Sunday, July 26, 2009

Lost...Again

By the looks of it, my game has once again utterly and completely disappeared. Perfect timing of course, one week before club championships.

I shot a lovely 83 on Saturday and followed it up with an 82 today, making it four rounds in a row in the 80's.

Adding to the sadness is the fact that today's round was my Langley Cup Quarterfinal match against Cal, a match I'd lose on the 18th hole and deservedly so.

I pretty much had one good hole today and that was our 17th hole of the day, the par five 8th at St. Catharines. I was two down in the match, dormie and had to give Cal his only shot of the match. I had just come off three putting for bogey on the previous hole, not even hitting the cup on a two and a half footer, to halve the hole with him. I'd somehow muster the cajones to birdie the 8th hole versus Cal's bogey to send the match to the last hole but I ran a birdie chip well past the hole with Cal in great position for birdie. He'd par, I'd miss my par putt and the match was his, two up.

Congratulations to the Toastman - he made some clutch shots (ridiculous up and down from way left of the green on 17 and made a bomb for bogey on the 5th to halve me there, among others) and definitely deserved the win.

No hole by hole analysis. I'm way too gutted about my game.

I'm also upset at myself - my attitude really stinks these days on the course. I just don't have 'it' this year. No grind. My short game was atrocious today, usually a strong suit in matches for me - even Harris, on his way to systematically destroying Charlie in his Langley quarterfinal today, was wondering what the hell was wrong with me today.

Wish I knew. I made six bogeys in a row during our back nine and made them every way you can imagine. Not the sign of a guy who is mentally ready to play. There were about five instances today where I wanted to break a club - I'm acting like an ass out there right now and I apologize to my three playing partners today for the poor attitude.

Just not my year on the course.

Club championship weekend is usually my favourite event on my yearly schedule and chances are that I'm going to be playing only two days. My only goal right now is to keep smiling out there - I've got a great wife and a healthy, happy nine month old son.

Life is good. Stop pouting ya crybaby!

Devil's Pulpit post coming soon.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Now on the Twitter!

Yes, I finally caved and opened up a Twitter account.

You see, I think it's vitally important to know what celebrities like Britney Spears and Paris Hilton think of the protests in Iran and signing up to Twitter gives me access to their insight! It's really quite a brilliant piece of technology.

I'm now following a bunch of PGA and LPGA stars and big J.D. himself, John Daly, an avid 'Tweeter' (is that even right?), is following little old me! Yeah, he follows everyone, I know, but it's still kind of cool.

So if you're on board, you can find my page right here and follow my exploits both on and off the course. I hope to provide lots of twitterific updates in the days, months and years to come.

God, what a nerd I am!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Niagara Men's Tour - Event Four (Twenty Valley)

My ball striking has really started to come around lately and after hitting 14 greens in a round a week previous, I went into this past weekend with a good amount of confidence as I prepared for the fourth event on the Nevada Bob's Men's Tour.

I brought out a couple buddies from my ball hockey team as guests on Saturday to St. Catharines and we had a good time. My game wasn't quite as sharp as the week previous but I still got around in only 77 shots, definitely above average by any measure. I had a number of key lipouts from in tight and hit 11 greens so I could have been even better.

Still, a solid round of golf and one that kept the spirits high heading into Sunday's round at Twenty Valley for the fourth leg of the Nevada Bob's Men's Tour.

I finished third in the last event on the Tour for my best finish of the year but it was at my home club so I was determined to put in a good performance 'on the road'. Problem is that I detest Twenty Valley - well, I should say that I never play well out there and it doesn't really set up for my game. I'm not really straight off the tee and there are hazards on every hole out there. There is some internal out of bounds at Twenty Valley too, something I absolutely hate, due to a road that runs through the property. Mickey Mouse...

I wanted to hit a few balls before the round to see where my game stood before deciding whether to play a bit more conservatively than normal. When I saw that you had to pay for balls, I decided it wasn't worth it and went to the first tee cold.

