Dodgy had a guest rider today ‚?? a guest by the name of John Sabino who is hosting us at his place and his club of Hidden Creek today. We met John and his pals Chris and Tom on the course in Melbourne Australia and have kept in touch throughout the year.¬† Tom was the guy who loved his ‚??Booags beers‚??.
Dodgy was happy to have another team member along for the ride, so happy that upon turning onto the Turnpike he signaled his glee by jerking the windscreen wipers up into the vertical position.¬† And there they have rested since‚?¶ By the way Dodgy is for sale on Craigslist and we need a buyer so if you‚??ve ever thought about taking a road trip across the US you know who to call.¬† I know we‚??re going to be sad to see him go.. ¬†
John Sabino has what you‚??d call a deliberate take away. And whilst this episode is occurring on each shot his shoes have a habit of letting out an almighty squeak reminiscent of a mouse caught in a trap with cheese stuck in its gullet.¬† Jamie, his playing partner, kindly pointed out these sound effects on the second hole and from this point onwards we were all, including John, trying not to laugh each time his shoes started squaking. ¬†
Hidden Creek is a course that not too many folk have heard about. It‚??s a pretty private joint down in the south part of New Jersey set up by the owner who wanted to replicate the pure golf set up at Pine Valley. So there are no developments, no bells and whistles (eg definitely no cart girls with skimpy skirts) and just a golf course, clubhouse, dining room and a lodge for golfers to stay at.¬†
When you‚??re going to create a golf haven for the purists like this one you need to engage some good designers to build a quality course.¬† And so Messers Coore and Crenshaw were shipped in to build this treasure.¬† This is our second course designed by these two chaps (first being Sugarloaf Mountain) and the two courses definitely have a similar flavour. ¬†I‚??ve taken some time to look at a couple others designed by these chaps ‚?? Sand Hills in Nebraska - which is a hugeley revered inland links course in the middle of nowhere, and Friars Head up in Long Island which we might play next week. ¬†Some characteristics of Coore and Crenshaw courses are:
- Generous fairways but you need to be in the right part of the fairway to have a decent shot into the green.¬† Similar to Mackenzie.¬† Take for example the short par four 8th.¬† The green has a huge lump in the green. The pin was to the left of the lump and thus coming in from the right hand side of the fairway was nigh on impossible.
- A firm and natural feel.¬† The course hasn‚??t been soaked in water and if you‚??re hitting a draw expect the ball to bound to the left.¬† The fairways play hard and you don‚??t quite know where the ball is going to bounce.¬† As said by former USGA president William C Campbell, ‚??bad bounces and bad breaks do happen in golf and life, and you don‚??t always get what you deserve.‚??¬† But with the course playing firm like this you can cling to the possibility that, from a bad spot, you might make a good recovery by rolling the ball up to the green.
- The greens are huge and you need to think about where on (or off) the green you want to be approaching the hole from.¬† Many of the greens have a number of sections and there may be a three or four club difference between hitting to the front or the back of the green.
- Trouble that compounds.¬† If you hit a good drive you will often have a straight forward iron shot into a large green.¬† But if you start going awry there are all kinds of hazards that, if you don‚??t play smart, will compound to really bite you. For example there are numerous cross bunkers between 100 ‚?? 30 yards short of par four green.
Our match was a tad one sided with Slambino making full use of his 10 shots to win a number of holes.¬† Chris has just got some new irons and has a case of ‚??the-new-clubs-wont-bloody-work‚??. ¬†I had a case of '4 putt from 15 feet' Ugly. Seen it before and I have no idea how to diagnose it. The nickname Slambino? It comes from this video:
After golf we were fortunate enough to stay in the lodge. Which was First Rate. We chilled out, showered up and then went back to the restaurant for another First Rate dinner.¬† We drank some wine, shared golfing stories and bantered generally all night.¬† A couple of cigars and some strange formats of New Jersey Poker later and it was time to call it a day. A mighty fine day at that so huge thank you to the lads in particular John for hosting us down here.¬† Slambino is off to Scotland tomorrow for a wee golfing trip, look forward to hearing all about it later in the week. 2 weeks till we‚??re there and the excitement is building!¬†
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