Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Score Goes North Down South

Old Landing Golf Course
Rehoboth Beach
, Del

Yards: 2991/3106 – 6097 (Blue Tees)
Par: 36/36 = 72
Rating: 68.7, Slope: 114
Score: 55/49 = 104
Date: August 14, 2010

This past Saturday morning found me on the first tee at Old Landing Golf Course in Rehoboth Beach, Del., for our annual family cousins golf outing. This outing has traditionally taken place at a course in the Rehoboth Beach area over Labor Day weekend, but was moved up a few weeks this year because of a change in vacation schedules. Old Landing sits back where Love Creek empties into Rehoboth Bay. It is a course that, like a lot of resort courses, gets a lot of play from golfers of all skill levels. It is more open around the clubhouse, but features about six very tight driving holes. Until recently, the course had had problems with its fairways and greens being more dirt than grass until it was discovered that salt water was getting into the irrigation system. The problem has been fixed and the course conditions have improved dramatically.

 The First Hole at Old Landing

This year, one of my cousins wanted to play from the Blue Tees and the others went along. I reluctantly agreed, although I had some reservations because of the state of my game due to a lack of playing opportunities this season. My big problem on Saturday was getting off the tee and putting myself in position to score. If I wasn't hitting it into trees or out-of bounds, it seemed like I was always hitting a mid-iron or hybrid into the Par 4s. Not exactly a recipe to shoot a low number.

 The Green at the Par 5 Seventh Hole

My round was really undone by two Par 4 holes on the front nine: the 369-yard Third Hole and the 355-yard Fifth Hole. On the Third, I was just over the green in three, but took three chips out of the thick rough to get onto the green, then three-putted. At the Fifth, a very tight dogleg left, I snapped hooked my drive through the trees on the left, across the road and into a yard--out-of-bounds. Aftyer retrieving my ball and taking a drop on the course side of the road, I tried to pitch it back into the fairway and hit another tree. The ball caroomed of the tree, across the road and back into the yard; again, out-of bounds. By the time I putted out, it added up to a 10 on the hole.  That's 19 strokes on just two holes!

 The Sixteenth Hole, a 339-yard Par 4

After going out in 55, I played a bit better on the back nine, although I still struggled to put together a string on good shots. My one highlight came at the 206-yard, Par 3 Eleventh Hole, where I hit my 5-wood to five feet and drained a downhill, right-to-left putt for birdie. It was my second birdie of the year and the only one of the day from our foursome. I then followed that up with a par at the 521-yard Par 5 Twelfth Hole. In fact, I managed to play Old Landing's four Par 5s in a respectable 3 over par.

 The Green at the Par 5 Eighteenth Hole

We also had a small Dustin Johnson-like moment of our own during the round. On the Eight Hole, which runs along Old Landing Road, my cousin's husband hit his tee shot well left and the ball rolled under a line of cable that runs along the road like a fence. It sat on a grassy patch between the cable line and the roadway. I informed him that he was "out-of-bounds," to which he responded that he did not see any white stakes marking it out-of-bounds. I then read him the local rule printed on the scorecard that declares a ball hit left of the cable on holes Five, Six, Seven and Eight to be out-of-bounds. Most courses print any local rules on the scorecard and you should always read it before teeing off; it could save you some strokes during the round. For instance, one course I played allowed a free drop from any flower beds on the course. If only Dustin Johnson had read the local rules.

The Eighth Hole at Old Landing

Hopefully I'll get to the practice range this week to continue to work on my game and get it in better shape. Also, I will definitely be palying from the White Tees for my rounds until further notice. I am a great believer in playing from the tees that are dictated by your abilities, and for me, that means playing from the White Tees.
Photos by The Muni Golfer

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