Monday, July 18, 2011

Recovery Continues at The Fairways

The Fairways Golf & Country Club
Warrington, Pa
Yards: 2255/2248 - 4503
Par: 32/33 - 65
Rating: 62.1, Slope: 104
Score: 47/41 = 88
Date: July 17, 2011

I continued to work on the recovery of my game with a round on Sunday at The Fairways Golf & Country Club in Warrington, Pa. I was hoping to build on some of the momentum I established last week at Juniata Golf Club. Under sunny, skies, it was hot and humid as I teed off on the Tenth Hole with Jim and Jim, a father and son that the starter paired with me. My goal for this round was to continue to build consistency in my swing and my putting. I was also playing my first round with the new prototype golf ball that had been sent to me for testing by a major equipment company.

The Fairways Scorecard - Front Nine

Typically at The Fairways, I play better on the front nine than I do on the back.For this round, I chose a 5-wood off the tee at the short, 248-yard Par 4 Tenth Hole and crushed a drive that left me about 30 shorts of the green. I pitched long, then three-putted for a bogey 5. The Eleventh Hole at The Fairways has a local rule that only allows an iron off the tee at the 291-yard Par 4 Hole which doglegs right. This hole typically gives me problems as I always hit my second shot well right of the green, often out-of-bounds, and usually a triple-bogey or worse.. Yesterday I had no such problem as I wedged on for my third shot and two-putted for another bogey. A missed short putt at the Par 3 Twelfth led to my third straight bogey, but another 5-wood, wedge and two putts gave me a par at 292-yard Par 4 Thirteenth. A two-putt par at the 134-yard Par 3 Fourteenth was followed by a bogey when I missed the 113-yard Fifteenth Hole left off the tee. At teh Sixteenth, a 323-rad Par 4, I missed the fairway left, punched down the fairway, wedged on and two-putted from distance for another bogey. At the 374-yard Par 4 Seventeenth, I hit driver for the first time and crushed a nice draw that landed in the center of the fairway, 134 yards from the green. But with the fairway sloping from left-to-right, the ball was slightly below my feet and I skulled my approached over the green. I pulled my pitch left and again missed the green, which led to a double-bogey 6. The Eighteenth is a 334-yard Par 4 which doglegs right, which two bunkers on the right at the dogleg. I aimed my 3-wood at the bunkers and hit a nice draw which found the left side of the fairway, about 100 yards from the green. But my approach found the right greenside bunker and I made a bogey 5 after pitching out and two-putting. This left me with a respectable 41 for my first nine holes.

 The Fairways Scorecard - Back Nine

My playing partners decided to tackle the back nine again, so at the First Hole, I was paired with two young men, Chris and Adam. I hit driver off the tee and crushed another drive that ran through the end of the fairway. I hit a sand wedge to clear the pond fronting the green but went long and made a double bogey 6 after I failed to pitch back on the putting surface. At the 322 Second Hole, which plays slightly downhill, I hung a 3-wood out to the right, but had a good angle from the rough with a 9-iron. I cam up short of the two bunkers that guard the front of the green, chipped on and made another par. I made bogey at the short, 109-yard Par 3 Third Hole when I hit my tee shot fat and into the left bunker. I found the left bunker again at the 161-yard Par Fourth Hole when I three-putted after blasting out of the sand. The tee at the 372-yard Par Fifth Hole has been reopened, and I hit my 5-wood left into the treeline, then punched out into a creek on the right side of the fairway short of the green. Because of the dry conditions we have been having, the creek bed was only mud, so I blasted out--covering the front of me with mud--to the left side of the fairway, about 25 yards short of the green. My bump-and-run with a 9-iron just skirted the hole, but I missed the comeback putt for another double bogey. The Sixth Hole is a 284-yard Par 4 that plays downhill and has a creek running across about 85 yards from the green. My 5-iron off the tee ran through the fairway and my approach from the rough with a 53-degree wedge bounced over the back of the green. It took me three to chip on then I three-putted for a triple-bogey 7. At this point, despite constantly drinking water throughout the round, I was starting to run out of gas from the heat. My tee shot at the 168-yard Par 3 Seventh found the very back of the green, with the hole cut at the green's false front. My putt went long and rolled off the front of the green, but I nailed the second putt for my fourth par of the round. At the Par 4 Eighth Hole, I missed the green left on my approach, but missed an easy chip and had to putt from the fringe. I missed a short bogey putt for another 6, and with my legs feeling like rubber, I missed the green left at the Par 3 Ninth and made a poor triple bogey to close with a second nine 47 and a total of 88.

The Par 3 Seventh Hole

The Fairways was looking a bit brown due to the dry, hot weather and lack of rain we've experienced in the region. The fairways and areas around the putting surfaces were green, and the rough was playable. Overall, the course was in very good shape.  Overall, I hit the ball very well during my round. I only hit one or two shot that were not as crisp as I would liked. I got a bit careless with some of my chips on the second nine which led to higher scores that I should have posted, but I think some of that had to do with my legs starting to leave in te latter third of my round. My first experience with the prototype ball was very interesting. It seemed very hot coming off the club and my distances yesterday seemed longer than usual. I don't know if this was a result of the ball, the hot and humid conditions or combination of both. But I will say that my initial reaction to the first prototype was very favorable. I'll keep you posted as I play with it more.
Photo by The Muni Golfer


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