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Ben

Mini Tour play.

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Hey Ben,

So I'll be in Palm Desert from the 14-20. I am looking at playing in either the Mira Loma or Brookside Pepsi Tour event, are you going to play? Any opinions on either of those courses?. I only have a day free so would like to find one that would be a good time. Anyways if it all works out hopefully I'll get a chance to see you there. Good Luck!

PS - Congrats on the T-1 last week.

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Originally Posted by Canuck

Hey Ben,

So I'll be in Palm Desert from the 14-20. I am looking at playing in either the Mira Loma or Brookside Pepsi Tour event, are you going to play? Any opinions on either of those courses?. I only have a day free so would like to find one that would be a good time. Anyways if it all works out hopefully I'll get a chance to see you there. Good Luck!

PS - Congrats on the T-1 last week.



Stick with the Brookside event. The turnout on the weekend events have been awful, like ten guys. At least when I used to play them. Now I just stick to the Brookside Twilight event for Pepsi Tour play. Its been getting over thirty players the last two weeks.

And thanks. That felt good. Couldn't keep it up this week, but I did at least finish in the money.

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Any updates Ben? Haven't heard anything from this thread in awhile?

Im not sure if this has been answered, but I was curious what you thought about some of these tours around that go based off your handicap. I know of one here in Texas called "The Fairway Golf Tour". Something to do during college to "pass the time". Whats your view on them?

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Originally Posted by CoryMartin

Any updates Ben? Haven't heard anything from this thread in awhile?

Im not sure if this has been answered, but I was curious what you thought about some of these tours around that go based off your handicap. I know of one here in Texas called "The Fairway Golf Tour". Something to do during college to "pass the time". Whats your view on them?



Just been a slave to the man lately, unfortunately. Many shop hours, not many events. I'm kinda annoyed at the whole situation. I'm getting in when I can now a days. I do have US Open qualifying coming up, May 14th, but that's about it... Totally wack. I am excited about my chances though. I have been putting work in when I can, and at least still getting into friendly competition rounds. I am draining putts left and right, been working on iron play a lot too. Feel good. Just need to put it to use...

There's an indexed tour out here called the Pepsi Tour. I think any way to get into competition will benefit anyone. Its a great way to put something else on your game rather then skins or food or beers with your friends. There are also net amateur events, at least here in SoCal there are. I'd have to imagine there is in TX too. I say, go for it!

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Originally Posted by Canuck

Hey Ben,

So I'll be in Palm Desert from the 14-20. I am looking at playing in either the Mira Loma or Brookside Pepsi Tour event, are you going to play? Any opinions on either of those courses?. I only have a day free so would like to find one that would be a good time. Anyways if it all works out hopefully I'll get a chance to see you there. Good Luck!

PS - Congrats on the T-1 last week.



You're pretty close to being here. You can come play my course with me too if you'd like? Maybe a Tuesday or Wednesday...

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Hey,

Spoke with the Pepsi tour admin staff and they said I can just show up to sign up for the event, so thats nice. I am just trying to figure out a schedule for which day I will play but should be. I might not enough time to join you at your course but I will definitely take you up on that on another visit. Same goes for you, if you can make it up to Van my home course is top rated and I will make a time for you. Any ways I will drop you a line when I get down there.

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Originally Posted by Canuck

Hey,

Spoke with the Pepsi tour admin staff and they said I can just show up to sign up for the event, so thats nice. I am just trying to figure out a schedule for which day I will play but should be. I might not enough time to join you at your course but I will definitely take you up on that on another visit. Same goes for you, if you can make it up to Van my home course is top rated and I will make a time for you. Any ways I will drop you a line when I get down there.


