OK, let me start off by saying I was never 100% serious when I would claim the following (but somewhere deep in my mind I thought it might have an ounce of truth to it):
The only reason I am a 12 handicapper and not a professional golfer is because the courses I play on are crap compared to the PGA courses, and they have a gallery and caddie to find every ball, help read, every putt, etc...
Well, this past Monday I was fortunate enough to play Congressional Country Club as part of the Media Day for Tiger Woods' Quicken Loans National coming up next month. The course was perfect, they supplied me with a forecaddie, and I was ready to make a run at the course record. And then reality set it!!!!!
Despite playing the white tees, which were about 6,200 yards (you know, almost 1,600 yards shorter than the Championship tees), it was obvious on my first hole (No. 11) that I was out of my league. My drive was hit decently, about 225 down the left side and disappeared in the rough. My next shot was gauged out about 80 yards (and I swung HARD) into the right rough, my third was decent, but shot across the green as though it landed on concrete. My fourth was a putt from the back fringe, and I was so scared to knock it off the front of the green, I left it about 20 feet short. My next was of course struck very solidly, and rolled about 8 feet past, then I was no where near the hole with my triple-bogey attempt (though I blamed the caddie on that one).
And the pattern continued, balls that hit the rough just stopped and sunk, balls that weren't struck perfectly with an approach almost always ran through, and chips from the rough were a guessing game for me. My normal 7 iron goes 155ish from the fairway, but maybe got me 100 closer if I swung hard from the rough there.
Yet the pros are knocking 7 irons close to 190 from the rough with ease. They are spinning and checking shots with their eyes closed. They are averaging 27-28 putts on these linolium-style greens. Oh yeah, and their approaches are coming in from about 50-60 yards further away from mine, even with their rear tees.
Just a different game, that's for sure!
But, I can't wait to try it again if given the chance!