a foot.
8, which is a notoriously difficult dogleg was childs play. Perfect drive that still left me 180 out, and a soft 5 landed on the edge of the green for an easy two putt.
I was 2 over through 8 which is a place I’ve never been before.
I stepped up to the tee on 9 which has trees all down the left and water out of reach on the right with all the confidence in the world. I pulled it just a little too far left and put myself in a scary situation.
Walking up I was about 10 feet from the trees in the rough and had a direct 165 into the green.
Terrified of the water I was too far left and missed the green. Flubbed chip and a bad putt, had me ending with a disappointing double bogey.
But at 40 for the front, I was ecstatic.
To Play or Not to Play?
Now my plan was to play 9 and go back home and work.
But with my playing partner encouraging me to keep going, the sun coming out, and knowing that all I have to do is play bogey golf to fiiiiinally shoot an 85 – I decided to go with it.
I was in great shape through 10 and 11 with bogeys on each.
Then we hit 12. Short par 5 with a difficult to hit green tucked around bunkers and water.
And of course on my third shot, where did I hit it?
Directly in the water.
I dropped, flubbed another chip, and then knocked it on before draining a 10 footer to save double.
Like I said in my last post, this back 9 has been my nemesis for awhile – and we were playing the blues again today, so I knew I had to be on.
I parred the 13th for the second time this week with a beautiful 30 yard chip that landed a foot away and then proceeded to go bogey, double on the next two holes.
So here I was with 3 holes left, knowing that all I have to do is play bogey golf and I should be able to finally card an 85.
Given the way I’d been playing all day, seemed totally attainable.
16 tee shot?
My psyche? Starting to choke.
I dropped and hit the edge of the green where I finished with a double, and knew I was going to have to suck it up if I was going to hit my goal.
17 was another short par 5 with with water all along the right. Played it beautifully up until I pushed my birdie putt 15 feet past the pin and almost off the green. Luckily my nerve prevailed and I sank the par putt.
At this point all I had to do was par the last hole and I’d be at 85 – which given how the front 9 went is still slightly disappointing.
Tee shot? Right down the center of the fairway.
*Hangs head, curses.*
Final result on 18? Triple.
So I ended the round with an 88. By far my best score on the Great Blue at Heron Lakes, and a real confidence boost early in the season, but definitely a big disappointment.
This Friday I’ll be playing Aspen Lakes, my favorite course in Oregon, and doing a full review. I play it every year on Memorial Day weekend, and considering I’ll be in the area and greens fees are only $20 til the end of the month, I had to take advantage!
UPDATE: After noticing that the Pronghorn Nicklaus course had a couple special greens fees, I’ll be officially playing my first of the Top 100 Public Courses in the US – as this is sitting at 28.
There is no course in Oregon I’ve been more excited to play (not even Bandon) so this totally unexpected surprise has got me really excited.
Much more to come after the round.