Yeah, that's kinda the way down here. Even on the Golden State you can walk up and get in. More money for the pot! Let me know whats what

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Well, still pretty slow in the way of competition rounds. I did play a pro-am today however. It was at Hacienda CC in La Habra Heights. This course is legit! Built in 1920. Big mature trees. Almost tight fairways, just fair. Plush but manageable rough. Smooth greens. I managed to avoid all but one bunker, which was a fairway bunker and I was able to get a GIR there. 6600y from the Blues (73.3/139), there's a Black tee too. I started out hot; par, birdie, birdie. Shotgun start on hole 16. Good look on 1 and 2. Then I went away from hitting controlled half shots, punches and cut-off shots. When I did go back to that shot I was getting in birdie chances. I guess I shoulda stuck with that plan the entire round. Oh well, now I know. I ended up +3, but for as much as I slopped the ball around, I really made it look pretty. That's probably the best round I've had hitting the ball so poorly. Kept it in play and managed to take advantage of a few holes. This was all while getting to the course with 30minutes to spare and having only rolled a few putts. No range warm-up.

http://www.haciendagolfclub.com/html/index.cfm?CID=136#

http://www.haciendagolfclub.com/userfiles/file/Hacienda_Golf_Club_Scorecards.pdf

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Hey Ben,

So I totally ran out of time when I was down in PS. Also it looked like they cancelled the event at Brookside that I was hoping to play in when I was there?? Oh well, I got out at Mission Hills so it was still nice. Not nearly long enough though, I sure miss the desert sun. Once I got back home I have had a few tourney's, I have been hitting the ball really solid. However my driver has decided to complete crap the bed on me. I can't hit a fairway to save my life and it is costing me big time. I know its me but I just can't take range session to the course the last 2 weeks, when it comes to the driver. Man oh man, I have got to get this under control soon.

So when are you coming North for a few tourney's or at least a game or two??

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Hey Ben, So when are you coming North for a few tourney's or at least a game or two??

Its not me, but a friend of mine is up your way for a Canadian Women's Tour event. http://golfcanada.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/rcga12/event/rcga122/contest/10/leaderboard.htm Look out for Moah!

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Today was the day, US Open local qualifying. Great tee shots, good putting, questionable approach shots, lack-luster chipping = +4, 75. Better luck next year. damn.

I really felt good this morning too. Had a great day of practice at the host course, Oakmont CC (74.6/138/7015) the day before. Spent two hours putting and played the front 9 in the late afternoon. On top of that I have experience at this course. I've played here about six times now. The first assistant, Donny, used to work at my club, and my head pro is pals with the head pro here... Anyway, I was ready!

