Last Day: Grinding It Out
By Kickntrue on 8/31/08
oobgolf.com was represented at the World Amateur Handicap Championships in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, from August 25-29. Due to a scheduling conflict, Kevin and I couldn't go so we found the next best thing. John McDowell operates Rocky Spring Golf Course in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, and he has agreed to make the trip down to Myrtle Beach on our behalf and log reports of all the going-ons.
The final day of competition at the World Am was by far the best day for golf all week. The shtotgun start at 8:30 am at Blackmoor began with a number of competitors not in attendance. I'm not sure if the open bar and free Michelob Ultra at the 19th hole the previous night, their standing in the competition or a combination of both deterred them from coming.
Blackmoor is not a long course and is very fair but Gary Player designed this course for shot making and a little risk/reward thrown in. Many of the par fours dogleg right or left with a tee shot of about 200 yards to clear the corner and have a second shot at the green. There is nothing worse than hitting a great tee shot down the middle and having to "lay up" with no shot to the green on a par four. With all this in mind the driver stayed covered for the fourth consecutive day. The three wood was used more often this round because of the distance needed on par fours to clear corners. The majority of tee shots once again were taken with the two hybrid.
After the first three rounds I stood alone in 15th place, thirteen strokes behind the leader. I figured it would take a round in the mid to high eighties to move into the money at "12th" or better. I ended the long week of golf with a 98 after tripling two par threes on the back and one par five and a par four on the front. That was enough to drop me to 22nd place in my flight of 170. For a guy who plays no competitive golf, and seldom plays more than 2 or three rounds of golf a month, I feel pretty good about the week. I would recommend anyone that visits this site and is serious about their golf game and competition to write the check and participate.
If you decide to play next year or in the future, the following is a:
10. BUDGET FOOD... Although the organizers advertised coffee, donuts, and bagels each morning at the course they only made good on that one morning. If you don't mind standing in long lines for two chicken poppers from Chic-Fil-A then you are in business, otherwise go and have dinner after your round then come back to the 19th hole party for the open bar.
9. BRING ENOUGH BALLS... Two of my playing partners were down to the last ball in their bags with several holes to play. Didn't think this one would be a problem?
8. DIRECTIONS TO YOUR ASSIGNED COURSES... I can't tell you how many guys showed up as we were leaving for our starting holes. By day four it was comical.
7. LEAVE SIGNIFICANT OTHERS AT THE HOTEL... One guy in the flight had his "wife" following him around like they were attached at the hip. He was the brunt of many jokes and was also the center of controversy when some competitors started accusing her of coaching him on the course.
6. THE RULES... Although I did not run into it, many competitors told me there are guys playing in the tournament just to get their fellow competitors disqualified. I must say the most enjoyable part of the tournament was the company I had on the golf course each round.
5. STAY SOMEWHERE JUST NORTH OF MYRTLE BEACH... Many of the participating courses are in or near North Carolina, and many of the rest are south of Myrtle in Murrel's Inlet and Pawleys Island. This little tidbit will save you some travel time each morning.
4. AARP SCHEDULED THE EVENING ENTERTAINMENT AT THE 19TH HOLE... If you are under the age of 50 don't expect to enjoy the entertainment at the 19th hole. Many of the local bars and The Dollhouse down the street became the 19th hole after the first night or two.
3. YOUR LIMITATIONS... This isn't league night at your local track. You are playing the tips, touching the ball only when you tee it up and pull it out of the cup. No gimmees, or mulligans. An actual club is used for your two club length relief if you can believe that. You have to have a strategy and play one hole, even one shot at a time and be realistic about what your capabilities are.
2. LEARN ANOTHER LANGUAGE... After playing with guys from Argentina, Italy and Germany I realized this is truly a worldwide event. I wish I would have paid attention in that Spanish class I had in ninth grade. I also met players from Greece, France, Bermuda and Louisiana. Yes, they do speak a different language in Louisiana.
1. IT'S NOT THE EQUIPMENT... I can't tell you how many players were so upset about their opening round they went out and bought all kinds of clubs and gadgets. One participant in my foursome told me he'd spent almost $600.00 Monday night after shooting a 126. He purchased a Callaway Range Finder as well as lots of rain gear and Pro V1 golf balls. His final score Wednesday, on an easier course with no rain and all that new gear was 122.
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congrats on a solid finish. 22nd out of 170 is very respectable.
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