Saturday, July 15, 2017

Slick Rock at Horseshoe Bay.

Technically my third round of the week, Slick Rock was in a separate location from the other two courses that the resort boasts. Of the three, I think this one was probably the one I liked the least, though I'd have no problem playing here again if the opportunity called. I played from the regular tees this time as the yardage was the most appropriate at 6342 yards, though the rating (71.4/132) suggested a good challenge was ahead.

Since we just finished the morning round at Apple Rock there was no need to hit the range and the first tee was wide open. My first drive was hit solid but pushed right and I caught the fairway bunker. I was near the lip so I didn't think I could go toward the middle of the green. Fortunately I was only about 120 yards away so I was able to get the ball to the left fringe. My chip wasn't great though and I settled for a bogey. Off to the second hole :

The par-3 second at Slick Rock
 The wind was coming from the left and against me so I took an extra club and hit the front of the green, about 20 feet left of the hole. I didn't hit it great, just good enough. That would pretty much be the case for the entire round, especially with the irons. For the most part I was hitting my driver solidly enough but I just felt I was leaving a few yards in the bag on those iron swings.

The view of the par-5 third hole from the tee
The third hole was simple enough, a dogleg right par-5 that did have a simple water feature near the green. The hole was playing long (540 yards) and while I did hit the green in regulation I needed a 9-iron to do it and I didn't hit it particularly close. A par is always a good score so I took that without complaint.

I proceeded to par the next two holes, having decent birdie opportunities on each slip by me. I found another fairway bunker on the par-4 sixth hole and that led to my second bogey of the round. I started to struggle a bit at this point, missing the greens the rest of the front nine and ended up with a 40. The eighth hole, a medium length par-3, was kinda cool though :

The par-3 eighth hole
The pin was back right and I aimed to the left of the hole. I hit a 6-iron (or was it a 5? I don't recall now) and it started to cut toward the hole. I thought I was on the surface but I was actually a shade short of the fringe. I managed to get up and down from there but to see that I was short of the green there was disappointing. This is about where I knew something wasn't quite right with my contact.

I made the turn and started off par-bogey-par, the two pars would be the final par-5 holes on the course. I didn't hit any of the greens but I was hanging around them close enough to make getting those pars simple enough. The 12th hole was kinda cool, a picture of it is below :

The par-5 12th hole from the tee
I hit my drive to the left of that fairway bunker, it was solid but I tug-drew it to the left. I missed the trap but I had an awkward lie with the ball being well above my feet. Water crossed the fairway in the landing area for a layup to this green so I had to try and figure out where to hit my ball. I guessed right and had another 9-iron to the green but I hit it pretty poorly and left it short right. The chip was simple enough, one I thought I could make so it wasn't horrible in the end.

After another up-and-down on the par-3 13th we moved on the the signature hole of the course, the par-4 14th :

The so-called "million-dollar hole" at Slick Rock
The waterfall doesn't come into play really, in fact the hole was only about 330 yards. I hit a good drive and had an uphill shot to the green that I promptly left short (again) but still made par with a good chip and a putt (again). The hole was pretty cool to play though and the cart path goes along the waterfall, just a level below the fairway. Neat.

I managed to finally hit a green in regulation on the par-4 15th and again on the 16th but I three-putted the latter for a bogey there. The 16th was playing long, 405 yards into a wind that made a difference. I hit 5-wood into that green and ended up probably 60 feet from the hole, thus the three-putt bogey. I can't be too hard on myself for that as the putt had a good deal of break in it. Getting down in two putts would have been an accomplishment.

The long par-3 17th hole
The next hole was the last par-3 on the course, playing at 180 yards on the card. With the back pin and a strong headwind I had to use that 5-wood again. I hit it solid enough but a shade lower than I hoped and the ball ended up rolling off the back of the green. I had very little green to work with to try and pitch it close but I almost pulled it off, in fact I got what I thought was a bad hop off the fringe that caused the ball to shoot off to the left and roll a bit further than I'd have thought. I missed the 10 footer for par but a bogey here didn't feel terrible.

The last hole wasn't quite picture-worthy, in fact I don't remember much about it off the top of my head. I did manage a par that would give me a pretty solid 79 for the round. While I didn't hit many solid shots with my irons I did manage to keep the ball safely in play, giving myself chances to recover when I missed the greens.

So there we have it. Overall, Horseshoe Bay is a pretty nice place to come for a little golf getaway though I was not my first choice. I originally wanted to try my hand at Barton Creek Resort but one of there signature courses was going to be renovated this summer so I wouldn't have been able to play it. Maybe next year, assuming all four of the courses are open, I'll take a shot at them.

As far as for the more immediate future, I'm not really sure. This weekend might be tough for me to get out to play. If the weather holds up I might go out on Sunday but we'll have to see how things feel. If I go I'll likely try one of the courses at BlackHorse Golf Club since that place is literally a mile down the road from me. I gotta play them sometime...