The first hole is a stupid, short par five measuring less than 470 yards. The problem is that there is a creek that bisects the fairway about 245 yards out so you have to decide whether to lay up short or to fly the thing. I decided on a 4-iron and hit it just left of the fairway, about 240 yards from the green. I took out a hybrid club but put it back in the bag when I saw we'd have about a five minute wait for the green to clear.

It was a good decision.

I'd layup with a solid five-iron to about 30 yards then pitched my third to three feet. Dead center with the putt and I was off with a birdie four.

On the 370 yard second, I hit four-iron again off the tee right down the pipe, followed with a 9-iron from about 150 yards into 12 feet and MADE THAT PUTT TOO!

Two holes. Two under par!

I was really loose on the scariest hole on the course, the long 430 yard par four third. Out of bounds hugs the right side of the fairway and that fairway slopes severely toward the huge pine and maple trees left, leaving practically no shot into the green. I decided to just play down the left side of the fairway and striped a great tee shot that got the big bounce to the left, unfortunately, and ended up in the rough.

I could gamble from 200 yards with a five-iron and try to hit over all the trees but I decided to take my medicine on the tough hole and just hit a 9-iron back into the fairway, leaving an easy 45 yard pitch shot. However, I'd come up well short on my pitch and my first putt then watch my three foot bogey putt horseshoe right back to me.

A double bogey wiped out my great start.

I brushed it off and nailed a perfect tee shot on the short par four fourth up the right side, leaving another 40 yard wedge shot. I hit an indifferent shot to about 18 feet but MADE THE PUTT AGAIN. Three birdies in four holes and back to one under!

I'd par the tough dogleg right fifth but lose my tee ball on the downhill par four sixth in the fescue right of the fairway. Couldn't believe we lost that one but thankfully, it was marked as a hazard and I hit a wedge on from there and two-putted for only a bogey.

I wouldn't get up and down from just off the green on the par three seventh and make another bogey, miss a seven foot birdie putt on the very difficult eighth hole and make a solid two putt par on the par three ninth to go out in 36 shots (+1).

Very solid!

I'd catch a break on both of the next two holes. I'd hit a huge tree on my drive on the tenth hole and took a huge sigh of relief when I got up to the top of the hill and saw that the ball was comfortably in the middle of the fairway. Good bounce! I'd par that then made a poor decision on the short par four 11th, hitting driver instead of a four-iron.

I hit the drive well right into fescue and after a few minutes, one of my playing partners found my ball. It was almost buried in the knee-high rough, about 100 yards away and I didn't have a direct shot at the green. I aimed about ten yards right of the green and took the biggest swing I could muster and somehow, someway, the ball hooked left and ended up about 15 feet away from the pin on the front fringe. What a result! I'd barely miss that and was still in great shape at +1 for the round.

Karma would catch up to me though. Nailed a perfect drive on the tough 12th down the right side but my wedge approach was slightly strong, rolling into the back fringe. It's a DIABOLICAL green and it would throttle me, as I FOUR PUTTED from there for a crushing double.

I'd follow that up by hooking my four-iron tee shot on the extremely tough par three 13th into a large tree left of the green. I'd proceed to pitch my next shot RIGHT INTO THE TREE AGAIN, almost seeing the ball roll back into the water. I'd end up with a double there as well.

I'd par the next two, bogey the long par three 16th then hit my tee ball on the par four 17th way right into the holding pond and three putt the green, making a round crushing triple.

With nothing to lose, I'd hit my best two shots of the day on the tough par five 18th, just coming up short with my 4-iron second shot and I'd chip to three feet. Of course, I'd miss the easy birdie putt and tap in for par and a very disappointing round of 81 (+9). I hit maybe four poor shots all day and it costed me nine shots.

I end up in a tie for 29th for the event and fall to 24th overall through four events this year. Not good.

