Monday, June 25, 2012

No Whining at Twining (Valley)

Twining Valley Golf & Fitness Club
Dresher, Pa
Yards: 2932/2650 - 5582
Par: 37/33 - 70
Rating: 64.7, Slope: 114
Score: 45/46 = 91
Date: June 24, 2012

Twining Valley can only be described as a no-frills, hard-scrabble golf course. If you are looking for country club conditions, Twining Valley is not the place. But if you are looking for a cheap golf course that will challenge your game, as well as your patience, then Twining Valley is it. The tee boxes often look like a plowed up field and are so hard, it is often difficult to get a tee into the ground. The fairways are very dry, very hard and very fast. Tee shots can run forever, but so can chips and pitches. Yet the greens can be so slow you feel like you are putting on shag carpeting. And bunkers feature hard dirt instead of sand. At times you almost have to play Twining Valley like a British-style links course. And because Twining Valley attracts players of all skill levels, play can be very, very slow. But the course does offer an interesting layout and is rather cheap to play; I payed $20 to walk on Sunday afternoon. If you want to play a course for practice, check out Twining Valley.

 Twining Valley Front 9 Scorecard

I decided to shake things up for my round at Twining Valley. I put an old TaylorMade Tour Burner Driver in my bag and replaced my Wilson Staff irons with a old set of TaylorMade 200 irons. These irons have a habit of finding their way back into my bag every couple of years. Although they are a cavity-back iron, they look more like a blade, with a thinner sole and top line. Plus the reminder-ribbed grips just feel good in my hands. I think these irons may stay in the bag for the foreseeable future.

 Twining Valley Back 9 Scorecard

With a partially re-constituted arsenal in my bag, I hit the course. Twining Valley starts off with a modest Par 5 of 434 yards that plays uphill to a plateaued green. After hitting three straight pulls, I was just left of the green and chipped to about 10 feet. After my first putt, I still had about 5 feet left for par. I told you, these greens can be slooooow. At the Second Hole, a downhill Par 4, I had a short chip to the green, but watched as it hit in front then rolled well off the back, leading to a 7. I managed a two-putt par at the Third Hole, a Par 5 that runs along Twining Valley's Driving Range. I followed that with a double bogey and three bogeys. The Eight and Ninth Holes are both very short Par 4s; 255 and 256 yards respectively. I made par and Eight and birdie at Nine after nearly driving the green with my 4-hybrid. As I said, you get a lot of roll from the fairways. The front nine is a par 37 and I went out in a respectable 45.

 Approach to the Fifteenth Hole

As has been the case for most of the season, the back nine has been my nemesis this season, and Sunday at Twining Valley was no different. The Tenth Hole is a 174-yard Par 3 that plays uphill and is followed by a 545-yard Par 5. I made double bogey at both. I did make par at the Twelfth Hole, a 322-yard Par 4. But I followed that up with a double-, triple- and triple-bogey. The Fifteenth is probably the most difficult and awkward hole on the course. The 331-yard Par plays from an elevated tee to a small, hard landing area, then doglegs right over a a creek to a small green on the side of a hill. The tee shot requires probably nothing more than a 9-riron. I hit the hybrid and put it through the fairway and into the creek.After a drop, I then chunked my approach into the creek. Fitting five, I wedged on and two-putted for a 7. But I pulled myself together and parred two of the last three holes, including the Sixteenth, a 190-yard Par 3 that plays straight downhill to a green that is tough to hold and the Eighteenth, a 156-yard Par 3 that plays uphill. I played the Par 33 Back Nine in 46 for a total of 91 for the round.

 The Downhill Par 3 Sixteenth Hole

Despite some of my struggles, I was pleased with how I played. Some of my problems stemmed from failing to adjust to the fast, hard fairways and slow speed of the greens. While I'm still not hitting it how I'd like off the tee, I was happy with my iron play, chipping and my putting. I feel like I was able to carry over the positive play from my previous round at The Fairways. Now, I just need to keep it moving forward.
Photos by The Muni Golfer