Sunday, April 19, 2009

Practice Makes Mediocre

Juniata Golf Club
Philadelphia, Pa
Yards: 2735/2070 - 4680
Par: 34/31 - 65
Rating: 63.2, Slope: 106
Score: Practice Round
Date: April 19, 2009

Trying to shake the winter's rust off my game and get ready for some serious golf this summer, I played my first 18 hole practice round this afternoon at Juniata Golf Club. Temperatures were definitely cooler--the high was 64--in the partly cloudy, windy conditions. Walking 18 holes for the first time was not a problem since I have been walking two nights a week--sometimes three--with my wife. I felt physically fine as I navigated the course. My swing and my game were a different story. Off the tee my game was OK, as I hit 7 out of 11 fairways. But I only 2 out of 18 greens and none of them were on the Par 3s. Where I had my real problems was around the green--hitting chips and pitches. I was awful. Of course, after a five month layoff, you can expect your touch to be a bit off. It just highlights my need to get to the Driving Range on a steady basis to hone my swing and to work on my short game. My best hole of the day came at the 380-Yard, Par 4 9th Hole, which plays over the Tookany Creek and uphill. I didn't hit my best tee shot; it went dead right, but hit some trees and bounced back into the fairway, leaving me 175 yards uphill to the green. I hit my 7-wood onto the green, just 10 feet above the hole. I had a tricky downhill left-to-right slider for my birdie, but two-putted for par.

The course was again in fairly good shape for so early in the season, but last week's rain made for some soft conditions and I found mud on my ball several times on approach shots and chips or pitches. Juniata also continues to undergo a transformation. The side of the hill as you go down from the 7th tee to the fairway has been bulldozed. The new tee at the downhill 12th Hole--which is becoming a 165 to 175-yard Par 3 instead of a 300-yard Par 4--has been graded and seeded. A sign warns those on consider sneaking their tee shot from the new tee: "Do not even think about it." And the around to the left of the 7tee and behind the 16th tee has been bulldozed for what looks like the installation of a new back tee for the 16th. Several new cart paths have also been added around the course.

The cartpath leading down from the 7th tee

The new tee at the shorten Par 3 12th Hole

A warning to those who want to try the new tee

The view of the downhill 12th Hole from the new tee

The 12th Hole from the 'temporary' tee box

The new waste bunker guards the left of the 12th green

A new back tee for the 16th hole?
Photos by The Muni Golfer


Anonymous said...

They used the new Tee Box on the 12th Saturday for the outing and tore it up. It is roped off again now. The 16th is being moved back on the hill for an elevated box.

The Muni Golfer said...

Thanks for clarifying things and thanks for reading the blog. I hope you are enjoying it.

The Muni golfer

Anonymous said...

I am enjoying it. I go to Burholme and Juniata too. I saved your picture of Juniata's 3rd hole as my wallpaper on my computer. Have a good season.

The Muni Golfer said...

I'm glad to hear that! You have a good season too! Maybe I'll run into you some day at Juniata...

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