Thursday, December 18, 2014
Roadgolf: Tustin Ranch GC, Tustin CA
Before I head to the course, I have to ready my set for the day. Whenever I play golf out here I use a bag made up of some of my dad's old clubs. It sits in the attic save for my visits. It's got a matching set of Callaway woods: 1, 3, 5, and 7! They are softer flex than I'm used to, and not quite as long, but hey--golf is not all about distance! Besides, when do you even see a 7-wood anymore? I think that's cool, and something different from what I'm used to, so I'll try to be excited about using it.
These irons are from the dawn of the graphite shaft era--the brown shafts are regular flex and extremely light. Feel like whips. Makes sense, because this Daiwa company also makes fishing rods.
The heads are pretty wacky-looking, but at least the top line is somewhat thin. I can live with it. Hey, a flush hit feels great with just about any iron. Still, the dispersion off these clubfaces is little troubling.
An old TourEdge putter that nobody wants. The lie angle is probably too upright and the shaft is too short, and my dad's got some much "better" putters lying around, but I putted well with this one time, so whenever I visit Orange County, it's what I putt with. I probably like it because it's so beat looking, I guess I am a smartass hipster like that. Hey, it squares up nice at least. What more do you want from a golf club anyways.
It's a ragtag set , a motley crew, but I believe in them. I ran into some traffic on the way of course, so only time to hit three range balls and then we're next on the tee. By the way my humble iron set is missing the 9-iron. I've looked all over for it but I'm afraid it's gone. To make fourteen clubs, I put another putter, an Odyssey blade in the bag. Just in case.
While I was driving on the 5 Freeway to the course, I actually had the thought--"Wouldn't it be cool if you could charge your phone on the golf cart?" In my naive world, such a thing didn't yet exist! When I got to the course, seeing this just about blew my mind.
The signature par 3 11th. Picturesque, right? But this is sort of where things went south for me. I totally came out of my tee shot and thinned it straight into the water. The shot from the drop area was no picnic either, touchy little half wedge to a tiny little fingertip of a green. I chunked the first attempt into the hazard. It didn't help that the brother-in-law kept trying to hurry me along, telling me to improve my lie when I dropped into a divot, and then to pick up the ball once I was on the green. I ended up making a 10. I know that's a lot of strokes but I didn't see why I couldn't at least finish out the hole with some dignity. It's not like I am doing this on every hole. There's not even anyone behind us for God's sake. All internal thoughts of course.
This brother-in-law and I have a basic disagreement on how a casual round should be played. That's been well established and even reared its ugly head way before we were even legally related. So I should've just sucked it up. But I let him know that I didn't appreciate being rushed on that 11th hole. He responded that it's more important in those situations to play fast, and that nobody he knows around there really bothers to follow every rule in a non-tournament situation. Well, that being the case, the fault's mine for not being a good guest and for going against common procedure on this course. As I said at the beginning, out of my comfort zone at a place like this.
The home hole. A daunting approach, which I fanned right. A weak double bogey to finish with a 98. Even though I'm wearing running shoes, and playing with a jalopy set of outdated golf clubs, it still stings. In my mind, on that first tee I still feel like anything's possible! But making a ten on a par 3 has a way of blowing up any scorecard. Oh well, it was golf, it was 18 holes, it was free, so I'm very grateful--I am not a complete scoundrel. Anyways frustrating as it was for me to shoot 98 my brother-in-law didn't fare any better and that had to really bite. It's his home course and he usually shoots much better. Two rough rounds; oh well, for my part I had fun overall, as I always do when I'm playing golf. This a fun course.
Well, I got in a full 18 under the California sun before I head back to the east coast, and that's a nice treat any way you look at it. Now, maybe before I go I'll get a chance to hit up the driving range and make some amends for that disaster from the other day...