Started on 10. Super pulled one into trees off the tee, hit it solid at least! Hit a great 4iron to 105y then hit a wedge to 20'. Put a great roll on the par putt but it died on the low side. Feel good bogey actually. Hole 2(11) is a par 3 that was playing up. Short is dead, big drop off in front. From 139y and into a 1/2 club breeze, I hit a 9i to 4'. Downhill, good read, GREAT greens, Center cup! back to even. 3(12) is a good hole. Hit a nice, stinging fade drive to within 8i range. Kinda hung that 8 out to the right. Perfect distance though. Didn't get up and down... 4(13) A bit of a duplicate to the last hole. Long, straight par4. Kinda skank popped my drive to 194y to the pin. 183 yto the front from a bit of an awkward stance, I hit a 6, 184y no roll... Anyway, nice two-putt, nice par. 5(14) One of my favorite holes. 394y par 4. Dogleg right. Frozen rope 2h tee shot. So solid! I was left with 157y to a back pin. Figured I only needed to hit it 150y and it was downwind a bit. Tried to hit a high, bleeding fade 8, tried. I ended up hitting a high, laser beam 8. Perfect distance, wrong line. Crazy kick long. Hit a really nice flop from there to 12' but missed the putt... I still like that hole though! 6(15) Another fun dogleg right par 4. This one has a concrete river basin running along the right. And big oak trees just left of that further guard anything a bit right. I cranked a fade out there. A bit more right then I was looking for, but it worked out nice. The rules official out there said it was the best drive he had seen yet. I had 132y to a pin back and left. Into that 1/2 club breeze. Got a bit aggressive with the line on my 9iron. Great distance again, but pulled it, missed the green left. A funky chip left me 7' and I made that putt for par. 7(16) Fun par 3. 144y, green slightly above the level of the tee and big, deep bunkers surround the green add to its daunting nature. The pin was at 149y and still into that 1/2 club wind. I can hit a full 8 160y that would have got me pin high, but the pin was right on a down slope. I felt like that 8 would have spun back forever. So I look to hit a high, drawing, cut-off 7. Well, it was all of the above, and pure! So pure, that the wind did not, even, touch, it. Flies on a perfect line to the back of the green and kicks to what I think is just long. We get back there to find that it is just long, but also in one of those deep bunkers. I had no idea it was back there too?! Anyway, I was feeling this shot! Took some practice swing in the grass, got the visual, a few more practice swings in the bunker, go. So pretty, looked like it had a chance of going in for a quick second. Ends up 3' just right. Three old dudes were there watching too. I made the putt, they applauded! That felt good! 8(17) Nice drive, solid approach to 25', 3-putt!! Bogey. Done with it, don't want to talk about it. 9(18) This hole is dumb, 646y par 5. Dogleg left off the tee, then dogleg right to the green. Yes, I just said that. Huge old trees guarding anything that doesn't fit. My tee shot didn't fit. It was solid, but stayed right. Had a gnarly thick lie in the rough. Chopped a 5iron out, to the right side of the fairway. The huge old trees show their might. I was 200y+ out and no look at the green. I can cut the ball hard too, but I had nothing. Ended up hitting a great 8iron down the fairway which left me a nice look from 108y right up to the hole from the middle of the fairway. I pick the wrong shot and only manage to hit it to 35', The green is sloped from back to front and it just spun too too much. Anyway, bogey there puts me at +4 after the front... great.

