Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Back 9 Breakdown at Kimberton

Kimberton Golf Club
Phoenixville, Pa
Yards: 2910/3106 - 6016
Par: 34/36 - 70
Rating: 68.3, Slope: 118
Score: 45/50 = 95
Date: July 29, 2012

Sunday I teed it up at Kimberton Golf Club, which was designed in the early 1960s by George Fazio. In 1991 and 1995, the course hosted the Pennsylvania Publinks State Amateur Championship. There is nothing tricky about the course. There are some holes that feature water, but everything is pretty much in front of you when you stand on the tee. However, there seems to be few easy holes. The five Par 3s play at 182, 164, 120, 199 and 136 yards. Three Par 4s measure longer than 400 yards and the shortest of the three Pars 5s plays at 489 yards. The fairways are generous and the greens are in pretty good shape, except for the Eighth Hole, which looks like it was hit by some sort of turf disease. But it looks accommodating to golfers of all skill levels and was an enjoyable course to play.

 Kimberton Scorecard

Buoyed by my last round at The Fairways, I took a great deal of confidence into my round at Kimberton. I pulled my opening tee shot a bit, hitting a tree on the left, but still found the fairway and was able to hit a hybrid on for an opening par. However, I topped my tee shot at the 403-yard Second Hole, missed the green left with my tee shot and made a 7. I made another par at the 374-yard Third Hole, which has water fronting the green. But I missed the green right at the Par 3 Fourth and made a double bogey five, a problem that plagued my round. I double bogeyed every Par 3 except the 120-yard Ninth Hole, where I made a par. I was driving the ball pretty well on the front nine, and when I did miss off the tee, it was usually because of poor alignment on my part. The par at the Ninth Hole left me with a 45 for the front nine and still feeling pretty good as I headed to the back nine.

 Approach to the Third Green

The back nine started just like the front, with a pulled tee shot that hit a tree but found the fairway. A 6-iron from 155 yards found the green and I two-putted for a par. I made a nice bogey at the 445-yard Par 4 Eleventh Hole when I missed the fairway left, but I hit another tree on the left at the Twelfth Hole and made double bogey. After another bogey at the Thirteenth Hole, I started a three-hole stretch that basically doomed my back nine. At the 199-yard Par Fourteenth Hole, I missed the green long and right, then failed to chip on from a double bogey. At the Par Fifteenth Hole, I hit my worst tee shot of the day--a high slice. After needing three shots to get the ball to the front of the green, I chunked a chip and three-putted for a 9. I missed the 136-yard Par 3 Sixteenth green in the bunker right, failed to get my bunker shot on the green and made another double bogey at a Par 3. At the Par 5 Sixteenth, I again pushed my tee shot right, leading to a bogey. At the Eighteenth Hole, I hit my 4-wood off the tee to find the fairway, but left my approach shot right of the green and made a bogey 5 to finish off the back nine in 50. Another back nine meltdown that left me with a round of 95 that could have been in the low 90s or even the high 80s.

 The Eighteenth Hole from the Tee

In analyzing my round at Kimberton, two things stand out: my failure to take advantage of the Par 3s and my poor chipping/pitching. I think the latter is the main reason for the former. I really need to get to the practice range and just spend a session or two working on just chips and pitches. My failure to get the ball onto the putting surface from around the greens is costing me strokes and the only way to remedy that is by practicing. I also need to evaluate my course management. I feel I have become enamored with the driver, when I should be hitting my 4-woods and hybrids off the tee. A middle iron into the green is often much better than hitting a punch shot around trouble.

More Kimberton Photos:

Photos by The Muni Golfer


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