The first hole wasn't exactly a simple opener :
|The look down toward the fairway of Apple Rock's opening hole|
|The first green from the fairway|
The second hole was a long par-4 that doglegs right, sorta. I never could figure it out exactly. I hit solid drives both days but ended up either "left" or "through" the fairway both times. From there I had a ball-below-my-feet lie that I had to hit over a tree to the green. The first day I pulled it off, not so much on the second as that one squirted off to the right and into a bunker. I hit a nice shot from the trap to about 8 feet but lipped out the putt for par. On Thursday I managed to two putt for par though.
|The par-3 third hole|
One thing I didn't mention in my last post was all the spin I was getting on the greens. Several times I backed up iron shots on Ram Rock and those greens just seemed... different. They looked a little greener and had a texture unlike the other two courses. There was some evidence that the greens on Apple were punched a couple of weeks ago but they rolled just fine. Still, they seemed different. I didn't get the spin every time on Apple Rock like it seemed that was happening on Ram Rock. Curious.
Anyway, enough about that. I managed to par the par-4 fifth hole each day. On Friday I hit a wedge to within 15 feet. The problem was that I hit it a shade long and still had 8 to 10 feet of fringe and rough to navigate to the hole. When that ball hit the green it didn't check and spin back, oh no. It had to bounce. Friday was a weird day, it really was. I tried to bounce the chip off the fringe but I had to be sure I hit it hard enough to get out of the rough. Because of that the ball hit a little hard and rolled past the hole about 10 feet. I made that uphill putt and finally had my first par of the round.
The sixth hole kicked my ass on Friday. I hit what I thought was a perfect drive, solid with a slight draw. Too bad it was the wrong line as it one-hopped into a fairway trap. The previous day I didn't get to the trap but it was a little bit of a push and the hole doglegs to the left. Anyway, I hit fat out of the tap, chucked a wedge into the greenside trap, blasted out short of the surface and took a seven. On Thursday I was 4-over after the sixth hole, Friday I stood 7-over. The thing is I felt I was making better swings on Friday!
|The par-5 seventh hole|
|The par-3 eighth hole|
|The view from the elevated 10th tee|
|The 11th green|
On the 11th, Thursday was played well, I hit the green in regulation and had a pretty decent chance for birdie but couldn't convert. I did the same thing on Friday except for the fact that I snap-hooked my drive out of bounds to the left. I "parred" the second ball to take a seven.
|The 12th hole, a nice par-3 over Lake LBJ|
So on Thursday I'm now 7-over after the 12th while on Friday I'm 9-over par. At this point I still believe I've made better swings on Friday that I did on Thursday. I guess I did make a few more putts on Thursday up to this point but both days had its share of bad holes. We'll just blame them.
I don't have pictures for the 13th through 15th holes but the 13th was an uphill par-4 that I never was comfortable on and bogeyed both days. The 14th was a short par-4 that dogleged right. On Thursday I hit 3-wood off the tee but went through the fairway on the line I chose and made bogey. On Friday I hit driver in an attempt to hit over the short trap to the fairway beyond. I didn't hit it well but managed to hit a pull-fade around said trap, hit the green and made par. The 15th was a straightaway par-4 that was also fairly short. On Thursday I hit 3-wood off the tee but it ended up left and into a trap. I managed to get it close to the green from there and got up and down for par. I hit driver on Friday onto the fairway, hit my wedge to about 10 feet and make the putt for my second birdie of the day. Yay me.
|The weird but scenic 16th hole|
The 17th is a nice par-3 that I didn't take a picture of. I hit the green both days and got my pars. I had a good chance at birdie on Friday but it just slid by on the left on me. The 18th is a dogleg left that demanded you cut off the corner of the fairway to get a good look into the green, which I managed to do on both days. That leaves you with this look up to the green:
|The 18th green at Apple Rock|
|My well-positioned drive on the 18th hole on Friday|
A pair of 9-over days on that course isn't bad at all but I know I left a few strokes out there, especially on those two par-5s to start the back nine. Taking a triple on the sixth hole didn't help on Friday and starting off my Thursday round with a double wasn't exactly ideal either. I came away feeling better about my swing and my play on Friday though. I was really trying to make an effort to turn my body more through the ball and I saw some results. I seemed to hit my irons a little more solid and I hit some pretty good drives as well. I have something to try and build on, that's for sure.
So that was Apple Rock, which leaves us with Slick Rock for the next entry. I'll try to type that one up either tomorrow or Thursday, at worst I'll have it up before I go out for my next round this weekend.