To the back/front! Hole 10(1) Par 5 great, time to get this back! It requires a bit of finesse off the tee. Its a dogleg left where the sensible play is to hit 3 wood, or try and bend a 3wood around the corner, the fairway runs out on a straight line from the tee at 270y. There are tall, burly pine trees and OB left so bombing a driver over the corner is not really an option. I want to crank a high 3 wood on a tight line over the corner. I crank it, its high, but just pulled. Its safe, I knew it would be, but just too far left. Thick lie 3 iron chop to the right rough, 58* wedge from 72y chop to middle of the green, solid 2-putt and a par... 11(2) Fun hole time! 354y, hard dogleg left. Fairway runs out at about 240y from the tee. I try the same shot I did on the last tee shot, but this time with a 3 iron. This one worked! ooh it was sweet. Nutted, laser beam! I'm left with 103y, this pin is front right. With a 54* in hand I'm thinking pretty aggressive at this point, needing some birdies. I hit an okay shot. Kind of safety pushed one to 20'. Gave it a good roll, didn't drop. 12(3) Beast par-3, one of the hardest holes on the course! 187y, elevated tee over the concrete ravine. Sliver of a green, long from front to back, bunkers guard both sides. Oaks left. I hit a nice 6 iron but forgot about the wind, It was a tight draw that got caught and pushed left of the green. Perfect distance though! Found myself needing to hit a run-out flop shot. Hit the flop but it flew, luckily it turned into a spinny flop and I was left with a bendy 9'er. Made it, nice up and down, nice par! 13(4) Solid par-4, 374y. Something out of a video game really. Straight, narrow. A fairway bunker guards the left landing area starting at 270y, 300y to carry. I suppose some have that. I don't. Particularly not into the 1/2club wind that is back. I opt for 3wood off the tee. I crank it right at that bunker. Left myself 15y short of it. That was another pretty one from today. And so was the approach, finally, thankfully! I hit a laser, punch 7 from 155y to 4', center cup the putt. Finally another birdie! And just in time, cause hole 14(5) is another tough par 3.194y, propped up, flat green. Twin deep bunkers left and right of the green. Still got that 1/2club thing going, I pull 5 iron, thinking trap laser. Pin high, 3'. Second time today an official was there and I was given shot of the day title! It looked so good from the tee, I even had to call out a "go-in"! I roll the putt in center cup with no delay. Back to back birdies! Back to +2, and feeling on top of the world at that point. 15(6) Shortish par 4, but narrowwwww, concrete ravine right. I go for 3 wood and think the same as the last tee shot, trap laser. Gorgeous. At this point I was floating on air. I honestly think I floated to my ball in the middle of the fairway. I was 115y to the pin, not enough for my 54*, cut-off PW time. Little pull, 30', 2-putt, par. Can't be angry with a par. 16(7) Time for a little risk-reward. Again, shortish par 4, narrow, concrete ravine right. 297y... What to do...? The risk part; pot bunkers guarding the green from pulled driver tee shot. Starting at 40y short. I go for no risk! ha. 3 iron that I pull just a hair, I'm blocked by a smallish pine so can't take a direct line at the pin, but manage my 54* to 10' right and 15' short. Gave the putt a good look, but it died going uphill. Alright, par 5, time again. Hole 17(8) at 573y isn't a walk in the park though. Its a dogleg right. A straight drive won't kill you, but I didn't hit a straight drive. It goes right, and into the trees. All I have is a Seve-esque escape shot through an opening in some trees. I'm actually good at these, for some reason I can see a hole in a tree(s) and know what club's trajectory I can get through or over it... I have to admit, its a handy talent. I find myself needing it a bit too much though, ha. Anyway, I knock it through and to the fairway. Finishing 140y to a back pin. In hindsight, PW was the right play, but it didn't feel right at the time so I went soft 9iron. You know those shots that you swing so smooth and absolutely nuke a ball, this is one of those shots. Unfortunately. I don't get up and down and bogey a par 5, the 17th hole, after all that work... It was right there that it hit me, "I'm not going to advance, I'm not going to the US Open". I knew I couldn't do anything to make it through. But, I suck it up and walk to the next tee. Another one of those tough holes! Holes 18, 3 now 9. BEASTS! This monster, 18(9) , is a 465y par 4. Dogleg left that plays uphill on the tee shot. Then uphill and into the wind on the approach. The range, native area and huge trees guard the left, a bunker at 280y guards the run-out where the dogleg where the fairway ends. I always hit driver here, and I always hit it in that bunker. This time I figure I'll take a different approach. Play it like a short par 5. A nice 3 wood to 230y or so, a nice hybrid on or just short, a chip or a putt for par/birdie. I hit the solid 3 wood, hit an okay 2h to short right, hit an okay pitch to 5' and get burned by a misread. What a burn, like sting burn in my face. I totally thought I had that putt read. I put on the perfect stroke and it just rolled over the the edge and passed the cup.

So, that's it. One goal of 2012 come and gone. Kind of sad, but I just have to keep going. I hit way too many good shots today. I know its in there.

I'm caddying for my buddy Sam for his tomorrow. This kid is legit! He's playing at Industry Hills.

Oakmont Leaderboard: http://www.ghintpp.com/scga/TPPOnlineScoring/ResultsStroke.aspx?id=539

All SoCal qualifiers: http://www.ghintpp.com/scga/tpponlinegolfer/default.aspx?SeasonID=13

Oakmont Scorecard: http://www.oakmontcc.com/page/62215_Scorecards.asp

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Originally Posted by Ben

Its not me, but a friend of mine is up your way for a Canadian Women's Tour event. http://golfcanada.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/rcga12/event/rcga122/contest/10/leaderboard.htm Look out for Moah!

Hey Ben,

I will keep track and best of luck to Moah. I have a friend Sue Kim who is playing as well in the tournament.

Tough go at Oakmont, there have been a bunch of good scores all across the states for the qualifiers. High 60's seem to be the only way to get in. Anymore big upcoming plans for tour qualifiers or big tournaments in your near future?

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Nah, not much going on elementz... I've played in one, maybe two events since my last post here.

