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Torrey Pines South Course #4. One of the toughest and most beautiful holes anywhere. Only those who know what “Dawn Patrol” is can understand how majestic this hole is at 7am. This picture was taken at noon.

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The famous 3rd hole on Torrey Pines South Course. Beautiful San Diego!

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The famous 6th hole on the North Course at Torrey Pines. All view, all downhill, all good. This day it was playing about 165 yards. I hit a punch 8, left it pin high on the right side fringe between the bunkers. I got it up and down for par.

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In honor of the PGA Tour playing at Torrey Pines this week, I show some pictures of my “Four Rounds of Torrey.” There is a video coming soon, but for now, I present my favorite course in the world.

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Sand Hollow, the first great course I played on my west coast golf trip. It is like playing in a National Park (just a few miles from Zion National Park).

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Even Par for the Pilot

I went out to play a round of golf, but more importantly to shoot a ‘pilot’ webisode of my golf journal. I am going to pitch the idea to several magazines, and wanted to have video to show them so that they can trust that a) I can play golf and b) I can shoot video.

I played Shadow Glenn which is my local course. It is not the easiest course, but the back nine has several birdie opportunities.

I went out at 4-over par, but heated up on the back nine. I made a birdie on 12, and then on 14, when I was shooting my ‘signature hole’ feature, I drove the ball on the green on the par-4 315 yard hole. I missed my eagle but tapped in for an easy birdie.

After a par on 15 and 16, I hit a great tee shot on the short par-3 17, and it landed right by the hole, but after a big kick I was stuck on the back of the green, with about 30 feet to the cup. A good stroke and the ball tracked to the hole, and had the right speed, and died into the cup for a third birdie on the back.

The 18th hole is a very short par-5 at 479 yards, and I like to consider it a par-4. Nonetheless, if I make 4 I shoot even par for the first time in years. A bad drive missed all of the bad area and left me with a nice 200 yard approach. I hit it to the back of the green again, and two putt for birdie.

Even par 72. And I was only trying to get some good video. Luckily, I did that too.

A TEXT POST

First Full Round of Golf

Alright, so of course I am a golfer (or I wouldn’t have a website called ‘Chasing Par’). However, as I have had a lot of other things going on in my life, I haven’t had a chance to get out and play at all this year - with the exception of a rain-filled nine holes while on vacation in Arizona.

So, it’s April, and after watching the Master’s on TV this weekend, I knew I had to get out and hit the sticks. Wednesday, April 13th was Round 1 of 2011. I played with a friend at ShadowGlen, from the Bronze tees which come out to 6600 yards or so, with a rating just over 72.

Alright, so I arrive two minutes before our tee-time, and needless to say, I didn’t get a chance to swing a club before I got on the first tee. So, the first ball was a duck hook into a tree, but luckily it kicked back into play about 75 yards off the tee. I doubled the first hole. Then bogeyed the second. But, I got it together for a birdie on three, only to give it back at the fourth. So, +3 after 4 holes. It wasn’t looking good.

But, I held it together, and made only one more bogey on the front. So, I came in at a +4, 40. My game was starting to come around, and if not for a few well-struck lip-outs, I would have been closer to par. It’s all good for my first day out.

The back nine was played much better, as I had a makeable birdie chance on 10 and then three putt 11. I had a par saving chance on 12, despite hitting it in the drink, but as was common for the day, it just lipped-out. I made a good sandy par at 13, and for the first time, I drove it onto the green at the 319 yard par 14; but, unfortunately it took me three putts to get in. I three putt 15 for another bogey.

Basically, I was playing well, but not making any putts. I came into 16 at +7 and was determined to go -2 on the final three holes. I had a great birdie putt on 16, but no dice. Same thing on 17. I was so freaking close, and it was starting to piss me off.

But, all wrongs will be righted, as I hit a 368 yard drive (no I don’t believe it either) on 18, and was sitting 95 yards out on the short par 5. A solid wedge shot almost went in for double eagle. And, for once, I actually made the putt to finish on a high note and going -2 on the final three holes as I hoped.

All in all, a nearly perfect day weather-wise, and a solid day from the irons. The score could have been a lot lower had some putts fallen, but as it was my first day out I cannot expect too much more. I shot in the 70’s despite five three-putts and I made an eagle. In fact, now, I am just eager to get back out and see if I can’t improve my game on the greens just a bit, as I continue the endless game of Chasing Par.

A TEXT POST

Golf clubs getting re-gripped at Golfsmith

My Mizuno MP-33 Irons are about six years old, and have never been re-gripped. I haven’t played enough. But, they are getting a little slippery, despite the fact that they are cord grips. Anyways, I got a gift card for Christmas, and wanted to get something a little softer on impact. My hands have been hurting after I play. Hopefully this helps. 

Went to Golfsmith since the headquarters are near my house in Austin. They had about 20 different grips to choose from, and I tried them all - even got a blister from trying. I went with the softest grips in the store, despite the fact that they wear down easily. I figure, as much as I play, they’ll give me at least two years… I hope. 

Winn Grips. $6 per grip, $3 install. 13 clubs. Total cost around $120. 

I know I should install the grips myself, I know how, but just didn’t want to deal with them. It cost an extra $40 buck, but it saved me a bunch of hassle. There’s a three day turnaround. I’ll probably go to the range to check them out since Golfsmith has a range next to its store.

New grips, new year, hopefully things work out.