In case you haven't figured it out yet I'm addicted to golf. It really is a magical game. "It's just you and the ball and there's none to blame but yourself". I've had moments on the golf course that rival anything else in my life. There's just no other game like it.
I remember watching Jack Nicklaus win The Masters in '86. That was special. As my game improved the desire to play pro-level courses grew. I like to test myself where the big boys play. The feeling I get walking the same fairways as the best ever to play the game is awesome. I've only played a few championship courses so far, but I have plans to tackle 2 more this year. I'll update this page as that happens.
Pinehurst #2 is without a doubt a course that every golfer should play. This Donald Ross masterpiece has something for every level of golfer. The better you play the more challenging it becomes. The weekend warrior can use one sleeve of balls for 18 holes. It's nearly impossible to lose a ball there. It can be done but it doesn't happen often. It is a pricey course to play, but if you decide to go, spend the extra money and take a caddy. Not only will they help you read those diabolical greens, you get a walking history lesson along the way. They can show you the house where Donald Ross spent his days overlooking his course, the hole that John Daly made his 11, and the famous putt Payne Stewart made to win the '99 U.S. Open. Every Sunday they have the Payne Stewart pin placement on the 18th green along with a flag bearing his famous pose.
The true beauty of #2 is that you're going to hit at least one shot you will remember forever. She is a tough course but she's fair. Good play is rewarded but don't get greedy, she will slap you back down to earth and smile while doing it. Just take what she gives you and play to have fun. Remember to enjoy the sites while you're there. #2 isn't just a great golf course, she's a beautifully designed one as well. Ross moved some earth around while creating her but very little. He used what mother nature gave him and the results are astounding.
Unlike almost any other championship course you will be playing the same set-up as the pros. The only real changes they make to her for competitive play is to narrow the fairways, grow the rough a bit deeper, and cut the greens a little shorter. They stimp out at around 10 for resort play and trust me, you won't want them any faster than they are when you play them. They are lightning fast and devilishly tricky, but I have never putted on truer greens anywhere. If you want to simulate the feeling try putting a foam practice ball on a concrete floor. I'm serious. I hit a shot out of a bunker once, walked out of the bunker, knocked the sand out of my shoes with the wedge, and looked up just in time to see the ball roll back into the same bunker a few feet away. My playing partner said the ball never stopped rolling, it was a slow roller but it never stopped. The greens are that smooth.
I'm honored to say I've played several rounds there. The last time I was there I did something I would have never thought possible. My group was playing from the tips and the first half of my round was hot and cold. I was trying too hard. Starting on the tenth tee box I lost control of my driver. I missed the next 4 fairways badly and was really struggling. My caddie, bless him, was trying everything he could think of to keep me positive. After I doubled the 12th I gave in to the course. I stepped up on the 13th tee totally beaten down but relaxed, or maybe I had simply accepted my fate. I striped the ball down the right side just barely off the fairway. I hit a great approach shot and dropped the putt for my first birdie of the day. I played the last 5 holes at even par for a score of one under for the last 6 holes. Birdie, bogey, birdie, bogey, birdie, and Par. One day maybe I'll learn the lesson and let the game come to me.
More to come soon...