Harry had a great round of 79, especially good since he spent the previous three weeks in Greece and just got off a plane about 14 hours before the round started. Good stuff.

Cal had a rough one, making a nine on the par four third hole on his way to an 83.

I wasn't overly upset though...I think I played pretty well for the most part and just have to find a way to keep those doubles and triples off my card.

The next day was shaping up to be a good one, as I was scheduled to play the very highly respected Devil's Paintbrush in Caledon. There would be a bit of a snag though, something that I'll discuss in my next post.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Wonderful Surprise!

Interesting weekend of golf ahead, as I'll be hosting a couple of my buddies from my hockey team at St. Catharines on Saturday morning then I have the fourth leg of the Nevada Bob's Men's Tour taking place on Sunday afternoon at Twenty Valley G&CC.

My game is starting to show signs of life so I'm anxious to see if I can keep the train on the tracks when it counts!

I got a surprise phone call today from my member guest partner, who happens to be my wife's uncle. Henry asked if I would be available on Monday afternoon to play the Devil's Paintbrush, which just so happens to be the 10th ranked golf course in Canada by ScoreGolf magazine.

Um, yeah, I think that's worth taking a day off for!

What a treat that is going to be. I've heard nothing but tremendous things about the Paintbrush and I know it's one of author Lorne Rubenstein's favourite courses. I've always been attracted to links golf and long to play the great courses in Scotland and Ireland. This will be as close as I get for the next little while anyway!

This is a great turn of events for me, as tentative plans to play St. George's, Hamilton and The National look like they're falling through for this year.

The Paintbrush is a worthy alternative! I truly can't wait for Monday to arrive and I'll try to take some pictures if my host doesn't mind!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Positive Signs

I had a particularly brutal week of work last week and was really looking forward to playing a couple rounds of golf on the weekend.

The weather forecast was ominous for Saturday, with thunderstorms and 20mm of rain predicted. I teed it up under partly cloudy skies with Cal, Joe T and Gary and we hoped to get the round in before the rains came.

I rolled in a birdie putt right on top of Gary on the third hole to get back to even par on the round. That started a weird and wild chain of events for our foursome...

I'd pretty much completely duff my tee shot on the par three fourth hole and my ball settled about 40 yards short of the pin, right in a huge divot in the rough. I opened up the face of my lob wedge, cut down across the ball and watched as it soared toward the flagstick.

It would strike the stick squarely about three quarters of the way down and ricochetted back toward me about 50 feet, almost going into the front bunker. How that ball didn't stop closer to the hole is beyond me and I'd make bogey from there.

Things really got nuts on the seventh hole. It all started with Gary's tee shot on the par three - his follow through was extremely abbrieviated, something that's not normal for him. It was then I noticed that the clubhead on his five-iron had flown off his shaft and flew 40 yards into the pond fronting the tee!

Nuts!

Gary went to look for the clubhead while we all hit our tee shots over his head and tried to get him out of the way. He was EXTREMELY upset about the club falling off, saying that Mizuno doesn't make that club anymore and that he couldn't play without the 5-iron.

In fact, he made such an emotional case about his plight that Joe offered to wade into the water to find the clubhead. Of course, we still had no idea where the clubhead was in the water and it wouldn't be safe for anyone to wade around in there. I convinced Gary that he should talk to Dennis, our superintendent, and tell him that when he drains the pond in November to look for the club.

That seemed to satisfy Gary somewhat, even though I knew that by November, the club would be rusted so badly that it would be unplayable anyway. Haha. Heck, Gary has about 20 5-irons sitting in his basement - I'm sure he can find one that works!

Topping off the strange round was Cal, who had a pretty routine little 20 foot chip shot on the 7th green. He'd hit a horrible skull that likely would have went in the water behind the green but it hit the flagstick squarely, took a peek at the hole and ended up right on the lip but didn't drop. Haha!

