Saturday, August 18, 2018

Championship Connection

Brooks Koepka celebrates his PGA Championship with his mom and girlfriend
After winning back-to-back U.S. Open titles earlier this year, Brooks Koepka added to his list of majors by winning the PGA Championship last weekend. During the week, I learned that Koepka's mother is Philadelphia-area native Denise Jakows, a longtime news anchor at WPTV in West Palm Beach, Fla. She is also a former college classmate of The Muni Golfer--we both attended Temple University's Klein College of Media and Communication during the last 1970s-early 1980s, worked as student reporters for Temple's FM radio station, and even had a class together. Even then you could tell that Denise was bound for big things, so it is no surprise her son is a three-time major champion golfer.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Wet Play at The Fairways

Fairways Golf Club
Warrington, Pa.
Yards: 2200/2248 - 4448
Par: 32/33 - 65
Rating: 62.1, Slope: 104
Score: 46/44 = 90
Date: August 12, 2018

Several days of heavy rains gave way to for a brief respite yesterday, allowing for 18 holes of golf under eventually sunny, skies and humid temperatures. But even though the sunshine beamed down on the Fairways, the course was water-logged in places, making for some sloppy play during the round. The rule of the day was cart paths only and bunkers were often mini ponds. Puddles could be found in numerous places and many times, the water squished under your feet as you took your stance. Still, it was an opportunity to play golf, no matter how wet the conditions.

Fairways Golf Club Scorecard

Following last week's round in Bethlehem, Pa., under similar wet conditions, I managed to play much the same way. I shot an identical 90 for my round. My problems at the Fairways were much the same as they had been, when I hit it poorly off the tee, big numbers follow. I made an 8 and two 7s on the front nine (a 46) and each could be traced to a very bad tee shot. The back nine was a little better (a 44), as I was able to overcome my errors off the tee.

TaylorMade AeroBurner Driver

I had put a TaylorMade AeroBurner driver in my bag for this round and it did me very few favors in finding the short grass. On the three holes on the front nine where I can hit driver--1st, 2nd and 8th--I topped my drive (1st), hit it way right (2nd) and plunked a ball in the creek (8th). Only at the 2nd Hole was I able to recover and make a par. On the back nine, the three holes that require driver: 16th, 17th and 18th, I fared no better, missing all three fairways short and in the rough. Needless to say, that driver will be replaced for the next round.

Monday, August 6, 2018

A Perfect Practice Place

Bethlehem Golf Club Executive Course
Bethlehem, Pa.
Yards: 2325/2581 - 4906
Par: 34/34 - 68
Rating: 63.3, Slope: 109
Score: 46/44 = 90
Date: August 4, 2018

While visiting family in the Easton, Pa., on Saturday, I had a chance to play 18 holes at Bethlehem Golf Club's Executive Course. The nine-hole Executive Course, along with the 18-hole Monocacy Course and Driving Range, comprises the City of Bethlehem's wonderful public golfing complex along Illicks Mill Road.

Bethlehem Golf Club Executive Course Scorecard

I have played the challenging 18-hole Monocacy Course, which used to play 6,679 yards from the white tees in the past, but on this occasion I opted for the nine-hole course instead. I like the shorter course because it offers a great opportunity to work on your game while getting in a round at the same time. For only $19--the non-resident rate--I could play as many holes as I would have liked and I have played 27 at the EC in the past. Also, there are no carts on the Executive Course, which meant I walked a round for the second time this season.

First Hole from the Tee Box

Due to severe rain storms late last week, the course was very soft, making it play a bit longer, and puddles could be found around the course, although none affected play. On this Saturday, they only had one set of tee markers, so the nine holes played the same both times around. The one thing I didn't like was there are no yardage markers in the fairway, so approach shot distances are strictly by feel. I often under-clubbed during my round, but this also gave me the opportunity to practice my short game on almost every hole. I also used my 4-wood and hybrids off of most of the tees on the Par 4s.

The iconic Bethlehem Steel Building looms a short distance away

I was a bit disappointed with my play on the front nine. I had some good holes and a couple of very bad holes. I did make two pars, but I wasn't happy with my 46. The back nine was better, but my score was almost identical with a 44. I was happy in the fact that as I approached my closing three holes--16 (Par 4), 17 (Par 3) and 18 (Par 4)--I pretended I needed to shoot no worse than two-over-par to score a 90. I parred 17 and bogeyed 16 and 18 to shoot 90!

More photos of the Bethlehem Golf Club's Executive Course:

The downhill Par 4 4th Hole

The Par 3 8th Hole, which plays uphill

Photos by The Muni Golfer

Monday, July 30, 2018

Ready for Another Round

Fairways Golf Club
Warrington, Pa.
Yards: 2200/2248 - 4448
Par: 32/33 - 65
Rating: 62.1, Slope: 104
Score: 45/40 = 85
Date: July 29, 2018

After a two-week break, I teed it up at the Fairways Golf Club for my 10th round of the season. I had only hit golf balls once during the break and I expected a little bit of rust when the round began. After parring the First Hole, I played some consistent golf, but couldn't quite put another par on the scorecard through the rest of the front nine. My putting wasn't sharp and I turned pars into bogeys and bogey's into doubles. I made the turn in 45.

Fairways Golf Club Scorecard

The back nine started much like the front, with a par at the short Par 4 Tenth Hole. But I was able to keep it going a bit better on the back nine, even with some trouble hitting my tee shots. I made additional pars at the Thirteenth, Fifteenth and Sixteenth Holes. I would have had a couple of more pars if my putting had cooperated. A back nine 40 gave me a score of 85 for the round, and while satisfying--I didn't make a score higher than 6 on a hole--I know my score could have been even lower.

The 16th Hole where I made par

I had a few equipment changes for the round, some permanent and some as a trial. I will detail those changes in separate future posts. In the meantime, I am working on setting up a round for this coming weekend at a course that I haven't played in a few years. Hopefully, I can get it scheduled.