It has been six years — all the way back to the summer of 2006 — since I last played golf in Texas. On that trip, I teed it up a couple of times on a trip to Dallas to cover a Twins series in Dallas. I had played a trio of courses in the San Antonio area in March 2004 and a course in Austin in summer 2003.
I write this from a hotel near the Houston airport. I’ve played four rounds in the past three days and have another round scheduled for the morning before heading back. I’d complain about being a little tired after walking and carrying for 36 holes today or that I got a little sunburn today, but I’m sure you don’t want to hear that.
The weekend has been like many first weekends of the golf season. I showed up having not played since Christmas Eve in Phoenix and really having hit very few balls since then. Over the past three days, the results have been a mixed bag. I’ve hit some great shots and I’ve hit some shots that have been beyond awful.
But the takeaway from the weekend has been interesting — the ball really goes a long ways here off of the tee.
Golf courses in Texas are almost firmer than what we see in the Midwest and in Minnesota. Some of it is the heat. Much of it is the result of the soil being much more hard clay than the softer black dirt we see. After a summer of little rain and challenging conditions, many golf courses here are even harder than usual
A little backstory about my game: I don’t hit 300 yard drives. I don’t hit par 5s in two. Sure it happens at times, but is not a regular thing and it usually requires a pretty good tailwind. Usually a par 5 means that I hit a tee ball and then I try to find the best club to layup to a spot where I can hit a full wedge.
So that’s why my first two round here were so surprising. Playing first at The Tradition Course at Cyrpesswood and then at Cypress Lakes GC, I pounded some tee balls and hit about two years worth of par 5s in two. The ball would land in the fairway, bounce hit into the air and then keep running.
On Friday, I hit a pair of par 5s in two. The first was a driver and a hybirid. When the ball was in the air on this dogleg left, I thought it would kick toward the green, but end up short. When I walked around the corner, I was surprised to see it on the green. On the back nine, I hit driver- 6 iron into a par 5 of about 520 yards. On that one, the tee ball went about 320 yards. Yes, it was downwind, but that’s still pretty surprising for me.
On Saturday, I went driver, 4 iron into a front-nine par 5 and then hit driver, hybrid into one on the back. The second one was especially sweet as the 17 degree hybrid I hit to about eight feet from about 250 was one of the best shots I’ve hit in ages. It was awesome.
Of course, I didn’t make any of the putts, but it was still very fun. And the four easy birdies didn’t hurt either.
That’s it for now. I will be providing more Texas reviews, etc., upon my return to Minneapolis.