By the 8th hole, both Gary and Cal were saying they were done after nine holes - Gary was despondent after the loss of his 5-iron and Cal wanted breakfast more than playing in the rain and continuing a relatively poor round. Joe was willing to stick it out with me and I wanted to continue as I was playing relatively well, shooting a +2 38 on the front side.

However, the thunder was really starting to come in and we decided to all head in for breakfast instead. Good decision, as the rain came down in sheets about 20 minutes later. Still, I hate nine hole rounds with a passion.

This was all a precursor to what would turn out to be one of my best ball-striking rounds in my life. I teed it up on Sunday again with Joe and also had Charlie and a new member, Dan in our group. Dan was supposed to be quite the player so I was looking forward to seeing him in action.

My iron play was sharp right from the outset, as I hit my approach on the 10th hole (our first of the day) to eight feet, my approach on the 11th to 15 feet, my tee shot on the long 12th to 20 feet and my approach on the tough 13th to six feet.

Unfortunately, I'd make none of them and actually three whack the 12th to sit at +1 through four.

I'd miss my first green on the par three 14th but hit a great chip to gimmie distance to save par. The great ball striking would continue, as I'd make a ten footer for birdie on the 15th then stiff my gap wedge approach on the 16th to three feet, making that as well to move to red figures at one under.

I'd hit a great four-iron on the 222 yard par three 17th to about 18 feet and barely missed then got up and down from just in front of the green for par and a great first nine score of 35 (-1).

I'd get into my first trouble of the day on the par four third, driving left behind a huge pine tree and my second shot didn't get through cleanly, leaving a long pitch for my third. I couldn't get that up and down and fell back to even par.

At this point, both Dan and myself were even on the day and I was trying desperately to keep up with the young guy. The turning point in the round came on the tough par four 5th - I'd absolutely pure a 6-iron from 187 yards and the ball stopped about seven feet away. Dan would ram home about an 18 footer for birdie and I commented to him that we were cutting each up all day, as we both birdied the 15th and 16th holes earlier.

"Well, here's your chance for revenge!", he said.

I had a bit of trouble with the read and that meant a tentative stroke, resulting in the ball stopping on the front lip but not falling. Disappointing par.

Two excellent shots on the par five sixth left me with about 100 yards for my approach and I hit an okay wedge about 18 feet past the hole. I'd leave a two and a half footer for par and MISS IT, my second three putt of the day and one that dropped me to +1 overall.

I'd then hit a very poor tee shot on the par three seventh that barely stayed out of the water and an indifferent chip shot that went about 15 feet past the hole. Grinding like hell, I somehow made that putt, my first lengthy one of the day, to save par.

Sensing I still had a chance to break par with my swing feeling so good, I had a really positive mindset for the last two holes. However, a poor drive on eight meant a layup but my 9-iron approach was excellent, leaving me with a 15 footer for another birdie. I'd barely miss that then hit another laser-beam of a six-iron on the long par four ninth to about 12 feet and missed that as well, finishing with a season-best score of 73 (+1), a great number but one that felt like it could have been much better.

In the end, I tied my lifetime best of 14 greens in regulation and was only one shot worse than my lifetime best from the back tees at St. Catharines. I've never broken par from the tips there, with all of my subpar rounds at the club coming from the blue markers.

Dan blew by me on the last few holes, making three birdies on his last five holes to shoot a scintillating two under 70. He ended the day with six birdies on his card and smoked us all in the skins game. There was a lot of good golf in our group with Dan, Joe and Charlie and it was a fun round.

As far as my game, I mentioned the one little posture change I made on Sunday last week, getting my weight a little more over my feet as opposed to having it on my heels and it's helped tremendously with my ball striking consistency. It's the only change I've made and boy, has it ever been a difference maker!

I just need some putts to start falling!

