|On the FDR Expressway heading south, getting the hell out of here.
Today's round was churned out at Cream Ridge GC, in the township of Cream Ridge, 63 miles south of Manhattan. Mmm sounds tasty already doesn't it. (Unless you don't like dairy that is.) It really is a farm-flavored course, surrounded by farmlands on all four sides--fields of cornstalks abut right up against the course, no fences or anything. If you stare long enough into the rows, you can creep yourself out pretty good.
|He Who Walks Behind the Rows... plays golf too.
It was humid, it was hot; a classic Northeast summer day, sweltering but not quite brutal. On the first hole a pulled approach shot was gobbled up by a water hazard left that I had no idea was there, and that left me feeling exploited and preyed upon for the first part of the round. Around the ninth hole though, the round began to turn around a bit.
When I got up to the elevated back tee on the 16th, I looked out and POW, was knocked out by this terrific view. This is where I really got sold on the course. It's one hell of a narrow opening, with a creek bed lurking just beyond, but what a beautifully framed hole. Unlike a lot of other do-or-die tee shots, I saw no malice in this one. Some shots seem to want to taunt you, make you feel weak and terrified. This one though, I felt it spoke to me. Hey, golfer. I respect you, and your ability. This opening here is small, but I think you can make it. And why not?
I am way too inconsistent at this golf to be getting all metaphysical about my shots, but for whatever reason in this instance I happened to put a really nice tee ball through the chute. The swing felt so pure, I had to laugh a little right after the hit. Probably the best swing in months. All the while golden sun rays broke through clouds, illuminating a slight drizzle of cooling rain; a really nice moment.
|The approach to 18
As that putt rolled Ms. LegitGolf, who played the round with me, made about the worst early call I've ever seen on a course, cheering the putt in with several feet left to go. Naturally that prompted a fairly stern finger wagging, even though the putt dropped.
I tend to come down pretty hard on the early call. Nothing to do with superstition (even if it's hard not to blame an early call for jinxing your ball out of the hole). Putts just have a way of missing, of either taking a wrong turn at the wrong time or even going in and then coming back out. And when that happens it's agonizing enough in complete silence. When someone blurts out YES!! right before the ball lips out, it piles on shame and degradation, making an already painful moment even worse, and what kind of person wants to do that.