Friday, October 19, 2018

Split Decision at Bensalem

Bensalem Township Country Club
Bensalem, Pa.
Yards: 2759/3014 - 5773
Par: 35/35 - 70
Rating: 68.7, Slope: 127
Score: 44 (Front Nine)
Date: October 14, 2018

Because of other weekend obligations, I wasn't able to tee it up until late Sunday afternoon. Afraid I might be in a race against a mid-autumn sundown, I opted to go to Bensalem Township Country Club only play nine holes. I teamed up with Sean, who was also playing solo, on the First tee.

Bensalem Twp. Country Club Scorecard

With virtually no warm-up, I chunked and chipped my way to a bogey at the First. At the Second, my tee shot found the right side of the fairway and my approach clattered through the tree that guards the right side. After pitching on, I sank a long uphill putt for par. This began I run of three consecutive pars, including the 487-yards Par 5 Third, where I just missed a birdie.

My par run was halted at the Fifth after I short-sided myself with my approach shot on the 309-yard hole and made double-bogey. That left me three over par through five holes. I began another short par by two-putting from long range at the par 3 Sixth and then missing a short birdie putt at the 317-yard, dogleg left Seventh Hole.

The Par 3 Fourth Hole

Even though I made bogey at the Eighth, I was pleased with the way I recovered after blocking my tee shot right into the creek that runs parallel, then across the fairway. I hit my second tee shot (third stroke) to the left-center of the fairway, then dropped an 8-iron from 140 yards to 10 feet. I made the putt to walk away with a mere 5, when it could have been much worse. That left me four over par through eight holes.

But I came crashing back to reality at the 356-yard par 4 Ninth. After pulling my left driver into the bushes on the blind tee shot, I hit my second tee shot up the left side and into the rough. From just
TaylorMade 200 Iron
inside 150 yards, I hit my approach shot well right of the green. Having to pitch over a bunker to a back left pin, I went long and into the spotty rough. Instead of putting, I tried to chip and when well past the hole. Putting for a 7, I burned the edge, then lipped out my short tap-in, which left me with a 9 for the hole. My score for the front nine was a 44, with five pars, but it could have been much better if not for the blow-up at the Ninth.

I made one drastic change for this round, splitting my iron set. I kept the Wilson Staff V4 Utility 4-iron and the Wilson Staff Ci 7 5- and 6-irons. But I replaced the Ci7 7-iron through Pitching wedge with TaylorMade 200s. These irons, while still cavity backs, are thinner and look and play more like blade irons, which seems to give me better feel and control of the shorter scoring clubs.

The rest of my irons--all Wilson Staff--remain the same: Ci 48-degree Gap Wedge, PMP 52-degree Wedge and 56-degree Sand Wedge. I want to try out this configuration through the rest season and see if it is something I want to keep for next year. I am also looking to replace the 5- and 6-irons with models that are more forgiving and have added distance. With the new iron figuration, I now have seven Wilson Staff clubs in my bag, six TaylorMade and one Odyssey (putter).

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