Golfing the Front Nine at Crooked Creek Near Lincoln, Nebraska

By: Kevin T. Fairbanks

This is actually the second round of golf for the 2007 year and was played on March 30, 2007. I usually play once a week during the golfing year and am around a bogey golfer. I have not ever calculated a handicap as I am not that serious a golfer. I enjoy being out in the open away from everything and getting fresh air. I normally golf with 2 other co-workers who don't keep score and don't necessarily follow golfing etiquette or rules.

The first hole is a par 4. We will be using the orange tees, which are one less than the longest blue tees. Later in the year, we will start hitting from the long tees once we get into the season. This hole is about 400 yards straight south with a slight slope down to the green. The handicap on this hole is a 5, so this is the 5th hardest hole on the course. This may be due to the fact that normal winds would be from the south, so you would be hitting into that wind. Today, there is not much wind to speak of at the first tee.

OK, before we tee off, the group ahead of us must be either really bad or just started golfing. The group is teeing off from the blue tees and at least half of them didn't make it past the women's tee box. This might be a long round. To show how serious we are, the first joke at the tee goes like this: "After the golfer hit his shot only 20 yards off the tee, the fellow golfer immediately noted the obvious problem. He stated that his fellow duffer was standing too close to the golf ball after he hit it." Think about it for a second and you will get it.

I used a driver off the tee. I have a discount, clone golf driver that has a loft of 9.5 degree. It was fitted to me, and I finally figured out how to hit it early last year. I drove it right down the center in the fairway about 250 yards. This left me with 150 yards to the pin, down hill. My 8 iron is my 150 yard club, so this was an ideal spot for me. I hit the golf ball pin high, but off the green to the left about 45 feet. I used a pitching wedge to within 15 feet of the golf hole and two putted. This gave me a bogey for the hole. Average for me, but I felt I was in good position off the drive. I had a little draw on my 8-iron and this took the ball off the left side of the green.

Hole number 2 is another par 4 that is a dog leg left. It is about 390 yards long and handicapped as the third hardest hole on the golf course. I used a 3 wood off the tee and pushed it a little to the right off the fairway in the rough. Again, this left me about 150 yards out. I again went to my 8 iron, but ended up short in the sand bunker guarding the front of the green. My sand play is not the best, so I am always disappointed to be in the sand. I again didn't hit my 8 iron well, but it was on line to the pin. I hit out of the sand bunker with my sand wedge past the pin about 23 feet. I putted to 8 feet, then putted 3 feet past and then holed it on the third putt. This gave me a double bogey, which was really a disappointment, again. I was out in the nice weather, though, so it wasn't all bad.

Hole number 3 is a short par 4 with a dog leg right just at the end of the fairway and guarded by water on the right in front of the green. It is handicapped at 11 for the course. I used a 3 iron off the tee to stay short of the water and hopefully give myself about 130 to 150 yards to the green. I ended up on the right side of the fairway about 136 yards out. Just what I was planning! This is just right for a hard 9 iron, so that is what I pulled from the golf bag. Unfortunately, I put 2 straight in the water. The third ended up about 40 feet from the hole on the green. I putted to within 2 feet and then putted in the hole. By my calculation, I took a 7 for a triple bogey. Real disappointment, but I played from the tee exactly like I wanted and putted well.

The next hole is number 4 and is a par 3 about 130 yards long. The handicap on this hole is a 17, so plays quite easy. I used a 9 iron and hit the green within 21 feet of the pin. Putted to within 2 feet and putted in for a par! Now things are looking up.

Hole number 5 is a par 5 about 415 yards long and is handicapped at number 9. I used my driver and hit the cart path which gave me a little extra distance. I ended up about 150 yards from the pin, but behind some trees. I used my 8 iron and hit a branch, but ended up in the middle of the fairway about 75 yards out. I used my pitching wedge and ended up on the right side of the green, but on within 26 feet of the pin. Putted to within 7 feet, then putted 3 feet past. Putted it in and took a bogey. I need to get my putting stroke down.

The next hole is number 6. It is a par 4 about 350 yards long. It is handicapped at number 13. I used my driver and muffed it out to the left rough with about 220 yards to go to the hole. I used a 6 iron to about 50 yards out. A sand wedge got me to the left edge of the green and a 32 foot putt. Putted to 3 feet and then in for another bogey.

Number 7 is a 320 yard par 4 and handicapped at 15. I used a driver and hit to within about 50 yards of the green right in the middle of the fairway! A pitching wedge ended up about 2 foot off the front of the green. Putted to within 1 foot of the hole and tapped in for my first par of the round!

Hole number 8 is a par 3 about 167 yards long and over a ditch. It is handicapped at number 7. I used a 4 iron into a slight breeze. The tee shot ended up off the right side of the green about 40 yards out in the rough just past pin high. I used a sand wedge and landed on the green about 40 foot from the pin. Putted to within 4 feet and then putted in for another bogey.

The number one handicapped hole is number 9. It is a par 5 playing about 495 yards today. I used a driver and pushed the tee shot out right and ended up in the number 1 fairway with about 320 yards to go to the green. I used a 3 wood and hit to the left edge of the fairway about 100 yards out from the green. Actually, the golf ball ended up about 2 inches into the rough off the fairway. I used a pitching wedge to the middle of the green and about 36 feet from the pin. Putted to 8 foot and putted to 1inch. I tapped it into the hole for another bogey.

By my calculations, I played the front nine at 10 over par. This is about normal for my golf round where I expect to shoot around bogey. Now on to the back nine.

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