Monday, May 3, 2010
A Proper Championship course
After a couple of weeks playing The Struie course, the 2nd course at Royal Dornoch, I was treated to 3 consecutive days on the Championship course. We played from the Championship tees under early season tournament conditions. The best way I can think of to describe it would be like going from driving my Volvo station wagon to getting behind the wheel of a Formula I race car. You suddenly realize that you do not have the skill or training to be where you are. Though the length is a stretch, it is not that daunting. It is the shots around the greens that really make me feel inept. Short shots up 6 foot (or more) shaved slopes turned me into a quivering mass of protoplasm. I have never felt more unskilled on a golf course, and this was after a couple of weeks of play and some practice. Putting, which is usually something I can do with some level of skill, was so difficult. Huge greens combined with rolls and pitches resembling waves on the ocean left me totally foxed. In the tournament I posted a pair of 90's, and this is with three consecutive sand saves on the back 9 (I know people who have played with me will find this as hard to believe as I did).
One of the highlights of my trip so far was after the 3rd time getting up and down from a really tough lie in a deep and evil sand pit my playing companion, James, said "Stan, you are a great bunker player." Take that Timmy Pierce and Darin, who know better.
I am reminded of when I went to Hawaii to surf after high school. I was fit and relatively competent in the Southern California waves. I paddled out at a spot called Yokahama Bay on a pretty big day. After watching a couple of waves I realized I was in over my head and meekly paddled in, discretion is the better part of valor. That is how I felt when I meekly turned in my scorecards realizing that I am not very good. Oh well, I'll be back at it this week after a couple of trips to the practice ground.