Thursday, December 5, 2013

Legitimategolf Diaries, vol. 8 Tale of two nines

61° F in December and another insane deal for an AM tee-time at Silver Lake--you can't pass up an opportunity like that. You just can't.

I've only been here five times but it's starting to feel like home (course). Since I'm not a member of a club, home (course) is wherever you stick your tee, right?Never saw things turning out this way but dammit, this is fast becoming my default go-to track. See, I don't have to ride the subway to get here, the bus service is plentiful and I've come to enjoy the ferry rides--they're pretty peaceful and quiet, and with a decent data signal en route I can get some actual work done.

Weather's been downright balmy the whole week and today it's peaking. Dense fog alert this morning though, and when I boarded the ferry it was still pretty thick. Visibility looked to be a couple hundred yards, but that's about good enough to play golf, I figured.

Dumb pigeon got itself stuck on the ferry. Pigeons are such morons.

I found the course in a good way. There were a few people scattered around but it wasn't busy at all. Not empty enough to try to break any speed records, but pretty good for this miracle weather day.

The steep climb up #4 fairway.

Looking back towards #4 tee and the mainland of Staten Island

It was warm and almost windless. A sweater was about all you needed, and that was pushing it. There were some shorts and short sleeves out today.

Conditions are ideal if you ask me. There's still plenty of lushness in the turf, and now the leaves have mostly been mulched down into tiny pieces so they can't really gobble up golf balls anymore.

After a rough opening hole, I found a groove and went on to play one of my best nines of the year. I'm starting to really like this front nine, never a dull moment as there's lots of variety from hole to hole.

The back nine was a different place altogether. It was like the weekend; long waits before every shot. Playing solo, I was in an awkward sandwich between two guys behind me who wanted nothing to do with me (they would stay on the green practicing putting after every hole so as to keep their distance), and two d-bags in front who I wanted nothing to do with.

I'm not a smoker, but I'll have a cig every couple months or so when an opportunity arises. I had a single in my bag that I had bummed a while back, but no lighter or matches. I made the mistake of asking the d-bags if they had a light. They both shook their heads, no. But one of them, his eyes got all big--"Could I get a cigarette off you?" and immediately started advancing towards me. Yikes, what did I do. "Uhh sorry," I reply, backing away, "I only have the one."

With the pace severely impacted, my game succumbed. Shots multiplied. Golf got hard again. It came to a head with back-to-back triples. I relented and left the rest to fate. I badly wanted to break 80 here, but it would have to wait. Good progress though.

After holing out on 18, I took one look at the empty tenth tee and made a snap decision to re-play the back nine. Hey--I saw almost nobody on it, there was plenty of daylight on the clock, the old swing engine is revving and let's face it--I'm not feeling so hot about having shot a back nine that was ten strokes worse than the front. Let's see if I can beat that 48, and do it while playing some powercart speed golf.

It was fun. The back nine had pretty much emptied, except for when that would-be cigarette bum, who's now by himself, drove up to me on the 15th tee (from out of nowhere) and asked if "we could play the last four holes together?" Maybe he suspected that I was lying about not having more cigarettes, maybe he wanted some swing tips, I don't know. He wanted something though. "No, I....can't. I'm playing real fast. Sorry." I stepped on the gas, ending the conversation.

So yeah other than that, it was fun. I still used way too many strokes but I did beat that 48, and did it in crazy time, around fifty minutes. I rushed through the putting, not doing my usual marking and lining up business, kinda going by feel instead but don't think it really cost me in the end. Something to think about, maybe.


  1. The tale of two nines is a familiar story with me, too. You get in a groove, move from shot to shot with positive feelings, everything is clicking. Then abruptly you find yourself wating on each shot. Hard to retain the magic.

  2. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know a lot about this,
    like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with a few pics to drive the message home a bit,
    but instead of that, this is great blog. An excellent read.
    I will certainly be back.

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