Thursday, May 22, 2008

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

#2 from a secluded forward tee

Per a recent request - here is a view from a tee - #2 from a secluded forward tee. There is a short carry across the native to reach the fairway. I haven't shown many tee shot pictures because the native will take a growing season to get healthy again. We chose to not irrigate the perimeter for cost and environmental reasons. Typically the irrigation installed in the native areas is only temporary - and eventually abandoned or wasted. And often when grown back with irrigation, they become over grown and a long term management issue. Our native grasses were there before, and will be back again - in time.

After you choose which side of the fairway to hit - based on hole location - you must avoid the bunkers that look like litter blowing across a field. Both times I played last week - with Don - my approach bounced to the back edge of the green - after what I thougth were well placed shots - and left me with very difficult putts. It will take a few plays getting used to what is now a perfect maintenance meld (tm - Tom Paul). The fairways and greens are both firm and fast. Don is doing an amazing job.


I just added a link to the routing plan to the top right of the blog.

Monday, May 19, 2008

A Bunker is Born!

About 290 yards off the tee, the above bunker is one the player wouldn't want to find themselves contained within. For the unlucky soul the second shot to this par 5 would be a challenging layup from here, forget about crossing the creek to hit the green in two.

I'm recovering from getting my butt handed to me by both our client and Wolf Point last week. Apparantly the home field advantage is getting bigger and bigger by the day. More to follow on my second round.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

2 Favorite Shots... so far

The above image is of the 2nd green, and a similar composition to the new banner image. I did receive one comment today describing this green as looking quite Walter Travis like - that is a very high compliment.

My second time playing the 2nd hole, I got a little aggressive on my second shot because I hit the correct side of the fairway, unlike the first time. It was into a strong quatering headwind - which brought the left rough into play - and where I hit my approach. My chip shot back to the hole, was a little strong, and rolled all the way down the front of the green. "Oh boy - this is some putt" is what I said and my playing partners were amused in how the designer of the course felt overwhelmed by the shot and also got himself in this prediciment to try and make a par. A bogey was in order.

The 17th hole plays long into the wind. My dart of an approach was from about 200 yards out. I was surprised when the ball ran to the back of the green. Which left an impossible putt. My client also went long. He went first and his ball just trickled over a ridge and stopped short - even with the wind blowing it down the slope. I played about 6 inches more aggressively and the ball rolled to the front edge - the margin for error was about 2 inches. Another bogey was in order.

My first round with Don is in the very near future! I am looking forward to the pin location on #2 - and everywhere else.


If you look close you can see the main clubhouse in the distance - more to come.
Here was the small clubhouse.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

It is so different.... where are all the mounds?

I ran into a few vendors that have been to Wolf Point yesterday, while meeting at an existing course client. It was very cool to hear them describe our course to Charles. It was all very positive, and the comment that stood out most for me was "It is just so different". Unanimously they all really hope to see how fun it can play.

Here was a comment from someone whose opinion I respect highly:

"The course looks remarkably uncluttered"

Which can be attributed to a number of items, no visable irrigation and satellites, no cart paths, hole signs, ball washers... and the one item that is probably most responsible is the lack of containment mounding on the course. It adds to the sence of expansiveness.

Lastly I got this message from an overseas architect today:

Been lurking, saw the photos of your project and loved what I saw... especially the rolls and folds of and around the greens.
Looks like a lot of fun.
Congratulations.
PS. Hey... where are all the mounds?

I love the above picture of the 7th green.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I play safe on 6 ... for now.

The 6th has always been one of Don's favorites. I'm very much looking forwad to playing together soon. We'll see how our scores compare on this one - I'm a little more conservative than him. Both times I played 6, I played safe out to the right and landed around the fringe. 3.5 is my stroke average for the hole. It is a 4wd to 3i for me - into a quatering wind from the left pushing the ball to the safe side of the green.

When I show a picture from the tee - it will be obvious how tempting it is to play aggressive. Our client did both times on our round together - and made a great up and down one of the times, almost both actually.

The picture above is the back half of the 6th green, with a tee from 7 in the background.

And in honor of Pete Dye being elected to the Golf Hall of Fame.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

My First Birdie

We played a modified version of the 5th hole - teeing off near the 3rd green. It played quite well - someone hit it near infierno anyway.

