I played a pro layout from the tips and live to write about it
LIV Golf Layout and Pumpkin Ridge vs. me
As a high handicap golfer, I have never had an inkling to play the tips. For the good of everyone else on the course, my mental sanity, and because I am aware of my ability, I play the whites or at worst the combo tees.
Last week I had the opportunity to play the pro layout from the LIV tournament at Pumpkin Ridge and I played it from the pro tees. (Politics or my opinion of the tournament overall is another discussion, I just want to talk about playing a pro course.)
On the first hole, the 630-yard par 5, I crushed my drive but left almost on the other fairway, had to hit over the restroom area near the concessions tent back into the fairway, I ripped three wood from there and chipped onto the green where I lipped out a 20-foot par putt. I tapped in for bogey and thought, “well this isn’t going to be THAT hard”.
I was wrong, I was so very wrong. I shot 111 for the day, which I will take.
It was interesting to see the course in a different way, the pro tees on par fives (and some par 4s) all have much more narrow chutes to go down than from any other tee box and the distance continually would bring more traps and other hazards into play. The distances on par 3s made it hard to hold the green with longer clubs. The least shocking was the rough, as it was as thick as it has been all year but trampled down in some spots where spectators stood.
The greens though, the greens were as fast as I have ever played on and by far the biggest difference. I knew that the distances were going to impact me but I wasn’t prepared for how much the greens were. I like fast greens, and these rolled pure, but this was another level of fast. Putts that I tapped would roll five feet by the hole and if you had to go downhill on anything, forget about it. (Thus the concept of “leaving it on the pro side”.)
It was eye-opening and gave me further appreciation of the touch pros have. Although my friend who is around a 4 handicap almost beat Pat Perez’s score…
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