It's been such a crappy Summer weather wise around these parts, that yesterday was one of the first actual rounds of Golf that Peb's and I have had together this year. Just sick! Typically by now, we're winding down the season and reflecting back on the hundreds and hundreds of holes we've played together. It's just seems like it's been either cold, wet or both, every time we've tried to plan a game. Oh and for the record just to let you know exactly how bad it's been, we're not what one would call "fair weather Golfers" either! It's just been craptastic!
With the trend to slightly warmer temperatures and a promise of some kind of burning ball of light up in the sky, we headed out to play the new Island holes at the course. Lucky for me brudder CC was still making his way home from a road trip! That meant I had my two lovelies all to myself, as Gueber would be joining in on the fun. The girls were pretty happy to see each other, as you can maybe tell from this shot!
We get asked all the time how Gueber got her name and I always say the same thing. It's derived from the Dominican slang, 'Mama Guebo' and if you're really industrious and look it up, you'll see that Brudder CC always has that smile on his face for a reason. ;)
The new 9 is a mixed bag of design creativity utilizing existing properties and in many respects, maintaining the lay of the land. There's also been a few holes dug here and a few mounds put there, just to shape the landscape enough to give that famous Bear Creek simplistic appearance. That's the real hidden gem of our "little" course, it always plays so very easy on paper! The design secret to the course is simple, make the appearance of the shot needed and the actual shot needed, two completely separate entities. As an example, here's a look from the tee blocks on the new #4.
Looks simple enough if you ask me and actually except for the tree lined fairway, it must be a pretty simple and straight away hole. Game plan should be to hit the straight to slightly cutting, (left to right for a righty) 4 iron maybe and then set yourself up for the easy 9 iron or maybe an 8, approach shot. With the hole only measuring 370 YDS from the tips, that plan should get us a real crack at birdie! Like I said, simple! Problem is, your eye can't pick up the subtle difference in elevation along that 370 yards. You hit that perfect 4 iron and watch it stop out in the center of the fairway, pleased with your self control for leaving that Driver in the bag. You arrive at what you thought was a tremendous shot, only to find you still somehow have about 185 YDS into a smallish green that is also protected by water left and fescue right. Oh and by the way, this is where the designer informs the Golfer of just how far uphill the hole is playing. It's at the approach shot that you start to realize that the type, size and even shape of the trees lining the fairway combined with the rolling mounds along the way, have created an optical illusion of a flat to even downhill appearance all along. It's really brilliance of design in my book.
Now none of this design means squadoosh to the Daly'Esque Peb's of course! When she's got the parts to use the 'forward' blocks and with the fine folks at 'The Bear' loving to take care of their ladies, giving her a straight away uphill 300 yard shot means,
this hole was built for her powerful little cut from left to right and almost everytime that she plays this hole, she'll end up somewhere around here,
With some little 25 ~ 35 YD chip. SICK!
Gueber asked me to help her learn the game about 6 or so years ago. After last night I have to say, she's definitely one of the most improved Golfers I've ever seen! Gueb's lacks Peb's raw power and clubhead speed but what she does have that Peb's doesn't is, the ability to hit a consistant draw with almost any club.
That little draw gets Gueber a lot more distance than her clubhead speed should be generating. She hit it great all night and has made me so very proud as well, by becoming a real student of the game. In fact on the PAR 3 sixth hole seen here,
Gueber kicked our azzes in the closest to the pin contest for drinks!
That's Peb's and I playing perfectly good cart Golf over to the left there, while Gueber damn near jarred it for the Ace. Would've been her second one too! not bad for a six year Golfer huh? It was actually a bit of a pre-round joke that Gueber would get another one, as peb's and I were there for her first one. Also during a game that brudder CC couldn't make it out to.
When I first saw the plans for the island green I was thrilled. It looked just like the 17th. hole at TPC Sawgrass. One of the most famous holes in all of golf. Thinking that I'd get a chance to play it every day that I could, made this kid pretty damn happy! Then I actually got to the hole itself.
Dissapointed....... HELL's NO!
Take a look at this 162 yards of all carry and it better bite with not too much spin, whole lot of Golfing goodness!
To make the hole even more interesting, there's only two types of wind that blow around these parts. The first is the normal prevailing Northwesterly breeze that will blow directly from the tee to the green. Then there's the "other" wind! It's the monster that can howl in exactly the opposite direction and make Golf at The Bear, feel an awful lot more like a Brittish Open climate. I had that wind Friday morning when I took Fred and a few of his buddies, out to play the new course. After watching two 70 year olds that can still drive the ball 200+ yards come up short with those same drivers, I hauled out the trusty 5 wood and put my ball on a collision course with the pin. I never took my eyes off the ball, as I was sure I was about to become the first player with a hole in one on this hole. Instead I watched my ball drop directly into the enbankment at the front of the green. Last night we had the normal prevailing breeze to play with. I stuck a smooth 8 Iron on the front of the green. For those keeping score at home, that's a seven club swing for the same hole. I can see that number getting even bigger as well, depending on the direction and speed of those two winds.
I'm heading back out to play this afternoon with DonKaaa and brudder CC. After last nights modest game of +3 seemed to come so easy, I think there's a number with a negative sign in front of it coming out of my game today!
Be the ball Bam-Bam, be the ball.
My sincerest thanks for dropping by....