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Holy crap, I'm gonna play golf with Graeme McDowell! - Page 13

post #217 of 392
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valleygolfer View Post
 

I hope my 96 guess did not offend.....lol.....85 was not bad considering the circumstance. Who all was in your group? A few guys you normally play with? That would suck if you had to tell one of your normal 4 some that he couldn't go.

 

Had to be a blast.

 

Good God no, it didn't offend!  I really was hoping to keep it under 90 (with a private little, completely unrealistic dream of breaking 80) but mid-90's under the circumstances wasn't out of the question at all!  Truth be told, I'm actually pretty pleased with the 85 all things considered.

 

I'll try to have a full report later this morning.....

post #218 of 392
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Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lihu View Post

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bplewis24 View Post

 
Ho-hum, 63.  Funny how we have guys running around here shooting 75, thinking they're "this close" to becoming pro.



Yes. Not surprising, but he is ranked 12th in the world.

I had to keep reminding myself that.  Think about it.  I'm a decent player, but there are HUNDREDS of much better players here in the Orlando area alone.  There are only 11 better golfers in the ENTIRE STINKIN' WORLD than him.

After yesterday, I believe it.

Again, Orlando is a hotbed for the best golfers in the world. a2_wink.gif
post #219 of 392
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lihu View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bplewis24 View Post
 

Ho-hum, 63.  Funny how we have guys running around here shooting 75, thinking they're "this close" to becoming pro.

 



Yes. Not surprising, but he is ranked 12th in the world.

Hell the guy ranked 10,000 would probably shoot at least 67, a 75 even at this place would be a very bad day for any world ranked player, however I do get amused to say the least at some of our "soon to be tour pro's" around here, ( wish they would share whatever it is their smoking some times):blink:.

post #220 of 392
Quote:
Originally Posted by bplewis24 View Post
 

Ho-hum, 63.  Funny how we have guys running around here shooting 75, thinking they're "this close" to becoming pro.

Actually I think the guys who shoot 75 have a pretty good understanding of what it really takes. It's the clowns that shoot low 90's and then have a breakout 82 and just figure if they put in the same amount of work they have up until now the next step will happen just as easy.

post #221 of 392
Quote:
Originally Posted by flopster View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lihu View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bplewis24 View Post
 

Ho-hum, 63.  Funny how we have guys running around here shooting 75, thinking they're "this close" to becoming pro.

 



Yes. Not surprising, but he is ranked 12th in the world.

Hell the guy ranked 10,000 would probably shoot at least 67, a 75 even at this place would be a very bad day for any world ranked player, however I do get amused to say the least at some of our "soon to be tour pro's" around here, ( wish they would share whatever it is their smoking some times):blink:.

 

You exaggerate, the top 1000 golfers would shoot 67. The other 9000 would shoot 68. B-) 

 

10,000th? 69

post #222 of 392

PICS PICS PICS!!!!!

post #223 of 392

Had to have been freaky watching a pro shoot 63. If I shoot 78 I feel like I am swinging like Adam Scott, and I talk about it for a week, us hacks are pathetic.

post #224 of 392

I wonder if a pro would play better in a casual round like that or worse. Would be hard to tell unless the course was the same but it could go either way. I suppose it depends on whether less pressure equals more relaxed and playing better or if less pressure equals loss of competitive focus.

 

I would guess that he would play better in a Tour competition much like I play much better in a club championship than playing a round with my wife, but I'm not sure.

post #225 of 392
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lihu View Post
 

 

You exaggerate, the top 1000 golfers would shoot 67. The other 9000 would shoot 68. B-) 

 

10,000th? 69

 

Although this is somewhat of a thread-hijack, it is slightly related to the subject...but I'll still make it brief:

 

A few months ago I was looking at country clubs, and several offered to allow me to play 9 holes with current members.  At one of them I was paired with a guy who was a +2 handicap.  Through 8 holes on 72.0/135 rated course (Granite Bay Golf Club, Granite Bay, CA), he was 5 under.  He bogied the 9th hole (hit into the line of the water hazard, played it out, missed a 10 foot putt for par) to finish 4 under through 9.  He admitted it was the easier 9, but let's assume he plays the back 9 at even par and shoots 68.  That's a guy who is nowhere close to the pro circuit, and he shoots 68 on a tough track, and he barely even warmed up.  

