Yards: 2909/2837 - 5746
Par: 35/34 - 69
Rating: 66.7, Slope: 116
Score: 48/49 = 97
Date: June 27, 2012
Opening Tee Shot at Middletown CC
Conditions at Middletown were very good. The course features rolling, hilly terrain and tree-lined fairways. The greens are a generous size and very slippery. Except for a few "well-used" tee boxes, my only complaint about the course was the lack of sand in the bunkers. It made escaping the bunkers very treacherous as there was noting to slide your wedge under when hitting the ball out. It was easier to chip from the bunkers than hitting a conventional sand shot.
The Sixth Hole, a Par 3
I played my round with two of my cousins who tried to convince me to ride in a cart rather than walk because of the hilly nature of the course. But I walked and survived just fine. Middletown was a lot of fun to play, even though the course doesn't set up well for my game. The course seems designed more for someone who hits a fade, with no less than eight holes having doglegs that went to the right. Only three holes when right-to-left and favored a draw, my natural shot. But I was happy that I manged to get around in the 90s, despite never having played the course and it favoring players who hit a fade as opposed to a draw.
The Par 3 Tenth Hole
My round started off in ominous fashion with two lost balls on the First Hole. I pushed both my original tee shot and a provisional tee shot well right and into the woods. That led to an opening 10. But I managed to par the 384-yard Second Hole, the 335-yard Fifth Hole, the 159-yard Par 3 Eighth Hole and the 302-yard Ninth Hole. Even with the 10 and three double-bogeys, I managed a respectable front nine 48. I was driving the ball better as the round moved along.
The Par 4 Eleventh Hole
The back nine has been my achilles heel this season and this round was no different. The back nine at Middletown begins with a 184-yard Par three that I missed way left and had to pitch between two trees and over a bunker. I dumped it short in the bunker then skulled it across the green. That led to a triple bogey 6. But I drove it over the green at the short, 256-yard Par Eleventh Hole, chipped to two feet and tapped in for a birdie. I made two triple-bogeys and three double bogeys on the back nine for a 49. This gave me a round of 97.
The Approach to the Thirteenth Green
My biggest problem at Middletown seemed to be putting myself into bad situations, usually with my second shot. Three examples were the Fifteenth, a 430-yard Par that doglegs left; the Sixteenth, a 405-yard Par that requires a second shot over a valley and pond in front for the green; and the Seventeenth, a straightaway Par 4 of 282 yards. At the Fifteenth, my tee shot found the left rough, but my second shot was pulled short and left under a tree. It took 5 to get down from there. At the Sixteenth I hit my best drive of the day and was about 145 yards from the green. But I hit an 8-iron fat into the pond and made a 6. And I hit a 3-wood on Seventeenth to about 50 yards, but my pitch rolled off the back of the green for a bogey.
The Sixteenth Green from the Fairway
Except for the First Hole, Middletown was one of my better rounds off the tee. Despite an opening 10 on that hole and some poor second shots, I was able to keep my game under control and grind out a round in the 90s. I think it shows my game is moving in the right direction. Now, if I can just play a bit better on the second nine, I can start posting some really good scores going forward.
Photos from The Bausch Collection