Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Green Tees at Green Caye...

As mentioned in a previous post, and in light of GolfChick's latest blog entry, I'm going to post a previously unpublished entry. I had intended to publish this entry, but with golfing nearly every night, I've had little time to blog and this entry was left unpublished because I had signed up for my first tournament.

This entry was written on Saturday, March 18th...

Disappointed and with no solid plans for golf this weekend, I decided to head down to Green Caye and sign up for another month. I didn't get down there until about 8:00. The range was empty but there were a few people out on the course.

Since it felt like I was running a little late (they close at 10:00), I decided to warm up on the first tee. I did a few stretches and made a few swings with two irons together. There was no one in sight, so I decided to hit a couple shag bag balls to loosen up. Fat, thin, pushed... Stupid 5i. I don't know what it is with this club. I walked out to retrieve those balls with my 60* wedge and as I passed the green tees, I decided I would play this loop from the greens and left my bag there. I found two of my shag bag balls and chipped them back at my bag.

As fate would have it, a group was pulling up just as I was putting the shag bag balls away and taking out a couple Nike Long and Softs. Great, here I am on the green tees and I've been spotted... Actually, I didn't feel funny at all. I knew I'd be working my full swing wedges and that's an area I need to work on from a place where I can get good yardage estimates.

The problem with the green tees at Green Caye is that they are not adequately lighted. The lights are more focused on the yellow tees. I guess that's good and bad. Bad because well, it's dark; good because you need to "focus" on your ball and "feel" your swing more.

I have a yardage book I've made for Green Caye, but it was too dark to read it. However, I recalled it being about 125 yards when I hit an 8i into the wind with my daughter. The wind was light, blowing mostly left to right, and slightly into my face. I hit a PW and I was surprised to see the ball drop short.

I wasn't sure how much better I should expect to score. This is a par 3 course, so it's nothing like hitting from shorter tees at a regulation course. I guess I could expect to hit more greens so perhaps a few strokes better? I don't know.

The results of the loop were pretty good. I hit 5 greens (I've hit 5 from the yellows), made 4 pars, one up and down, and had 2 three-putts. The final score was 32 and that's not bad considering the greens are recovering from aeration and are still quite sandy. From that you can tell that I had 2 three-putts after hitting the green from the tee. I'm hoping I'll see fewer and fewer three-putts as the greens recover.

So, where does this leave me as far as hitting from the greens goes...

Would I hit from the green tees again at Green Caye? Sure, but probably not at night.

Would I hit from tees shorter than "men's tees" when playing a regulation round? I'd like to think I would be open to that but the circumstances would have to be such that the course was either particularly difficult, or too long. Even then, I would have to try from the men's tees once or twice before considering it.

I good friend of mine was having a bad day and he decided to play the back nine from the senior tees. We were paired with two other guys and I had no problem with him stepping up. I thought it took some guts on his part as well. Then he hammered a solid drive right into the water that he felt he had no chance of reaching.

In any case, I think playing from the senior tees or ladies tees offers another way to play a course and allows for different strategies using different clubs. It also adds a twist to the mental side of the game.

For example, say you have resolved to play from the senior tees for the above reasons. Now, after your group has teed off, you are nearly always the closest to the hole. Even though you're playing your own game, there are going to be some thoughts going on in the heads of everyone in the group.

You also have to consider the results of the round. You expect to score better and build confidence if you're shortening the course. You do however run the risk of having a bad day. What could be worse that having a bad round from the senior tees? How is that going to affect your next round, when you play from the men's tees?

I have only touched on some of the things that this topic has caused me to think about. There is plenty of room for discussion if anyone is willing to take a second and actually consider playing from a shorter tee set. I just don't think there are many average golfers who would even consider it.

Am I right?
-Greg

3 Comments:

At 3:12 PM, Anonymous NothingMan said...

I used to play a 9-hole par 3 course with my mom. Here's how I played it.

There were 2 tee boxes, so the first time around I'd hit from one, and then the "back 9" I would play from the other. In the case of a par 3 course, I personally didn't mind playing from the front tees, because I thought of it as more of short-game training.

There was one hole that was 300 yards (par 4). On that hole, I tee'd the ball up. On the other 8 I played it from the thicker cut on the side of the tee box and didn't tee it up so it really was like a real course situation (I'm never really going to be playing an 80 yard par 3 on a regular course, but I will always have 80 yard approach shots).

Just a thought

 
At 3:33 PM, Anonymous NothingMan said...

Got tired of wondering what/where Green Caye was, so I added it to my very very very small/beta course database.

Check out the details at http://golfcomplex.com/

 
At 4:28 PM, Blogger Greg said...

NM,

I knew I had a reply to make...

Green Cay has three tees and during the day, I have followed the same front/back sequence. At night, it's tougher with the lights lighting mainly the furthest tees.

I also hit straight off the turf with the exception of the 9th hole which plays as long as 216. My first month (back in July '05), I hit off of tees and when I went to play The Battleground for the first time, I could not hit off of the shot-cut fairways there - lesson learned!!!

You can get a good look at the course with the satellite view at maps.google.com and entering "dickinson, tx"

I really like the course and the staff. I'll be teaching my kids to play golf here.

-Greg

 

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