 

My guess is that Graeme, without making anything over 10 feet, shooting 63 as a top 12 player in the world is not abnormal for him, but neither would it be abnormal for the 100th ranked guy, or the 250th ranked guy.  On bad days, sure they could be significantly higher.  Spencer Levin is a local guy to my area.  I know he holds the official course record at Valley Hi CC with a 63 or a 65.  My understanding is he routinely shoots anywhere from there to high 60s.  He's a top 60-ish player on tour I believe.  Those guys probably all live in that scoring range.

post #226 of 392

There are approximately 60 million people who currently play the game of golf worldwide, I played last year with a +3 player and he said he is in the top 1%. 600,000 players in that top 1%. There is a huge amount of very good players in the world.

post #227 of 392
Quote:
Originally Posted by flopster View Post
 

There are approximately 60 million people who currently play the game of golf worldwide, I played last year with a +3 player and he said he is in the top 1%. 600,000 players in that top 1%. There is a huge amount of very good players in the world.

 

 

I thought the number of scratch players is on the order of 0.1%, and the man you played is a +3. That percentage is probably a lot less than that.

 

If so, the percentage might be more like in the top 0.05% (???) which is still 30,000 players.

 

Man, just thinking about this and the fact that the top 30,000 and the top 10,000 players might have as little as a couple strokes difference.

post #228 of 392
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lihu View Post
 

 

 

Man, just thinking about this and the fact that the top 30,000 and the top 10,000 players might have as little as a couple strokes difference.

 

And what's even crazier is that, in a casual round, on any given day, the #10,000 guy can beat the #12 guy in the world.  We even see it happen in the US Open where some kid (who is likely in the top several hundred players???) will outplay several people in the top 25.  But usually, in tournaments, over the course of 2-4 days, is where those top 10, 25, and 100 guys separate themselves.

post #229 of 392
Thread Starter 

Alright, here we go.....

 

Wow, what a day!  I was so stoked for the day, that over the last couple of days I've had to remind myself that things like this seldom really live up to the hopes and expectations you've built around them.  I needn't have worried.  Remember the scene in City Slickers where they're talking about their "best day ever"?  Well, this one was right up there for me.....maybe after my wedding and birth of our child, but really, not that far behind.  ;-)

 

When they initially called, they had said that it was going to be a small group of loyal customers that they wanted to show some additional appreciation towards.  She mentioned a 4-some, so in my mind I was hoping for 4 of us and Graeme, but really thinking that there might even be several groups of us schmucks, with Graeme wandering back and forth, playing the occasional hole with each group.  Maybe even, heaven forbid, some kind of silly scramble type thing.  Not so.....

 

We were asked to be there at 12:30, and I pulled up to the bag drop at Lake Nona GCC  http://www.lakenona.com/  just a few minutes early.  I was welcomed and directed to the main entrance to the clubhouse where I found two nice young ladies, Tamara and Lindsay,  from GolfNow chatting with two other golfers.  I walked up and before I could introduce myself, Tamara said, "You must be David, you'll be playing with these two gentlemen, Bill and John.  Bill is from Tampa, and a pretty big social media buff.  He's the one that was mentioned a couple of pages back.....he does some blogging and reviews and such.  John was flown in from Philly......he was tailgating at that Eagles game on Sunday in all the snow.  I got the feeling that GolfNow picked him just to get him down to some nice weather!

 

We were then handed a large bag with a shirt, shoe bag, hat, towel, a dozen Srixon Z Stars, a $100 AMEX card and a nice letter thanking us for our loyal patronage.  We dropped the goodie bags off at our cars, then met in the Grille Room to get the scoop on the rest of the day.  At this point, it's still just the 3 of us and the two ladies, so I asked how many other players there would be and they said none.......it's just the 3 of you and Graeme today, we'll meet up with him down at the range in about 30 minutes!  We were then asked if we minded if the entire day was photographed and used in future GolfNow/Golf Channel ads and promotions, and asked to sign photo releases.  Needless to say, we were happy to do so.   At that point, 2 professional photographers joined us.  From that moment on, just about every swing and ass scratch was photographed.....my wife's last admonition to me out the door was "don't pee on the course".  Turns out, she was right!

 

After a couple of group photos at the clubhouse, we loaded up in individual carts for each of us and went to the range.  They set us up on one end of the range, and we warmed up for about 10 minutes, until Graeme rolled up in his personal golf cart, tricked out in a Ryder Cup motif.  We all shook hands and I asked him if he had lost a bet that resulted in him having to play with our happy little group.  He laughed, and said that he actually enjoyed these things because it allowed him to practise on the course, which he preferred over range work.  We took a bunch of pics (the GolfNow ladies offered to take pics with our own cell phones/cameras too), hit a few more balls, hit a couple of putts, and headed to the first tee.