Either way, it's great to stand over the ball and feel like you KNOW where the ball is going to go. It's taken a long time this year to shake the rust but I feel I'm getting close to my first subpar round of the year. My handicap is starting to fall again too - I started the year at 1.7 and saw my index skyrocket into the mid-fours but now I'm back down to a 2.6.

Next week will see the fourth leg of the Niagara Men's Tour taking place at Twenty Valley G&CC. I've never played well out there and hope that my newly found confidence will translate into a better score.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Langley Cup 2009 - First Round

I prepared for Sunday's first round Langley Cup match by playing Saturday morning.

It's well documented how poor my game has been this year but I can honestly say that the ballstriking 'display' I put on Saturday was the worst I can remember in years.

I didn't hit a green in regulation until the ninth hole, followed it up with GIRs on the 10th and 11th and that was it. Three greens all day. Just a pathetic display with my irons.

Thankfully, my putter has been hot almost all year long and I actually made two of my three birdie putts and somehow was only +2 through 11 holes.

I didn't deserve to score that well and subconsciously I must have known that, as I'd follow up with four double bogeys over my last seven holes to shoot an 82. I got exactly what I deserved.

I would shockingly head to the driving range before my match on Sunday to try to iron out my problems but hitting twenty balls or so didn't really help.

I'd have to try to figure things out on the course.

I was matched up against Adam R, a five handicapper who by the looks of things has improved his game quite a bit this year. He started the year as a nine, so he's obviously seen some good things come out of his game in '09.

I'd have to give him only one shot, as I carried a 3.2 index into the match, which is a four handicap from the tips at St. Catharines.

We were teeing off on the back nine and his stroke hole was #8 so I was hoping to close him out early enough so he'd never get that shot.

I was out of sorts to start - I didn't have my usual toonie in my bag which I use as a ball marker and had to sprint to my car to find one. I came to the par five 10th tee out of breath and snap hooked my ball off a tree and into the adjacent ninth fairway. I'd hit a rescue into a grove of trees left of the fairway about 100 yards from the green. I'd punch out well right of the green, chip on and two putt for a bogey.

Meanwhile, Adam striped one down the middle, layed up nicely with his second, hit his approach to 12 feet and calmly made the putt for a birdie four to take the one up lead.

Ha. What a start!

Thankfully, things would improve. Here's the rest of the match -

HOLE 11 (Par 4): I make a routine two-putt par while Adam rams his birdie putt about five feet past the hole. He misses the comebacker. MATCH ALL SQUARE
HOLE 12 (Par 3): I hit the green and two putt for par. Adam hits his tee ball slightly fat and it's wet. He doesn't hole his third shot after taking a drop. MATT 1 UP
HOLE 13 (Par 4): I nail my drive down the middle and Adam slices one way into the trees right of the fairway and into the hazard. He drops and pitches out to the fairway but it's all academic when I hit my 8-iron to within 12 feet. I miss the birdie putt but the hole is conceded. MATT 2 UP
HOLE 14 (Par 3): I hit a poor shot well right and into the bunker. Adam hits a great tee shot about 10 feet underneath the hole. I'm up against the back lip of the bunker and do well to get it to within 25 feet. I miss my putt and am ready to concede the hole but Adam crushes his putt six feet past the hole up the hill. Ugh. He then misses his par putt by a mile and still has five feet left but I concede the bogey putt. I felt lucky just to get a halve there and didn't want to see him four whack. MATT 2 UP
HOLE 15 (Par 5): I murdered my drive here and actually had a pretty good chance to get close in two if I wanted. Those thoughts ended when Adam snap hooked his second shot into the water. He was melting down by this point. I'd lay up, hit on to about 15 feet and two putt for par to beat Adam's bogey. MATT 3 UP
HOLE 16 (Par 5): We'd both play the hole well and make two putt pars. MATT 3 UP
HOLE 17 (Par 3): I hit a pretty solid 4-iron on the 222 yarder but was just short and right of the green. Adam hit his shot on the hillside left of the green. Hit chip was a good one, leaving about a six footer for par. I'd chip to about four feet. Adam's par putt would lip out hard while I'd stroke mine dead center. MATT 4 UP
HOLE 18 (Par 4): I hit a horrible drive here, hooking it off the birch tree into the fairway bunker on the adjacent first hole. Adam crushed his down the pipe. I had absolutely no shot at the green and was forced to punch it out to the 100 marker. Adam came up just short of the green with his second so I still had some life, especially after hitting a good wedge to about 10 feet. Adam's chip came up seven or eight feet short and I had visions of stealing the hole from him but missed my putt. Adam had his opening but couldn't take advantage, lipping out again and making bogey. MATT 4 UP

