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.


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