Thursday, August 18, 2011

Reaching a Peak in the Valley

Neshaminy Valley Golf Club
Jamison, Pa.
Yards: 3338/2676 - 6014
Par: 36/34 - 70
Rating: 68.7, Slope: 118
Score: 43/44 = 87
Date: August 13, 2011

Saturday I returned to Neshaminy Valley Golf Club for late afternoon round of golf. I had originally hoped to play Bensalem Township Country Club, but an outing forced me to change my plans and head north to Neshaminy. I had played this course earlier this summer with my cousin and had shot a respectable 94. I was hoping to match that success when I teed off around 4 p.m. under very cloudy skies. Little did I know when I striped a driver down the middle of the fairway on the First Hole that I would not only duplicate my earlier success, I would exceed it by breaking 90 on a Par 70 or better golf course for the first time ever!

 Neshaminy Valley Scorecard

The front nine was all 3s, 4s and 5s on the scorecard, except for the 529-yard Par 5 Second Hole, where I chunked my lay-up second shot into a ditch and made a 7. I made pars at the Third and Fifth Holes, and capped off the front nine with a birdie at the 537-yard Par 5 Ninth Hole. I hit driver down the right side of the fairway, a 5-wood just left of the green, but hole high. I chipped over a bunker to three feet and made the putt for my fifth birdie of the year. I shot 43 for the first nine and was eager to play the second nine. I was crushing my Wilson Staff Smooth Driver off the tee, hitting farther and straighter than any driver I have ever played. It was the best driving round I could ever remember.

The Sixth Hole, a 219-yard Par 3

The weather was making things tricky as dark skies where visible in the distance along the sporadic flashes of lightning and rumbles of thunder, but all we endured was few sprinkles. The back nine started off with a bogey, double bogey, triple bogey and double bogey at holes Ten through Thirteen, but I made a par at the 473-yard Par 5 Fourteenth, followed by four consecutive fours, including pars at the Sixteenth and Eighteenth. I was still hitting the driver long on the Par 4s and 5s and it was setting me up for short irons into the greens. My putting was also very consistent for one of the few times this year. My back nine 44 left me with an 87 for the round and my first time breaking 90 on a Par 70 or better golf course. I had one birdie and five pars during my round. I played Neshaminy Valley's three Par 5s in one over par.

 The Thirteenth Green

When the round ended in the fading light of evening, I celebrated my historic round with a cheeseburger and french fries from Five Guys, which I washed down with some Turkey Hill Lemonade Tea, otherwise known as an Arnold Palmer.

 The Par 3 Seventeenth Hole

As I had mentioned in an earlier post, I am testing a couple of prototype golf balls from a major equipment manufacturer. I have now played three rounds with one of the prototypes and the only thing I can say is it is long. I have hit some of my longest shots with this ball. If this is any indication of how the other ball plays, I am really looking forward to putting it in play.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Back in The Fairways Again

The Fairways Golf & Country Club
Warrington, Pa
Yards: 2255/2248 - 4503
Par: 32/33 - 65
Rating: 62.1, Slope: 104
Score: 45/44 = 89
Date: August 7, 2011

My intention on Sunday was to test my game at Bensalem Township Country Club, but a change in plans with Mrs Muni Golfer had me teeing it up again at The Fairways Golf & Country Club. It was hot and very muggy when we teed off and it wasn't long before sweat was dripping from the bill of my golf cap. Since it had been three weeks since I last played, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I was hoping to at lease duplicate my last round, which also happened to be at The Fairways.

 The Fairways Scorecard

The two new Adams Fast 10 fairway woods were in the bag and I was anxious to see how they did on the course. I struggled at first with the 3-Wood off the tee, but the 5-Wood did just fine. On the front nine, I had a tendency to top the ball which caused me some problems, but I made pars at the Second and Ninth holes for a 45.

 The Fifth Hole

The back nine started off really well, with a 5-Wood off the tee which found the bunker on the right side of the Tenth Hole, about 25 yards from the green. I wedged out to eight feet and made the putt for my fourth birdie of the year. But I quickly crashed back to earth by hitting two tree and four-putting for an 8 at the Eleventh. I recovered with a par at the Par 3 Twelfth, but at the Par 3 Fourteenth I found the bunker on the right of the green, took two shots to get out, chipped on and two-putted for a triple bogey. I made par at the next two holes, but made double bogeys at the Seventeenth and Eighteenth holes after hitting two of my best drives of the day.

 The Eighteenth Hole from the tee

Given the three week layoff, my game wasn't as bad as I feared in might be. Generally I hit good shot, except for the occasional topped of heavy shot. I was a bit tentative with my chipping and pitching, but my putting continues to improve.