The bogey there gave me an opening nine score of 39 (+3) while Adam came in with a 43. I felt pretty good despite the bogey there and felt very comfortable in the match, thinking I could end it early.

HOLE 1 (Par 4): There was some chatter going on by the putting green and I get way too easily distracted - I'd come out of my 4-iron tee shot and was right behind the large maples right of the fairway. I tried the heroic shot over top but couldn't get the ball through. I'd chip on to about 12 feet and miss my par putt. Once again, Adam had an opening, as he was only about 15 feet away from the stick for birdie, just off the green. However, Adam didn't hit a good chip and ran the ball about 8 feet past the hole, leaving a treacherous downhiller. He'd ram that five or six feet past and he non-challantly walked up to a crucial bogey putt and made it. Kind of surprised that went in, to be honest. He almost seemed ready to give up. MATT 4 UP
HOLE 2 (Par 4): I hit a mediocre tee shot but it was down the middle. Adam pulled his shot left but it was KILLED - he only had about 100 yards in. However, I'd hit a tremendous 8-iron right over the stick to about 12 feet. Adam would also hit the green and we'd both two putt. MATT 4 UP
HOLE 3 (Par 4): We both destroyed our drives and ended up right beside each other, about 128 yards in on the 406 yard hole. Adam stiffed his approach to seven feet and my wedge ended up on the right fringe, about 18 feet away. I'd miss and Adam would MAKE. We have a match here... MATT 3 UP
HOLE 4 (Par 3): Adam goes first and hits a very poor iron shot short of the front bunker, leaving an awkward looking pitch. I hit the green but I'm 45 feet away from the back right pin location. Adam skulls his pitch through the green then chips that one to about five feet. Just hoping to lag one to gimmie range, I hit the sharply breaking left to righter right into the middle of the cup for the shocking birdie! MATT 4 UP
HOLE 5 (Par 4): Adam is already talking about what might have been, even though the match was still in question. I just wanted to end it right here. I nailed one of my best tee balls of the day down the middle and Adam hit a huge block into the adjacent 15th fairway. He'd hit a great approach over the trees and onto the green, about 25 feet away. I'd follow up with a 6-iron to 20 feet. We'd both two putt and now I had him dormie. MATT 4 UP
HOLE 6 (Par 5): I drove it about a yard through the fairway while Adam just crushed his drive down the pipe. My layup was very poor and it looked like I had to clear the trademark tree that sits in the middle of the sixth fairway for my third shot. Adam decided to lay up instead of going for it, a curious decision at this juncture of the match. I had to choose whether to punch underneath the tree or attempt to go over it. I gambled, opened up my pitching wedge from about 140 yards and hit it as hard as I could. It barely cleared the trees and soared toward the stick, stopping about 12 feet away.

"Dagger to the heart", I whispered to myself as I put my club in my bag. I knew that shot was the match winner.

Indeed, Adam's short approach was decent but still left him with a 12 footer of his own. I'd go first and lip out my birdie, as Adam says "you almost gave me a heart attack!". When Adam's putt cruises by the hole, the match is over. MATT WINS 4 & 3

Solid match and I was happy for Adam too, as he played extremely well on the back side to make me sweat it out. We both were even on our back nines at that point.

