I got out today and played a course I had never played. I've heard good things and it lived up. The course I've played the last two times isn't quite as nice, but for me it's been a good place to learn and I'll continue going there as it's remarkably less expensive than most of the courses in Richmond. As simple ball striking and swing mechanics are what I'm learning, a more forgiving course that I can afford to visit often makes sense. :)
I wanted to get out somewhere else today that was a full par 72 (the other is a par 66) and had some of the challenges you expect in a more difficult course (water, a lot of sand, doglegs, narrow fairways, fairways that force you to carry X yards, etc). Where I've played recently, First Tee Chesterfield, it feels like the entire width of the course is fairway. Today, at The Tradition Golf Club at the Crossings, most of the holes had some pretty narrow fairways, for me at least. There were some really beautiful views as well. I didn't have a great round but I really enjoyed being out there today. Being a Thursday, and not starting until after 1pm, I got a great deal on the green fee. But, they had just finished treating the greens that morning so they were all full of sand and that really effected my putting. Not that it's good anyway, it was worse than normal.
Given the narrow fairways, I hit my driver pretty good today. I can't complain all that much. I was 50% but even the ones I missed, I didn't miss badly and the vast majority were very playable. I found that I was hitting my fairway woods a lot today, which is normal for me but even than average today. Compared to First Tee, this course added an extra 2,000 yards. I don't have a lot of distance and so my drives would leave me with an 150+ yard approach consistently. For me that's a solid 5w or 3w when it's around 180+. I don't think I hit a 5i or 6i all day, and probably only hit the 7i a few times. The wind was pretty crazy today, so even some of the shorter par 3s where I'd be hitting a 7i or 5w, I was hitting a 5w or 3w respectively.
Today was pretty much sand day for me. I'm not used to playing on a course with a lot of sand traps, and today I seemed to find them often. I found the sand in 9 of the 18 holes today, in fact. That's not an area I practice a lot, so it was tough but a good learning experience. By the end, I had two great final holes and the 17th was a 3w into the sand behind the hole. My second shot was a good for about 5 feet from the cup, and I got the 1 putt (a rarity today...) for par. The 18th also yielded a par but wasn't from sand. It was a short pitch from in front of the green, but I think all the sand shots I had today helped on that one too.
Certainly a work in progress but a good way to end the day. I was proud of the fact that after the disaster that was hole 11, I was able to bogey hole 12 and par hole 13. I felt good about being able to shake that off and not let it effect me the rest of the day, and not even on the next hole. Today was a tough outing but I'm glad I played somewhere a little more challenging. I'm already looking forward to my next round.
Pictures of the course: