Tuesday, February 07, 2012

On Phoenixes & Rainy Days: A Highbridge HIlls SC Review, Pt 2

Part 2... Grin & Bear It

Course: Bear Woodland

Time: Friday, late afternoon

Round: Arriving in the mid-afternoon on Friday, we promptly exited the vehicles and, before even finding out where we were staying, got in some putt practice. Eventually, we were able to connect up with John and get situated. In fairly short order, we were heading to the courses.

Our high-minded aspirations had us completing the whole series of major courses over the 40ish hours we were on site. Reflecting back on it, naive... so naive. I suppose we merely hoped for such an outcome, which as you may have guessed by now, did not come to fruition. Anyway, the plan was to hit up the Bear, a newer course that looked densely wooded. Saturday we would ease into the day with Woodland Greens ( a shorter, easier course); roll into Highbridge Gold for the Money Putt competition (winner won the money putter); capping the day off with some Granite Ridge action. The following morning, we would squeeze in Blueberry Hill before departure. One of those rounds we would make doubles, and we planned on throwing Chestnut Grove, the night course, one of those nights.

Well, as it turned out, the seasonal rains caused delays in completing the Bear course. Instead, they played the first 7 holes, then jumped over to Woodland Greens to finish off the round. Turns out it was a fairly nifty set up for those interested in throwing the Bear, though it prevented us from throwing hole 12 located near a live bear cave. Perhaps better that way...

Warning: The following account is admittedly colored by the viewpoint of its author. My experience is forever influenced by playing such rounds through my own eyes. Other authors will most assuredly have their own varied accounts that may differ greatly than my own.

Now I can tell you about how much the round sucked.

At least it did for me. Let us paint a picture. In the picture is a young man on the cusp of the most life-changing experience outside religious. Enter an opportunity to cross off one of the more long-standing bucket list items known to him. He seizes the carp, using the traditional male ritual for such a purpose. The moment finally arrives. What follows can only be described as a cruel, cosmic joke. Suddenly a decade's worth of effort and experience vanishes, leaving the remains of shattered expectations and broken dreams. I played that poorly. To be fair... I may have been pressing.

Regardless, I was about as useful as a "Birdie" putter out there. Others had more positive experiences. MRK played well and Jiggs played outside of his mind! I thought URBWes acquitted himself fairly well, though I don't recall him being particularly satisfied with the performance. BryJohn and "El Cuñado" also did well.

Let us be clear. The issue was not the course, at least the Bear portion. The Bear is a wooded, yet well manicured course that I will be excited to play on better terms. Tight fairways and multiple lines on a number of holes provide a challenging and beautiful experience. The Woodland Greens was a different experience. Not bad just... different. It struck me as just another wooded course. Nothing too spectacular. The Bear's holes were much more precise and lengthy; Woodland much more open. Woodland had a few cool shots (a neat one on a hill), but nothing about the course particularly struck my fancy. In retrospect, Playing just Woodland would have been a wonderful warm up/confidence builder.

Heading back to the cabin after the round, I could have used that confidence. I had hopes that tomorrow would bring a new day, full of new experiences. Then came the rain...

"... the first to volunteer..."


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