I'd bogey the next hole and then finish with solid pars on the 8th and 9th to give me a fine 76 (+4) on the day. Quite the turnaround from the day previous, as I hit a season best 10 greens in regulation and generally hit the ball quite well with my irons. I made one adjustment early in the round, hinging my body a bit more over the ball as opposed to the more upright posture I had been using. Seemed to help my ball striking consistency quite a bit.

I found out after the round that my next opponent in the Langley will be the Toastman himself, Cal. First time we've played in the competition, I believe and it should be a great match. Cal is a former winner of the event so he's definitely the favourite going in. Check out his blog
right here.

I imagine we'll get the match out of the way sometime before club championship weekend.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

We're Cursed!

We made the two hour plus trek to Port Stanley, Ontario to play the Stanley Thompson designed St. Thomas Golf and Country Club on Tuesday. Cal, Ryan, Dr. Greg and I all took the day off work to make the trip to the Top 100 in Canada course even though the forecast looked gloomy, at best.

However, the course was under partly cloudy skies when we arrived and hadn't seen a drop of rain all night so we were hoping for the best.

After being thwarted on our last chance to play the course a couple years back by excessive rains, it was quite satisfying hitting that first tee shot down the hill on the 410 yard par four opener.

I'd two putt the first hole for par then find trouble off the tee on the winding par four second and end up with a double.

I'd make a solid par on the extremely difficult and lovely par four third hole and then the rain started coming down in sheets.

Wonderful.

It rained off and on for three more holes and the storm siren finally blared just as I hit my tee shot on the seventh hole.

You have to be kidding me! Is there lightning in the area?

The sun actually came out moments later and the rest of the group hit their tee balls on the 7th. Just as we got ready to hit our approach shots, a person came over the loudspeaker, asking everyone to get off the golf course immediately.

This isn't good.

I went to the pro shop and they indicated that there wasn't lightning in the area but "the golf course is under too much water".

What? We hadn't seen ANY standing water at all through the first seven holes.

"Where is the water collecting?", I asked.

"We've just been hit with a lot of rain", was the reply.

"We're just going to hold off for a bit to see if it dries up."

With that, our foursome headed inside for some lunch and hoped for the best. For a full hour, there was just a quick passing shower but nothing else. Then, just as we were finishing up, the rain came down hard.

We knew we were done. Again.

I was able to get a full refund, but man. Two times in a row we try to play this course and get foiled. That's a hell of a long drive to have that happen twice. Maybe it's just not meant to be.

I will say this - the golf course was GORGEOUS and all of us were enjoying it immensely. But they have to do something about the poor drainage on the back nine - we finally did see the water collecting on the back as we drove out of the property and there is no way you'd see that at St. Catharines these days after the work that's been done.

What a colossal disappointment.

We decided to try to make the best of it and drove out to Tarandowah Golfers Club in Avon, shown below. It is a new, links-style course designed by Martin Hawtree and I've heard great things about it from Robert Thompson, a golf writer for ScoreGolf and many other publications.


The pro had told us before we arrived that they hadn't seen a drop of rain, quite a suspicious statement considering how close it is to St. Thomas.

Of course, when we arrived, we saw that the place was under a considerable amount of water. Geez.

Still, at $29.00 per player to walk, it was a worthwhile proposition so we paid the money and headed out.

We'd get FOUR HOLES done before we saw a crack of lightning and more ominously, a funnel cloud forming in the distance.

You've never seen us run that fast to get out of there!

What a disappointing day. Two good golf courses and we don't get to finish either of them.

The forecast was just as bad for Canada Day yesterday but the rains held off in the AM and we were able to get our round in. I shot a decent 77 (+5) from the tips and won a skin to make it a profitable day. I'm starting to slowly get a bit better from a ball-striking perspective but I'm still a bit off.

I've got my first round Langley Cup match to play on Sunday and will likely have to give a couple shots at least to my opponent. Looking forward to the match.