Friday, June 1, 2018

Home, Not So Sweet, Home

Juniata Golf Club
Philadelphia, Pa.
Yards: 2805/2185 - 4990
Par: 34/31 - 65
Rating: 64.2, Slope: 106
Score: 50/44 = 94
Date: May 30, 2018

On Wednesday, the Muni Golfer returned to his roots for a round at Juniata Golf Club, the Philadelphia-owned course along the banks of the Tacony Creek, where I learned to play golf. Although the course is officially owned by the city, it is successfully operated by the non-profit Juniata Golf Foundation.

Juniata Scorecard

Under gray skies, humid temperatures and the threat of showers, I teed it up at Juniata for the first time in nearly two years, and only the second time since 2012. The foundation has done a lot of landscaping and other improvements over the last decade or so, and they are noticeable as you play the course. However, and I will attribute some of the this to the very wet spring we have experienced, the grass was thick from the tee boxes to the greens. In fact, Juniata's greens were some of the slowest I have ever played on. On one green, I hit my putt so hard that on any other course it would have rolled past the hole and six feet off the green, but in this case, I cam up six feet short of the hole. When I missed a fairway, which was too frequently, my optic yellow golf ball was often difficult to find.

Conditions aside, I did not play very well. I was using this round as an opportunity to try a new Wilson Staff F5 Driver and Ping G20 4-Wood. Although the Driver has a regular flex shaft, it felt a bit stiff and I left numerous tee shots out to the right and short. This left me with long second shots from the gnarly rough, which meant long pitch shots to the green for my third shot. Coupled with the very slow greens and it added up to multiple double- and triple-bogeys.

After the Sixth Hole, where I pulled my tee shot just into the left rough and couldn't find the ball, I was very frustrated. But I gave my self a lecture about grinding out the round. I recovered a bit and made my first birdie of the season at the short, but challenging Seventh Hole. I shot a very uncharacteristic 50 on the front nine. I played slightly better on the back nine, making pars at the Thirteenth and Fourteenth holes, but still shot 44 on the easier of the Juniata's two nines. This gave me a disappointing score of 94 for the round.

For now, I will go back to my Wilson Staff Smooth Driver while I work with the F5 at the practice range to see if it has a place in my bag. My search for a reliable fairway wood that I get hit consistently off the tee also continues. Up next is an old Golfsmith XPC Plus 3-wood, which has 16 degrees of loft. I am hoping that it pairs well with my WS D200 7-Wood.

Because of the threat of afternoon thunderstorms, Friday is going to be a practice day at the range as opposed to a playing day on the course.

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