A couple weeks after my first Father’s Day and the day after my 26th birthday, I got the opportunity to go golfing. This was set up for a while. My brother and father were going to head up to my nape of the neck to play 9 before work. The original plan was to try Palatine Hills, which looks fantastic, but I never set up a tee time and they ended up being booked solid until noon. Same thing went for Buffalo Grove. Interested to play somewhere different than our usual 3 or 4 standbys, and also somewhere a little longer than I am used to, we went to Fox Run in Elk Grove Village.
I have played Fox Run twice before, both last season. For being a park district course, it is very well manicured and maintained. It is a fairly long, straightforward layout with an average amount of hazards and trees. The course is, by and large though, is wide open. The fairways feel gigantic and leave plenty of room for error. The rough is thin and forgiving too. The place is in stark contrast to Rolling Knolls, which I thought would be a nice change of pace.
The problem is that I had made the mistake of watching quite a few golf shows in the week leading up to this round and I had all sorts of silly-ass golf tips rattling around in my nogging. CBS aired a special called The Science of Golf, which was essentially an hour or two of the best PGAers in the world swinging in slow motion and some of the best swing coaches and personal trainers in the world breaking everything down. They covered the “X Factor,” which is essentially the method of torquing your shoulders as far as you can on your backswing without flipping your hips. The idea is that the more torque you get in your upper body relative to your hips, the more yardage you will gain. I decided to try and employ this technique without ever having swung that way today, and despite just awful results, I never really gave it up.
To me, golf tips can be the worst thing in the entire world. While every once and a while one of them may help you greatly, I think most recreational duffers get so caught up trying to put everything they hear or read about into play that it prevents them from doing what works best for them. When it comes down to golf tips, the most important thing is to try and determine what end they are reaching. There are any number of ways to swing a golf club and have desirable results, and sometimes you have to reverse engineer the swing or the advice to really find out what the point is and then redevelop it in a way that is more fitting or comfortable for you.
Dad announced on the first tee that he felt like he would be playing the best round of his life today. While he by no means achieved that, he was on his game for most of the afternoon and continued his hot streak of quality approach shots and bump and runs. He once again, though, was a victim of his own putter.
Alex had the easiest card to add up I have ever seen. He double bogeyed every hole with the exception of one, a quadruple bogey on the 2nd. 2+4+2+2+2+2+2+2+2=20 over par. So, +20 on 9 holes won. He did not notch a single birdie, par or even regular bogey. Just double or worse…and he won. That should give you an idea of how poorly I played and how dramatically my Dad, who lead until the 7th hole, crashed and burned. It is also a testament to the idea that consistency is more important in golf than anything else.
Since I was out of contention the whole day, I just kinda swung out of my shoes on every tee, which resulted in a lot of fun and a lot of lost balls. My brother and Dad, on the other hand, were actually competing a little bit. It came to a head on the 7th hole. All 3 of us went way left and we were all within about 20 yard of each other. My Dad was away, but had the best line at the green. Alex was out the furthest, but had an awkward lie on top of a hill. I was way off to the left behind some trees and a non-factor. On the way to our balls, they were jawing back and forth about who was in the best position and who was going to take the hole, as Alex had double bogeyed his way to a tie on the 6th hole. Alex said my Dad’s shot would end up short of the green in the trap on the front right edge. He actually came up short of the trap. Alex then proclaimed he would be on and putting for birdie. He was 140 yards out or so. He took that Ping sand wedge and cranked it. He landed on and damn near rolled off back end of the huge green. Alex went on to double bogey that hole and my Dad went on to put up a 9, which gave him a 3 stroke lead he would not relent on the last 2 holes.
While it was one of the most retardedly embarassing rounds I have ever played, I still had fun and it was nice to get out to a different style course where distance is more of a factor than accuracy and hazards. I left with a bad taste in my mouth, though, and was hoping to get out there Friday with my Dad and Uncle Ted for a chance to redeem myself…