Monday, May 25, 2009

A Bird is the Word at Juniata

Juniata Golf Club
Philadelphia, Pa
Yards: 2735/2070 - 4680
Par: 34/31 - 65
Rating: 63.2, Slope: 106
Score: 49/47 = 96
Date: May 24, 2009

Memorial Day weekend found me playing my second round of the year at Juniata Golf Club. I thought I might be playing up in the Lehigh Valley while visiting family, but those plans fell through. So after a long drive back from Central New Jersey in the morning, I headed off to Juniata for my round. It was sunny and hot at the start of the day, but I had to wait for early afternoon showers to move through before I was able to tee off around 3:30 p.m. The sun was again shining brightly and the rain only served to move the humidity up a notch or two. I carried two new clubs in my bag for the round, both Nickent 3DX DC Ironwoods: one was a 15.5-degree 2+ hybrid, while the other was a 21.5-dgree 4+ hybrid. Both have a UST Proforce V-2 hybrid graphite shaft. They replaced my 7-wood and 4-iron for the round.

Juniata Scorecard -- Front 9

I played well for the first six holes, making pars at the 260-yard 2nd Hole and the 360-yard 5th Hole, both Par 4s. I was driving the ball better off the tee, but my irons and chipping were not as good as I would have liked. This was especially true at the 4th and 5th Holes, where I had short iron approach shots, only to come up woefully short of the green each time. At the 7th Hole, the wheels came off. I pushed my tee shot right into a small stand of trees on the right side of the fairway. With no shot to the green, my attempt at chipping back into the fairway hit a tree and cam straight back, leaving me with a longer chip back to the fairway. Once in the fairway, I pulled my fourth shot into the bunker to the left of the green, then blasted out over the green into the rough. I fluffed my chip--I'm now 7--then preceded to three-putt for a 10! I trudged to the 8th Hole, where the tees were all the way back, making this difficult Par 3 play at 200 yards. I hit a hybrid on a line off the tee and left my shot just over the cartpath in front of the green, 23 paces from the hole, just over the crest in the front of the green. I pulled out my sand wedge and chipped it up...two hops and into the hole...a birdie! What a turnaround from the last hole. I closed out the front nine by pulling my tee shot around the large tree just over the Tookany Creek that guards the left side of the 9th fairway and into some very deep rough. After I search, I took a drop and finished with a 7.

Juniata Scorecard -- Back 9

The back nine didn't start much better: a fat tee shot at the 10th, three pitches to get on and a three-putt for a triple-bogey 6. I hit a great tee shot at the 11th, but thinned my wedge approach over the green to the top of the bank behind. My second chip rolled off the front of the green and by the time I holed out, I had another triple-bogey. That was third straight triple! But I settled down at bit after that. The conversion of the 12th Hole into a Par 3 has taken some getting accustomed. Although it plays severely downhill, it seems each time I have played it so far the wind has been in my face. I three-putted the hole for a 5. At the 160-yard 13th, I came up just short of the green and two-putted for a 4. I nice drive, pitch and two putts gave me a par at the 14th, a short 240-yard Par 4. I three-putted the 130-yard 15th, mostly because I was trying to quickly get the water cooler just beyond the green before the maintenance person emptied it for the night. I made a 5 at the last three holes for a 47 on the back nine and a round of 96.

View of the 12th Hole from the tee as a Par 3

While I probably played more consistently last week at John F. Byrne Golf Club in much tougher conditions, I still feel my game is starting to come around. The birdie at the 7th Hole was a pleasant surprise and it always feels good to get the first one of the year. I just need to keep getting to the range and grooving my swing, and also sharpen my course management. If I do that, my game will be a s good as it was last season.
Photo by The Muni Golfer


Anonymous said...

If you can drive a good shot, you can hit over the trees on the 7th and usually end up on in 2. As long as no one is ahead of you.

The Muni Golfer said...

I'm not that a long a hitter so I've never tried going over the trees directly at the green on the 7th. When I've played in scrambles at Juniata, I usually try to put it in the fairway and let the big hitters give it a rip.

Anonymous said...

Let me clarify, when the tee box is up high you can go over. Yesterday it was back down on the lower level. I had to go straight then pitch it over.

The Muni Golfer said...

Yeah, I understood that you meant when the tee box is on the upper level. Even up there it's almost impossible for me to go at the green.