Thursday, April 27, 2006

Golfing In A Hurricane

About 15 years ago I was playing golf in the Santa Barbara City Championship in Santa Barbara, CA. It was 2 rounds of golf and I was in the 0-5 handicap flight. I woke up Saturday morning to 30 to 50 mile winds and new it wasn't going to be pretty out on the golf course.

Needless to say the golf was pretty crazy that day and there were some pretty big numbers being posted including me. I took a 9 on a 135 yard par 3 with 2 OB's. This hole was almost impossible because the wind was blowing 30 to 50 mph from right to left with OB on the left. On my 3rd shot from the tee I was hitting a choked down 5-iron and aiming 30-yards to the right.

On the next hole, a 420 yard par 4, the impossible happened. The wind was somewhat helping and quartering from left to right. I was hitting my approach shot from 150 yards with a sandwedge. I aimed about 20 yards left of the green and I watched the wind pull it back towards the hole. It landed on the green about 30 feet away from the hole, but the wind continued to push it towards the hole. I continued to watch the golf ball and it disappeared in to the hole. I went from a 9 on the previous hole to an eagle 2 on the next. Talk about a roller coaster round of golf.

Putting on the green was a crap shoot. Not only did you have to play the break of the slope, but you also had to play the break of the wind. I had a putt on one hole where on a normal day would have broke 8 inches from right to left, but with the wind it broke about 12 inches from left to right... it actually broke up hill. I even made a 50 foot putt that must have broke 3 times because of the swirling wind. I must have had 4 or 5 3-putts that day and I think I had a 4-putt. One of the 3-putts was from 5 feet because even the 3 to 5 foot putts were an adventure.

I ended up shooting 84 the first day and 82 the second day. I learned that I suck at playing golf in the wind mainly because I hit my irons very high. While I wasn't actually golfing in a hurricane it was the closest I've come to playing in one.

Have you played golf in conditions like that or worse? If so I'd like to here your story.

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