Now that the Break 80 at Silver Lake Challenge is done, it's time to get back to playing golf for the original intended purpose: having fun. I'm kidding around of course. It's always fun. Nevertheless that last round--which lasted almost five hours and had me matched up with not one but TWO separate groups of undesirables--really strained at the boundary between fun and torment. It was like getting an early glimpse into the busy summer season, and I didn't like what I saw.
So why not take a little break from the madness of ghetto golf and self-imposed punishments, and enjoy the leisurely, low-stakes world of couples golf? Time to break out the map and throw a dart.
When selecting a course for Ms. L and myself I usually look for a couple of things. First, if at all possible it needs to be outside of New York City limits and B) it should be a suitably short yardage from the front tees, somewhere around 5000 yards or less.
Pinch Brook GC is located in suburban Jersey, outside of Newark and a short easy drive from NYC. Its length is definitely suitable for us. I suppose it's what they call an executive course--it's under 5000 from the back tees and a par 65. (Great--that'll give this tween handicaper a decent chance at breaking 80.) Executive course is such a dopey term that has got to go, if you ask me. It conjures images of office pricks on lunch break, wearing wing-tips, shirt sleeves rolled up, neckties flung over the shoulder. When in reality these shorter courses are, more so than conventional ones, ideal for a broad spectrum of humanity--particularly beginners, females, and younger players. But slap a sausage-party label like "executive course" on a place and you're probably repelling more potential visitors than you are attracting. There really is no good reason to ever speak the words "executive course" ever again.
I guess we're accustomed to hilly alpine type courses, because this one seems flat as a board. Not that there's anything wrong with that. It's actually a nice change being able to see everything in front of you.
The starter joined us up with a walking single. Playing with strangers is still new to Ms. L but luckily this guy was cool--a fast-playing, second-generation Irish guy with a pretty decent game. He and I had a tacit competition going on. I could swear that his compliments ("All day long!") soon became tinged with good-natured exasperation (I was fairway wooding it pretty good today). Finally at the tricky 9th hole after I cozied up a close lag putt for a tidy par he goes, "What are you, like a two handicap?!" (He also tried to compliment Ms. L's conscientiousness on the course, for which I stepped right up and took full credit.)
The greens here are big and I hit a lot of them, even with a few scrapey mishits. But they're also really humpy and challenging, which inspired a lot of three-putts. Still I was able to break 80, and the reduced par 65 gave Ms. L a reasonable shot at breaking 100, which she missed by three measly strokes. But she pounded several drives and made a natural par today. It was a superb time.
|This gopher was busy chomping away, totally not giving a shit.|