Part one; a series by Phil Weidinger
Standing on the tee with the entire hole and Job’s Peak reflected in the pond that runs 240 yards along the left side. What a way to end a round. Great golf, great views and a feeling that you’re a small speck in a special place.
It’s 449 yards from the tips and 441 from the Championship tees with the back tee providing a bit more elevation that’s worth the extra yards. The shot needs to carry about 190 – 200 yards to the fairway which then doglegs left to a right to left sloping green. A conservative tee shot toward safety and the first fairway and it’s too long a second shot for a realistic attempt at par, let alone birdie. Pull it or hook it and it’s time to re-load from the tee while you’re cursing yourself for blowing a great finishing hole – especially if you have an “Aloha” on the line. (Double or nothing on every bet.)
Carp are slapping the water with every leap – a reminder you certainly don’t need of what can happen to an errant shot. Take it toward the top of the peak and if you have the wherewithal to bring it back left you’re a better man than me. That left side falls away quickly toward the pond.
A sign of relief for a safe landing is soon followed by trepidation over club selection on the second shot. A late afternoon valley breeze means one more club and you know the ball will follow the terrain and move left after touching down. A back right pin makes it tough to get close, but anything within 15-feet is good, plus the putt will be uphill. A rushed swing has the ball going dead left into the bunker along the length of the green, and a long carry comes up 20 feet short.
The glory, cheers and adulation of the imaginary gallery dissipate as the par putt skirts the hole to the right and reality sets back in. Time for a cold one or three from the sports bar in the clubhouse overlooking No. 18 and the course. Tomorrow’s chase will soon be here…