Quite honestly I was very close to giving up on the whole game. My work schedule just doesn't fit in with the tournament schedule of the Golden State Tour. With nothing to practice for I gave up playing in favor of caddying. I have a super talented young kid that is a very close friend of mine. So, instead of taking time off work to play in an event myself, I would take time off to help him on his bag. We've had a bit of success. We got to the US Am last year, qualifying is coming up for that. He placed 4th in the Pasadena City Championship this year. Made it to the Cal State Am, Cal State Open. And we've got out eyes set on PGA Tour Q School which starts at the end of September.

As far as my game, I've played golf maybe ten times in two months. Forget about hitting balls on the range or shortgame practice. I missed it, sorta, but not really. The desire left me. Like I mentioned I did play those two events, I just figured I'd go out and try since they were at courses I liked. I think I shot +4 at one and maybe a couple over at the other. Certainly not in the money. I'm in a bit of a tough spot at work that my shifts are on days that most of the good GSTour events are held, and we are so short staffed at the club where I work that its hard to get time off. None of us feel good about leaving the rest of the staff with the workload.

I had a serious talk with myself about what I want to be doing. I have full faith in my kid and his ability, and would love to be his caddy. My friend Zeke is out there on John Huh's bag and every time he's back in town he tells me how great it is out there. That being said, I also came to the realization that I can't give up on myself. I work at a course which I have full access to. The days are long, the weather is great, I need to find time to keep my game sharp. There has to be something coming up in the future for me. I did hit balls for 45 minutes this morning, then got out on the course after work (6pm) and managed to jump around and play 15 holes. I shot -4 with one bogey, three birdies and holed out a wedge on a par4 for eagle. Today was definitely a step [back] in the right direction!

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Originally Posted by Ben

Nah, not much going on elementz... I've played in one, maybe two events since my last post here.

Quite honestly I was very close to giving up on the whole game. My work schedule just doesn't fit in with the tournament schedule of the Golden State Tour. With nothing to practice for I gave up playing in favor of caddying. I have a super talented young kid that is a very close friend of mine. So, instead of taking time off work to play in an event myself, I would take time off to help him on his bag. We've had a bit of success. We got to the US Am last year, qualifying is coming up for that. He placed 4th in the Pasadena City Championship this year. Made it to the Cal State Am, Cal State Open. And we've got out eyes set on PGA Tour Q School which starts at the end of September.

As far as my game, I've played golf maybe ten times in two months. Forget about hitting balls on the range or shortgame practice. I missed it, sorta, but not really. The desire left me. Like I mentioned I did play those two events, I just figured I'd go out and try since they were at courses I liked. I think I shot +4 at one and maybe a couple over at the other. Certainly not in the money. I'm in a bit of a tough spot at work that my shifts are on days that most of the good GSTour events are held, and we are so short staffed at the club where I work that its hard to get time off. None of us feel good about leaving the rest of the staff with the workload.

I had a serious talk with myself about what I want to be doing. I have full faith in my kid and his ability, and would love to be his caddy. My friend Zeke is out there on John Huh's bag and every time he's back in town he tells me how great it is out there. That being said, I also came to the realization that I can't give up on myself. I work at a course which I have full access to. The days are long, the weather is great, I need to find time to keep my game sharp. There has to be something coming up in the future for me. I did hit balls for 45 minutes this morning, then got out on the course after work (6pm) and managed to jump around and play 15 holes. I shot -4 with one bogey, three birdies and holed out a wedge on a par4 for eagle. Today was definitely a step [back] in the right direction!

That sounds tough man!  I personally think it's great to help the kid!  Passing info down, relaying your knowledge to help other people grow in the game, etc....that's about as good as it gets!  And you aren't away from what you love, even when you are caddying.

