Monday, May 14, 2018

The Highlands course at Wildcat Golf Club

Since I played the Lakes course the week before I had to go back to play the Highlands. I played here on May 6th as I was too lazy to post last week for some reason. Anyway, to be brief, I was going along fairly well for about ten holes before the wheels came off. I ended up shooting 80, which isn't horrible, but I was 8-over on holes 11 thru 15, which ruined what could have been a really good day. I did have three birdies in those first ten holes, which was fun. As far as the back nine goes I'm not sure what happened. I just lost my rhythm or something, especially off the tee on the 12th and on from there. I did manage to par the last three holes but it still wasn't pretty... though I did hit a nice wedge into the 18th, that was a good way to finish.

Here are some pictures of the course, you'll get to see the stadiums in downtown Houston again. I won't caption them all as my memory isn't as good as it once was :

From the par-5 second tee.

I think this is the seventh. This hole is both cool-looking and stupid in a sense. Hitting 4-iron/5-iron into a par-4 is different though.

The seventh green is up there. You can see the ravine that forces you to take an iron off the tee.

Hello, Houston.

The par-3 eighth. I thought I hit a perfect 6-iron here and ended up in the trap. Damn wind.

From the fairway of the par-5 ninth. Confusing hole. I had to hit 5-wood off the tee and even that was almost too much.

The short par-3 10th hole. I birdied this one.

The par-5 12th, where my trouble started.

The par-3 16th hole.

The par-4 18th hole. I think.

I'll come back to this place in the future, I do like the courses. The wind does show up out here though, again it was probably a two-club wind at least some of the time.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Finally, a full round of golf!

Sure, it took a while but I finally managed to complete an 18-hole round on Sunday. The place was Wildcat Golf Club in Houston, where I played one of the two courses on the property, The Lakes. The wind was up but otherwise the day was just about perfect.

I played the Blue tees, which was a little shorter than I liked at about 6050 yards. The next set back was near 6600 yards so I thought I'd keep it simple on a unknown course in all this wind. This is just another example where one of those "mixed" tees would be perfect, filling the 600-yard gap between the tees. A combo of the Gold and Blue tees would have been perfect.

As promised, I'll keep the play-by-play to a minimum but I shot 36-40=76 and I'm pretty happy (and surprised) about it. I birdied the first and tenth holes and was one-under par as late as the eleventh hole, however the wind started throwing off my judgment of distance with the irons late in the day. Overall, I drove the ball fairly well off the tee and did a good job with lag putting, making things pretty simple on the greens for the most part.

Here are some pictures from the day. The Lakes isn't the greatest track I've ever played but I'd play it again at the right price.

Not even Dustin or Rory could hit either NRG Stadium or The Astrodome from the range, even if it was downwind.

The second green, as seen from the fairway of this downhill par-5.

The second green again, on the approach.

The fifth hole (I think). Yes, that would be an oil derrick.

The view from the tee of the par-5 seventh.

The par-3 eighth hole, the most interesting of an otherwise bland set of one-shotters.

A look from the tee of the par-4 eleventh.

Another look at downtown Houston and its old and new stadiums.

The downhill approach of the par-5 closing hole.
I did miss a couple of holes with the camera but they weren't anything to cry about. This course is a good one and things were kept in pretty decent condition overall, though the rough is more handpan than it is long grass. The greens rolled pretty well and seemed to be consistent. A few of these holes were a little puzzling at first, I'm sure it would take a few times around to really know the best way to play them. Playing in a 15-20 MPH wind didn't help with that either.

I'm hoping to come back this coming weekend to play the other course, The Highlands. With luck, the wind will subside a bit and I'll have a better idea of what I'm actually doing with my ball contact. This place seemed to be fairly exposed to the elements though so I doubt I'll be that lucky. Stranger things have happened.

Friday, April 20, 2018

I know, its been a while.

To be honest, I kinda forgot about this thing. I know, nobody missed it.

However, since the weather might finally start coming around to the point that I might get to play some golf every week I figured I could try to start this baby up again. To begin, I guess I should tell you how I did on that Jacksonville trip back in November, huh? I don't really remember any details now but I did write down the scores. Here's how I did!

11/3/17 at World Golf Village (King and Bear Course) : 71 (yes, one under par!)
11/4/17 at Osprey Cove : 81 (+9)
11/5/17 at Amelia Island Plantation (Ocean Dunes) : 81 (+11)
11/5/17 at AIP (Oak Marsh) : 79 (+7)
11/6/17 at Amelia River : 82 (+10)

Yep, that makes two consecutive 71s, even if they were a few weeks apart. As you can see, I came back down to earth after that. All in all the trip was very enjoyable as I had my good friend Bill Zimmerman there for all but the Oak Marsh round. Yes, that means I have a witness to that 71 up there, it really happened.

After this trip... well, not much golf has been played. In late March I shot 83 from the blue tees at Cypress Lakes, which could have been much worse. I started out 9-over after seven holes but somehow found enough band-aids to go 2-over the rest of the way. The next week I went to Clear Creek and shot 40 on the front nine before giving up. Why? They had a shotgun-start tournament going on and the pace was just murder. When I started toward the tenth tee I noticed that at least three groups were waiting to tee off. I said "nope" and got a rain check. My plan is to go out there this weekend and see if I can get in the full eighteen this time.

Meanwhile, I've continued trying to get this swing path thing down. At times it seems its working out really well, other times I feel kinda lost when I try it. That is what happened at Cypress Lakes, especially with the irons. At Clear Creek I had some variance also, I hit a few really awful shots but managed a number of quality ones as well. I still feel a little out of sorts with the backswing. I just have a hard time with how to get the hands back for some reason.

I'm hopeful that I'll be able to get it somewhat figured out before summer hits (assuming it arrives). I have booked two major golf trips for the year. In July I'll be going to The American Club Resort in Kohler, Wisconsin and playing all four courses at Whistling Straits and Blackwolf Run for more Pete Dye-designed goodness. In September I'll return to Florida and play the three courses at the new Streamsong Resort. I'll catch up with Bill in both places (hopefully) and catch an extra round or two along the way.

OK, thats enough for now. I'm sure you want those last few minutes back.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Jacksonville Pics!

I haven't had the time to sit down and write about the Jacksonville trip I took during the first weekend of November but I thought I'd at least share some of the photos I took of the courses that my friend Bill and I had the pleasure of butchering. I did have one particularly stellar round at the first course we played, hopefully by the time I write about it I'll remember what actually happened. Some of the photos I did share on Instagram and such so you might have seen some of this.

King and Bear Course at World Golf Village :

Osprey Cove in St. Mary's, Georgia :

Ocean Links at Amelia Island Plantation :

Oak Marsh at Amelia Island Plantation :

And finally, Amelia River Golf Club :