Sunday, December 23, 2018

Merry Christmas!

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas!

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Fairways Fantasy

When The Muni Golfer was a member of the Juniata Golf Association in the late 1990s and early 2000s, one thing that would be given to each golfer at the year-ending banquet was our fantasy score. It was a scorecard that contained the best score you recorded on each hole, taken from all of your tournament rounds that year. It was always fun to see what our fantasy score was for that season.

My Fairways Fantasy Scorecard

Having played the most rounds--eight--at Fairways Golf Club than any other course during the 2018 season, I decided to see what my fantasy score would compared to the course's normal par of 65. After going through the scorecards from those rounds and recording the best score for each hole, I shot a fantasy score of one-over-par 66. I made two birdies, 13 pars and three bogeys for my fantasy round.

The Tenth Hole, one of two I birdie at the Fairways this season

Of my two birdies, which were both made during the same round on October 7th, I made one at the 248-yard par 4 Tenth Hole and the other at the 334-yard par 4 Eighteenth Hole. The only holes at the Fairways where I did not make par or better this season were the 161-yard par 3 Fourth Hole, the 365-yard par 4 Eighth Hole and the 291-yard par 4 Eleventh Hole.

The Fairways Fourth Hole, one of three I failed to shoot at least par

My fantasy score of 66 was only nine strokes lower than my all-time lowest round for a course under par 70--a 75 which I shot at the Fairways back on June 1st. During that round, I made 10 pars, seven bogeys and a triple-bogey.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Blowin' in the Wind

Fairways Golf Club
Warrington, Pa.
Yards: 2200/2248 - 4448
Par: 32/33 - 65
Rating: 62.1, Slope: 104
Score: 44/46 = 90
Date: October 21, 2018

Indian summer has finally given way to more traditional autumn-like weather. Temperatures barely reached 50 degrees when I teed off with my cousin on Sunday morning at Fairways Golf Club. But steady winds gusting at 35-40 miles-per-hour across the course made it feel much colder. It also made playing a challenge as club selection became a guessing game, while trying to play with or against the strong gales.

Fairways Golf Club Scorecard

I enjoy the challenge of playing golf in adverse conditions, whether is be windy or rain. On a day like this, my strategy is to play conservatively and accept bogey as a good score. A bogey is becomes a par and a par is often becomes the equivalent of a birdie. Thus, the par 65 for the course is thought of as a par 83.

The strong winds had the pins bent like this one
at Juniata a few years ago

On the front nine, my strategy worked through the first five holes, with one par at the 109-yard par 3 Third Hole and four bogeys. On the Next four holes, I again made a par at the 168-yard Par 3 Seventh and just lipped out a par putt at the 133-yard par 3 Ninth. But the 284-yard par 4 Sixth and 365-yard Eighth holes both caused me problems. I made a 7 at the Sixth when I failed to get out of a bunker and made a triple-bogey and an 8 at the Eighth when I hit a tree with my second shot. This left me with a 44 for the opening nine holes.

Wilson Staff Di11 Iron
On the back nine, I started with a par at the short 248-yard Tenth Hole, then bogeyed the next two holes. A double bogey at the Thirteenth Hole--I fatted a chip on my third shot--was followed by three more bogeys. Bad drives and poor putting the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Holes saw me finish out my round with a quadruple bogey and a double bogey for a 46 on the back nine and a total of 90 for the 18 holes.

Except for the 7 and two 8s that I posted, I was happy with the way I played in the windy conditions. I also had two new irons in bag: Wilson Staff Di11 5- and 6-irons, which replaced the Ci&s I had been carrying. These irons are designed for more distance and they delivered when I hit them during my round.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Split Decision at Bensalem

Bensalem Township Country Club
Bensalem, Pa.
Yards: 2759/3014 - 5773
Par: 35/35 - 70
Rating: 68.7, Slope: 127
Score: 44 (Front Nine)
Date: October 14, 2018

Because of other weekend obligations, I wasn't able to tee it up until late Sunday afternoon. Afraid I might be in a race against a mid-autumn sundown, I opted to go to Bensalem Township Country Club only play nine holes. I teamed up with Sean, who was also playing solo, on the First tee.

Bensalem Twp. Country Club Scorecard

With virtually no warm-up, I chunked and chipped my way to a bogey at the First. At the Second, my tee shot found the right side of the fairway and my approach clattered through the tree that guards the right side. After pitching on, I sank a long uphill putt for par. This began I run of three consecutive pars, including the 487-yards Par 5 Third, where I just missed a birdie.

My par run was halted at the Fifth after I short-sided myself with my approach shot on the 309-yard hole and made double-bogey. That left me three over par through five holes. I began another short par by two-putting from long range at the par 3 Sixth and then missing a short birdie putt at the 317-yard, dogleg left Seventh Hole.

The Par 3 Fourth Hole

Even though I made bogey at the Eighth, I was pleased with the way I recovered after blocking my tee shot right into the creek that runs parallel, then across the fairway. I hit my second tee shot (third stroke) to the left-center of the fairway, then dropped an 8-iron from 140 yards to 10 feet. I made the putt to walk away with a mere 5, when it could have been much worse. That left me four over par through eight holes.

But I came crashing back to reality at the 356-yard par 4 Ninth. After pulling my left driver into the bushes on the blind tee shot, I hit my second tee shot up the left side and into the rough. From just
TaylorMade 200 Iron
inside 150 yards, I hit my approach shot well right of the green. Having to pitch over a bunker to a back left pin, I went long and into the spotty rough. Instead of putting, I tried to chip and when well past the hole. Putting for a 7, I burned the edge, then lipped out my short tap-in, which left me with a 9 for the hole. My score for the front nine was a 44, with five pars, but it could have been much better if not for the blow-up at the Ninth.

I made one drastic change for this round, splitting my iron set. I kept the Wilson Staff V4 Utility 4-iron and the Wilson Staff Ci 7 5- and 6-irons. But I replaced the Ci7 7-iron through Pitching wedge with TaylorMade 200s. These irons, while still cavity backs, are thinner and look and play more like blade irons, which seems to give me better feel and control of the shorter scoring clubs.

The rest of my irons--all Wilson Staff--remain the same: Ci 48-degree Gap Wedge, PMP 52-degree Wedge and 56-degree Sand Wedge. I want to try out this configuration through the rest season and see if it is something I want to keep for next year. I am also looking to replace the 5- and 6-irons with models that are more forgiving and have added distance. With the new iron figuration, I now have seven Wilson Staff clubs in my bag, six TaylorMade and one Odyssey (putter).