My parents and I saw a lot of Texas last week on our golf trip. The weather was not as cooperative as we would have liked, but overall the trip was good. We had fun and that’s what counts.
Our first course can be summed up in one word: CROWDED. Even on the driving range (below), it was hard to find a single open mat to hit practice balls. Of course, the golf course was wide open compared to the hundreds if not thousands of joggers who were running on the dirt trail nearby. Memorial Park is a busy place!
We were paired with another golfer to start the round. My first shot was a beauty, straight down the middle of the fairway, about 260 yards. My second shot was a beauty too, and might have reached green on the Par 5 first hole . . . if it didn’t run smack dab into a pine tree and ricochet 30 yards backwards into a lake. I should have known that would be a sign of things to come.
The round started off surprisingly well. We managed to par the first hole but dropped a stroke on No. 2 due to the poor condition of the greens. The greens had a lot of sand and holes in them because they were being aerated (a type of routine maintenance). This made putting less like putting and more like pinball. The guy who played with us assured us that the greens were normally much smoother. We apparently picked a bad day to play the course.
No. 3 may have been my shot of the day. We found ourselves deep in the trees after a horrible drive. About 170 yards and a lake stood between us and the green. I managed to weave my shot through the trees, over the lake, and safely onto the green. We two-putted to save par.
If that wasn’t my best, my tee shot on No. 7 was. I rained a four iron at the pin from 191 yards away and the ball nearly found the hole for an ace. I sank the eight-footer for our first and only birdie of the day to move to even par.
Then on No. 9 the round took a turn for the worst. I found the fairway bunker and (stupidly) decided to play my shot rather than my dad’s, who was 40 yards behind me in the fairway. All three of us duffed it. (We are awful bunker players.) We were lucky to bogey the hole and finish the front nine at +1.
On the back 9, the wheels came off. We bogeyed three of the next four holes and missed chances for redemption on 14 and 16. With our chances of salvaging the round fading fast, we turned our attention to the course’s wildlife.
We bogeyed our final hole to finish an ugly +5 back 9 for a round of 78 (+6). It could have been worse.
The main reason for our struggles? Mom and dad were rusty. I carried the team for eight holes, but soon found out that I could not do it alone. Fortunately, they were just getting warmed up.
After the round, it was on to San Antonio. Of course we made sure to stop for some good ‘ole Southeast Texas barbeque along the way!