I'd like to describe my bag: Persimmon driver, 4 metal wood, odd irons, wedge, sand wedge & putter = 9 clubs. It is very light and old fashioned. On the alternate 5th tee Don rides up and asks when am I going to get rid of that old driver. I smacked one very far down the middle that ran forever. He said nevermind and rode off - he was unfortunately working that morning.

The above picture is of the 5th green complex (image during construction). It very much favors an approach from the right side. I played my approach a little tenative and didn't get up and down from front right of the green. My second time around I must have had Don as inspiration again as I hit a similar tee shot. I played my approach a little more aggressively towards the pin and made the putt. My first birdie. Fortunately or unfortunately it wasn't the first birdie on 5, our client is getting close to a ringer score of 9 under - it might be a little while before he birdies 17 however.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Feedback

I was traveling for the first unofficial outing at Wolf Point. The initial feedback was great. One lucky player, Terry, was blown away by the greens. Later my initial round was with our client and Terry. I want to share Terry's comments to me:

After playing Wolf Point, I don't want to play anywhere else - nothing compares. The time goes by so fast out here - I'm enjoying the course so much, I just want to keep playing.

Thank you Terry.

My intention is to share comments, thoughts and incidents from play on the course.
I hope it will be fun for every type of golfer.

Pictured above is one of the bunkers in the first landing area on the par five 14th hole - yes it is in the middle of the fairway too.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The 3rd Green - an architectural like

My second hole for the day was the par five 3rd. The first time I played it cautiously. The second time I missed a bit. Both times I played down the right side (the less advantagous side). Both times I tried to do too much with my 3rd shot knowing how difficult it would be from the far side of the fairway. Both times I made a bogey. I was enjoying my round so much I wasn't really paying too much attention to the course, I was soaking up all the other elements of the day - mostly the fruition of all our hard work.

The above picture is of the 3rd green and the two heights of cut around the course. The green is surrounded by a tight fairway cut that extends througout the entire hole. No collar, no intermediate rough. I love that there are only two heights of cut through the green throughout Wolf Point.

The following picture is the opposite and one of my dislikes that didn't make my previous list. Please notice how many different heights of grass cuts are in the following picture all within a few feet of the green.


Not very practical, I don't like the playability, higher maintenance costs and I think it looks funny too.

Friday, May 2, 2008

It was a windy day


video

It was'nt until I got to the 2nd tee, our first for the day, that I realized how brisk the wind was blowing. It was the prevailing wind from the south east - see above video from the afternoon - it was even brisker. My first swing was almost directly into the wind. My approach came up a little short - as it was into the wind, I wasn't sure of my distance and I was playing safe -- I was hitting from the wrong side of the fairway to the opposite sidded pin -- There was no way I could get it close. From the front of the green it was a simple up and down, for my first par at Wolf Point - and my first hole. The course plays very strategically with the wind, all the holes change heading and each green has a slightly different best angle to attack from. The greens are most difficult when playing a pitch from down wind and down slope - I ran into quite a few of those.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The ride to Wolf Point

Preparation: I've spent a lot of time on the road to and from Wolf Point. It is over 100 miles from my house and I've made almost 100 trips - a few week long ones - 150 days total. I've listened to a lot of books and even more Zencasts. my ipod is filled with great music too. For yesterday I set up a playlist of some of my favorite suitable songs - Beck, Ray LaMontagne, Fiona Apple, David Gray, Johnny Cash, Bruce, Foo fighters, Glen Hansard, Gomez, Tori Amos, Rihanna, Moby, Peter Gabriel, Bob Marley, Kendall Payne, Rodrigo y Gabriela... I got to the course in a great mood - calm, rested and no work on my mind.

The entrance to Wolf Point is quite unusual - here is a description Don wrote some time ago:

My favorite entrance drive is into Wolf Point Club.
Two miles on a gravel road through a working cattle ranch followed by some peek-a-boo looks at the golf course until it all unfolds in front of you.
Without a doubt one of the more unique driveways and I believe it'll turn out to be a great course entrance. (if you don't mind driving around a few cow pies and waiting for the bulls to clear out of the way)


The above picture is of the crew on the 7th green. That one is often photographed because it is the first green you would pass on the way to the club. Exactly as I was pulling up I got to see Don place a flag in the green - for me the first time to see any flag at Wolf Point. What a thrill. Don has unfortunately gotten used to my quick shot camera and he didn't give me anything near a pose - and he was busy getting stuff done - 8:30 is almost mid-morning for a superintendent.
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