This week we geo to tee it up in my home town on a course I have played many times throughout my junior golfing career. Sara Bay CC is a golf course that has a long rich history and a reputation that Donald Ross would be proud of. With a pretty straightforward set up from tee to green, just about anyone can enjoy a round of golf from tee box to fairway.
Where the golf course becomes challenging is when you reach the greens. Something Donald Ross is famous for is elevated greens that are crowned on the edges. These greens take prisoner of any golfer that proves to be the slightest bit ambitious or aggressive when approaching the flag. With greens that are known to be not only fast but also firm you have to be alert and smart in the decisions you are making when chipping and putting.
Getting to play in a tournament in my hometown is always a special thing to get to do. Having the opportunity to let the people who love and support you see you do something you love and have a passion for is a feeling I wouldn’t change for anything. Also, getting to sleep in your own bed during a tournament is a feeling we don’t often get to experience. So this week is always a very special one to me.
Do you ever wonder what goes on during our practice rounds at tournaments? If so I will let you in on a little secret. This week during one of my practice rounds I played with two of my best friends on tour, Casey Kennedy and Kaitlyn Price. Casey introduced us to a new game to play and it is called the 9-point game. There are 9 points up for grabs on every hole. The points can be worth $0.25 or $1. So depending on how much you win by or lose buy you could be making or losing a pretty penny. In our practice round we played $0.25 a point.
How the 9-point game works is there are 9 points up for grabs on each hole. If you win the hole by 2 strokes you automatically get all 9 points. If everyone scores the same thing on a hole each person gets 3 points. If there are two pars and a bogey, the two people who made par get 4 points a piece and the one who made bogey gets 1 point. If there is a birdie, par and bogey, the birdie gets 5 points, the par 3 and the bogey 1. So each hole depending on the individual scores of each person, the points can be divided up a number of different ways and the point totals can change very quickly. Kaitlyn and I did not come out on top in this particular game. I lost by 7 points and Kaitlyn lost by 11, so Casey won a whole $4.50. So as you can see we really had to break the bank with this one. This is just a fun way to keep practice rounds competitive and fun because sometimes they can take a while and you get bored out there. This game helps you keep your focus and game plan intact while out there for an extended period of time.
This week I had the pleasure of having one of the graduates from The First Tee program caddy for me in the tournament. We had a lot of fun in the two days that I played and the practice round that she attended. She said she had a lot of fun watching us play our practice rounds and was surprised how much fun we had out there. She said that sometimes when she went out to play practice rounds for junior golf events that everyone was very serious and didn’t talk much whereas we were cutting up and challenging each other from hole to hole and throughout the whole round.
As much fun as I have getting to play at home it is always hard not making the cut on a golf course you know so well and have played so many times. My ball striking and chipping was really solid during week but my putting held me back. Now its time to move on to the next town and the next tournament, Alphareta, GA here we come!