After saying that, I agree that you don't need to give up on yourself.  You have too much talent to just call it quits.  Maybe you don't have time to play tournaments like you did.  Maybe you will spend more time helping out as a caddy.  But that doesn't mean you shouldn't hit the range and keep your game sharp.  I'm no where near your level and some things came up in my life late 2010 that caused me to quit playing as much.  Once you are at that point and get in a routine of not playing, it's easy for the desire to leave you.  I was in the same spot and it was just recently that I have gotten fired up about the game again.  I have a 10 year old that I am trying to teach the game to and it has helped get me motivated again.  Knowing that he has the natural talent to do well and is still in raw form and the fact that I feel I have a good understanding of the game, I'm really excited about getting him to the next level.  Who knows....me and him may be winning some 2 man's in our area in a few years.

Keep at it man!  It sounds like you are on the right track with your game and with caddying.  Good luck with whatever path you decide to take

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Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Back in the Saddle. Played the weekly Pepsi Tour event at Brookside today. CW Koiner Course #1 7228y 74.8/134 15pars, 2 bogeys 1 birdie add up to +1, 73 and a tie for 5th.

I work in the shop from 7am-12pm, tee times start at 12, but there have been some big crowds this year, so I text the tournament director to ask him to get me in one of the last groups. I hop in my car, stop at 7-11 for a protein bar and a gatorade, then jetted the 25 minute drive to Pasadena. Got to the exit when he text me saying that I was in group 8 and group 6 was on the tee. So I grab my clubs from the trunk, save the extra time in putting on golf shoes and just head to him in my regular Adidas shoes with my entry fee in my hand. 5 minutes later I tee off.

Hole 1 is a breeze. 304y, dead straight, no real trouble. On the tee I tell myself not to get crazy and just smooth one out there. I do, end up with 40ish yards, didn't even pace it off. My wedges aren't sharp enough right now where +/- 10 yards isn't going to effect my shot, so I dink one up to the green to 30', roll up the birdie chance to tap in range, and that's how it starts. Standing on the 2nd tee I think to myself, My swing thought for the day will be to make a nice finished backswing and that I should go with what I know and play my baby fade today. So, I line up down the left side of the fairway, get to the top and smooth through the shot. Sweet little fade to the left center of the fairway. I have 127y left to the middle, so I grab my PW and aim for the middle of the green, pin is back right (perfect, right?!) I hit my spot, but decel a bit, I find the green bit it spins from the top teir to the bottom. I give the 40' birdie a good look, but it runs by 4.5'. A tester on hole 2, I got the line, I love short putts, tester nothin'. Center cup, lets go. Hole 3 is a bit of a beast. 