 

Graeme.JPG

 

A couple more pics on the tee box and we were ready to go.  I asked Graeme if we were going to play a game, and he laughed and said of course.  He said, let's play a group Stableford and asked for our handicaps.  I was a 6, John was 11, and Bill plays off of 18.  Graeme said he'd play off of +5.  He also said he'd play the same tees as us, at 6771, rather than the tips at 7200. In retrospect, I think we were hustled a little at +5!  I asked about stakes and Bill and John looked like they wanted to swallow their tongues.  Graeme laughed again, and said we'd figure it out later.....a guy about as casual and down-to-earth as you'd ever find.

 

The first hole is a pretty straight forward little par-4.....410 yards with a little curve to the right with bunkers right and left that start at about 200 yards and end at about 280.  OB left, and woods right that separate the 1st from the 9th fairways.  Graeme took the honor and smoked a nice, high draw right down the middle about 280ish.  I stepped up and promptly blasted it OVER the trees on the right.  I was about to pull out a provisional, when Graeme said not to bother, I'd find it in the middle of the 9th fairway, with a decent angle in, but blind, and he was right!  A blind 6-iron left me pin high in a deep grass bunker short-sided left.  Hit a really nice little flop out of the bunker, but it rolled about 15 feet past.  Nice putt back up the hill, but it stayed out.  I RAN to the next tee happy with a bogey to start.  The other two made 6 and 8 and Graeme hit his approach to 6 feet and lipped the putt out on the high side.

 

I won't try to run down all the holes, but a couple come to mind.

 

Number 5:  A short, 333 par-4 that dogs to the right around a lake.  I hit hybrid down the middle, almost going through the fairway, but end up ok with 128 to the pin.   Graeme says nice shot, but this is how you play this one......and jacks it right at the green.  By my rangefinder, the carry over the water was 285, and he must have carried it with 30 yards to spare.  He left himself 10 yards from the front, with a middle pin sitting on top on the second tier.  Promptly chips in for eagle 2.  I knock mine off the back edge into 3" deep Bermuda rough, and end up with 5.  Not my proudest moment from 128 yards, but pretty well ignored because of the deuce.

 

Number 9:  I got this one right......maybe because I had seen it before after my tee shot on one?  :8)    Par-5, 529 that turns a little left.  Narrow, but no real trouble except for some cross bunkers about 120 out from the green.  Nice drive, nice solid 3-wood that left me 80 yards to the back pin.  Hit a nice low, spinning gap-wedge to 8 feet right and exactly pin high, and made the putt for my only birdie of the day.  Graeme was on in 2 and bombed his eagle put 8 feet past the hole, then jammed the comeback in.  Routine 2-putt.

 

Number 13:  Pic  below.  That's Henrik Stenson's new house being built to the left of the green.  168 to the pin which is to the far right of the pic.  Graeme hits 7-iron and almost immediately says "guys, we're going to the bar!"  One hop and stop, 9 inches from the hole.  I make a nice up and down from that Sahara on the right.

 

 

 

Number 14:  Little 310 par-4.  Hard dog to the right around the woods.....pic below.  Graeme says, this is a fun little hole.  The hole is directly over the woods on the right, over the bathrooms.  He says, the aim point is just to the left of that big, tall tree in the middle.  He hits it right at the tree and it draws about 10 feet....probably didn't miss the tree by more than 5 feet, and he says "damnit, that's too far left!"  We get up there and find him pin high, 10 feet left of the green.  Another short hole that I manage to make 5 on.  Of course, I took a little more traditional route to get there.

 

 

 

Here's the final scorecard.  As I said, I shot 85, with 2 doubles and a birdie.  Graeme shot 63 and I'm serious, he really didn't putt well.  He had the eagle, and birdied every par 5, but hit all but one in 2.  The other he was just off of and chipped it close.....and hit it stiff on the par 3 13th.  He only birdied one par-4 all day!

 

 

 

Scores on top, Stableford points on the bottom......and yep, that is his signature attesting to the card.  :-)

 

 

There's more to tell about the day, but I know there are a lot of you looking to hear some of the details, so I'll quit here for this post and fill in some additional details about the day later.  Needless to say, one that I'm gonna remember for a loooooonng time!

post #230 of 392
What a great day. Unbelievable!!
post #231 of 392

Very cool, just wow.

post #232 of 392

That is fantastic, David!  Good wrap up too.  Can't wait to hear more.

 

P.S.  Just curious ... what is the penalty for signing a scorecard that was incorrectly dated? :-P

post #233 of 392
That's so cool (and great pics too).
post #234 of 392

Really, Really COOL !!!!!!!!!!

 

Club Rat

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