Rolling Knolls holds a special place in my heart. Not just because it was the first course that I ever played when I was but a youngin, but also because I have played there countless times since then and still have yet to play shoot well consistently there. It has been aptly nicknamed the Torture Chamber due to it’s insanely narrow, tree-lined fairways and large, tumbling, bunker protected greens. While this course is not particularly long (an executive course only 3,916 yards in length) it makes up for it with a premium on accuracy. If you cannot put the ball where you want it, you are going to lose quite a few of them.
Well my Dad/Boss called up Thursday and wanted to get 9 in. I am always down for an extended lunch break, so I met him up there to enjoy the lovely day by ripping up divots left and right.
First hole is a 240 yard par 4 with a small pond in front of the green. Pulled out my 5 wood, put an easy swing on it and carried it right into the drink. While walking up to where I would drop I could only think to mysellf, “Great. Going to be a long day.” Took my drop at the water’s edge. Pulled out my sand wedge and put my second shot…right into the drink. Awesome. Took a triple bogey on the first. The par 4 second and par 3 third were not much better…but then we made the long walk to the par 5 fourth.
Took my Dad’s offset hozzle Prince driver and decided I would let it fly. This hole has one of the wider fairways, and with it’s half-pipe like shape there is plenty of room for error, as everything rolls back down toward the middle. The hole dog legs right and it takes a pretty solid poke to put yourself in position to be on in two, though. My Dad put his tee shot 2 fairways over on the right. With a left-to-right wind and hitting a natural fade like I do, I aimed left with the hope of carrying it back to the center. That drive went into the groundskeeping equipment area and probably broke something. We both decided to use our mulligan, as there is nothing more annoying than a shitty tee shot on a par 5. Pops managed to only go over 1 fairway to the right this time, and then I stepped back up to the plate.
I hit the fuckin’ thing 300 yards.
I swung out of my Goddamned shoes. If you can carry the ball about 230 or 240, you will get a favorable roll down a pretty steep hill which flattens out and gives you an unobstructed line into the green. Lucky me…I must have hit the cart path on the fly about 240 yards out which must have taken a gigantic bounce and I ended up with an easy pitching wedge in (about 110-120). I still had the matter of 2 gigantic bunkers protecting this extremely sloped, narrow green. I debated laying up right of the traps so I would have an easy pitch-and-putt for birdie, but I then considered the fact that I would likely never have the opportunity to be on-in-two ever again, I decided to go for it. I had 80 yards to the front of the first bunker, 100 to the edge of the green and about 110 to the center of the green. Swung my pitching wedge about 90%, landed just at the front edge and it rolled by the cup leaving me wit a 15 or 20 footer for eagle. I blew the eagle putt, of course, but tapped in for birdie and felt pretty proud about the whole thing.
I forgot to snap a picture with my cellphone, which is unfortunate, as the place was in immaculate shape. No brown patches anywhere. Fairways are a bit shorter and rough a bit thicker this season. As per usual, I did not add the card up correctly. Upon further examination, I lost by two strokes, which was moot. That birdie on the 4th made the whole thing feel like a win.