474y, pretty narrow, oaks tree right, fairway bunker left. I'm playing the fade today. Aimed to the right side of the fairway bunker, felt the good transition. Left side of the fairway, 187y to the pin. 6 iron to the front of the green, chip, tap in, solid par. Hole 4 , built for fades, except I pull it just a hair and find myself literally a foot from the fairway in the left rough. I've got 156y to the hole that is tucked just over a ridge that sends anything short to the front of the green and 40' away. An 8iron will get there, but I can't tell if I have a flyer, or if the kikuya grass will grab. Knowing kikuya I side with the later and grab my 7iron thinking of a solid cut-off stroke. I pink my spot, and hit what looks like the perfect shot, except, its a flyer, dang. It catches a piece of the green but gets shot long. I don't get up and down. Bogey. Whatever. I now know that chacing a bogey and trying to force something to happen usually doesn't work. So I let it go, and stick to being patient. Hole 5 is risk-reward. 363y. bunker at 260y (carry) guards the right side of the fairway, bunkers at 285y guard anything that stays a little left. This hole usually plays into the wind, and was today. I usually start my driver at the left bunker and fade it around the right bunker. I hit this drive solid, and it was fading through the slot, but it must have caught a weird bounce and I ended up in the 285y bunker. I had 80y, thankfully to a back pin, This green slopes quite sever from back to front. So a 3/4 58* wedge, if not hit the right distance is going to spin crazy to the front. Anything long and it actually kicks to the back, then pin was tucked too far back to get too aggressive. I pull off the shot nicely, great line, but its just too skecthy to hit it long. solid two-putt from 35' and I'm out of there. Par 5 time! I fan a fade out and leave myself 280y to the front edge. I hit a really solid 3w from there and end up right and short, 40y to the front 47y to the pin. I want to hit this one 41y and let it roll to the pin. I hit it 39.5y and the kikuya grabs it and stops in on the front. Okay attempt at birdie. but settle with a par. Hole 7 is beastly too. 441y, bunker right, hazard left, still into that wind. DLIII said "when its breezy, swing easy" I melted a fade out there, so nice. This green is a sliver! probably 20 paces from left to right, with two tiers and the pin is on the top. I've got 157y to the tier, 165y to the pin and 172y to the back of the green. My buddy is right behind my and I see him hit a solid drawing 7iron, that doesn't get to the tier. That takes 7i out of my hand. I choke down on my 6i line up to the middle of the green and hit the most gorgeous, solid stinger thats tracking to the back right pin. Oh it was sexy! It hits just passed pin high and rolls out to the back fringe. I miss the putt, but will take a par. tough hole. Hole 8 , another beast, in the for of a 193y par-3. tall eucalyptus trees and a hazard left (the LA [cement] "river", can't tell you how many times I've pulled shots and seen people pull shots in there) plus there a lake that guards the green from the middle to the right side. With the pin in the back and still being into the wind I opt for a a 4i that I want to hit like that 6i on the hole before. On the tee and about to hit I hear a dude hit his driver that seconds later, and in my take-away smacks the crap out of a tree. My Tiger-like control takes over and I abort the shot. Up over it again, I kinda skank one to the front of the green which rolls up to about 15ft, go me!! Just like a planned. I got a tad aggressive with the putt and lip out on the high side. That would have been great to take advantage of! Oh well. Patience Ben. Hole 9 , nothing crazy, just have to make sure you keep the tee shot left, HUGE eucalyptus tree guards the front right of the green. I kept it left, had 130y in from what looked like a flyer lie. Smooth PW should be right. But this was one of those smooth shots that get hit WAY too good. so it ended up at 140 yards. I two putted though. +1 after 9.

Hole 10 on paper isn't too nuts 422y, straight away, par-4 kinda big fairway. But for some reason standing on the tee I don't have a good feel for the hole. I line up for my fade, and pull one into the trees left. I get to my ball to see that I have no shot to the green. That LA "river" guards the front, no chance of punching one low and running it to the green, which maybe was a good thing? Although I'm very good as escape shots, its the Seve in me. So I take my medicine and chip forward, leaving 80y to a pin that on the right. The wind has switched directions, and its blowing into us again. Right now I'm licking my chops. My 58* goes 90y, the pin is on a nice little back to front slope that breaks right so I can hit a nice full 58* just passed the pin, let the wind hold it a bit and let the green take it back. It did just that and I ended up 5' a little farther then I wanted left then I wanted, didn't quite take the break like I though. Anyway, this was a bit of a tester here, but I like left to right putts. I tell myself to take a nice stroke and all should be fun. The stroke was a little questionable, but the putt still dropped. Great par save! 11, Downwind par-5, time for a birdie! Its a bit long 559y, but very narrow! I want to bomb one high to the trees on the left and let the fade take it in. I super pull my drive and it hits some trees about 100y from the tee, great! Thankfully the 15th runs parallel (in the opposite direction) and I have a shot to just blast one down the 15th. I hit a solid 3w considering the lie, but I push it and it ends up in the tree line. SO I'm left with 200y, no chance to hit the green so I pull a 3i to hit a lay slinging draw. Its low and its drawing but it was far from solid. Whatever, I'm out of danger and have my 58* in my hand, Lets get another solid up and down for par. From 60y I can only manage to get it to 17', but I roll the par putt into the center of the cup. Back to back super saves! 12 and 13 back to back beasts. 12 is 506y par-4 from the back, its playing a little forward today, 490y and a little downwind. I hit a sweet little fade, but it wasn't the most solid. Still left with 217y to a back pin, and sitting up in the rough. I really wanted to spank a 5i off this flyer and let it ride the wind to the front of the green and run tot he pin. But, the wind died. I hit an okay 4i, great line, but short, that dang kikuya is relentless today. No roll at all. So, from the front edge, about 35y to the pin a play a bump and run with my PW, great distance! put kind push it and am left with 7' for par. I drain it like nothing! one down, one to go. 13 is 202ys of par-3 madness. a Heart shaped green that sloped from back to front. The opening in front is about 3 paces across, the center of the green maybe 15 paces and the back 25 or so. Bunkers guard anything short to middle left and anything short to middle right. Into the wind I go the the 4 iron, knowing that short is the place to be. The shot looks great of the club, but is drifting right, drifting right, driftingggg, right but to position A! just to the fringe, I've got 20ft, up hill right to left. I snuggle my birdie to a foot and tap in for par. Hole 14 , 374y, par-4 usually into the wind, cake hole, particularly since the wind knocked down the punishing trees left. My tee shot it solid, but in the left rough, I have 118y to the pin, this green is a bit severe from back to front, I hit a beauty of a PW and a laser to the pin, but the wind doesn't touch it and it sails to the back of the green. With a slippery, left to right downhill 30ft breaker the best I could mange is 6'. I forget to tell myself to put a good stroke on the par putt, and miss it, three putt, bogey number two on the day. grrrr! Hole 15. 528y par-5 just as narrow as 11, I kinda pull another drive, it was trying to cut, but was just too far left to begin with. So I'm in the 11th fairway with 260y to the pin, but the mature pines and eucalyptus to navigate over and around. Sweet! 3 wood, cranked! over the right side of the fairway then the fade kicks in just at the right time. Another ultra sexy shot! it ends up just off the front of the green. The pin is in the back, there's a tier to get up I've got about 25ys to navigate. Bump and run time. I little aggressive and it runs to the back fringe and about 15ft to the hole. Left to right, a little downhill. I've got the read down, I just hope that the kikuya fringe down't do something crazy cause I really want this birdie to drop. Great stroke, center cup, finally a birdie! Hole 16 , Pump a drive out to 100y to the pin. The only problem its on the cart path, right next to a huge eucalyptus. Before getting to the ball I'm thinking a drop isn't going to give me much, I might be playing this shot from the cart path. But I get closer and see that I can drop it near the cart path and still navigate under and around the tree. I hit my 54* to about 14' but just wasn't 100% on the read. I miss the putt. Here come two more beasts, 17 and 18 have been round killers on more then one occasion. 17 seems innocent enough. 181y par-3 playing 170y today. I was dialed in today, and struck one of the most pure 7irons I've hit in a longggg time. the pin being middle right I line up to the middle in order to work that fade. couldn't have been better, except I hit it so good that it ends up 25ft passed the pin. Had a pretty good read on this downhiller but it misses and rolls out to 4ft. Tester, no, center cup, no sweat! Hole 18 , 468y of par-4 hell. Straight, huge trees and thick rough left, the Rose Bowl parking lot right. I'm teeing off last at this point. The first guy, a lefty, fans one out that kinda comes back but into the left rough. The second guy, super blocks one right, and into the parking lot, he'd bee hitting good shots all day, so that's the last thing I needed to see, someone get squirrely on the last hole and pound one OB. I tell myself F that. I've been hitting my fade all day, aim down the left and hit this dang fade. Pull it off to perfection! I find myself in the left fairway by a foot and 189y to the pin. This green is rediculous, the entire front half is like a false front, but thankfully the pin is back, andddd back right! yes! I grab my 6iron, pick a tree in line with the center of the green and swing away. This ball landed in the center of that tree trunk, so hot! I'm in the center of the green at this point with about 25ft for birdie. I got a good read on it, but, not good enough. I send it to the hole but it misses low, and runs out to 3ft. Tester, 'fraid not, center cup. solid par!

I know 73 isn't going to win, but I also know it'll make me something. And after coming back from the edge of quitting competitive golf playing as solid as I did today was worth more then the T5th place money.

Wow, this was a long review. Thanks for reading...

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