I Prefer To Listen!! Enjoy
As my Alaska Airways flight touched down at SFO, I imagined what they’d be saying on Golf Channel concerning the upcoming few days.
“This week is wanting like a must-win for Dethier if he needs to cement his legacy among the many nice gamers in GOLF Journal historical past…”
“Zak simply appears to have his quantity…”
“Persons are going to start out questioning his plus handicap if he can’t again it up on the course…”
This was the third iteration of our Elite Expeditions journey sequence, the place the great people at Porsche had impressed us to road-trip greatness. However co-conspirator Sean Zak had taken me down (with the good thing about 12 strokes per spherical, I ought to add) in each Florida and Georgia. It was time to place up or shut up and defend my honor on the California coast.
There was only one element left to kind out: The format. There are almost infinite choices for four-player video games, however with simply two golfers? We’d wearied of straight-up match play, so we went digging for options to boost the motion. Three rounds, three video games, three spectacular golf programs. You’ll be able to see how they turned out within the video beneath — and think about incorporating ’em in your personal two-player outings, too.
1. Three Little Piggies
The format: This one’s fairly easy, and it’s good for the primary spherical of a visit — particularly for those who’re coming straight off a aircraft or loosening up after an extended highway journey. Three Little Piggies is a stroke-play sport, however with some further forgiveness: You get to drop the three highest numbers out of your scorecard. Poof! Magic! They’re gone. You’re left with a 15-hole rating, and if that’s decrease than your opponent’s, effectively, you win!
The course: Pasatiempo Golf Course, Santa Cruz, Calif. $325.
There was a time when Pasatiempo might fly underneath the radar. Now not! This Alister Mackenzie gem, which served as inspiration for Augusta Nationwide, has been totally rediscovered and appreciated in recent times. The greens charges mirror the standard, however the product you uncover on website is decidedly unassuming. High-notch golf on the West Coast not often feels outdated, however Pasatiempo is a product of one other time, designed a century in the past and nonetheless seamlessly built-in into the encompassing neighborhoods.
Pasatiempo is deserving of each accolade. It’s strategic and memorable; even weeks later each shot is seared into my thoughts, in sequence. And that’s not as a result of I shot a very good rating; fairly the alternative. However I completed Pasatiempo wishing I might play once more proper then and there. (Phrase of recommendation: In the event you’re placing from above the outlet, proceed with warning.)
The outcome: Sean took down the opening match with an entire mastery of the format. I didn’t make any rating worse than 5, however I made a bunch of 5s. Sean, in the meantime, made two 8s and a 7, however dropped these and netted out two pictures forward of me. Three Little Piggies was a powerful success, particularly for those who’re somebody who likes to choose up your ball a pair instances per spherical.
Parting thought: Pasatiempo guidelines.
2. The Longest Yard
The format: One other easy idea that’s extremely enjoyable in apply. In the event you win a gap, you win the overall yardage of that gap, in factors. In different phrases, for those who’re taking part in a 7,000-yard course, there are 7,000 factors obtainable. And for those who win a 400-yard par-4, you win 400 factors.
The place issues get actually enjoyable are as soon as carry-overs begin getting concerned. The format typically rewards profitable lengthy holes — par-5s are sometimes price 3 times the worth of a par-3 — however that goes out the window once you’re standing on a brief par-3 with 1200 yards of carryover up for grabs.
The course: The Ocean Course at Half-Moon Bay, Half-Moon Bay, Calif., $135 (afternoon charge)
You’re cliffside in the beginning and end of the spherical, making for some spectacular cash pictures of the closing holes with the castle-like clubhouse looming within the background. It’s unbelievable that you’ll find a website — and sight — like this lower than half-hour from SFO.
The outcome: Sean led by almost 1,000 yards on the again 9 however I made a livid rally coming residence, capped off by a gritty win at 18 (although I acquired some assist when Sean hit his tee shot out of play). This was a very efficient approach to boost a typical match-play spherical.
Parting thought: Win these par-5s. Additionally, good likelihood to bone up on arithmetic.
3. Heaven or Hell
The format: Flip a coin earlier than you get to each tee field. If it lands on heads (“Heaven”) then excellent news: you’re going as much as the entrance tees! If it lands on tails (“Hell”) you’re headed all the best way again to play that gap from ideas. Match play from there. In the event you don’t wish to play the full-on “entrance” or “again” tees then negotiate that earlier than the spherical.
This can be a terrific sport that can assist you rethink what “par” actually means and permits you to play a golf course from quite a lot of totally different lengths and angles. In different phrases, it’s golf at its most enjoyable. It’s terrific on a course you’ve by no means seen and arguably even higher as a solution to change issues up on a course you’ve performed 100 instances.
The course: Presidio Golf Course, San Francisco, Calif., $90.
Presidio overcomes two large challenges. First, it’s extraordinarily troublesome to have a top-tier golf course inside the confines of a serious metropolis. Second, it’s troublesome to construct an important golf course on such hilly terrain. Presidio turns each of these challenges into benefits. The course is an oasis within the coronary heart of San Francisco; you may peer by way of the eucalyptus timber and catch glimpses of town. And maybe as a result of the course is so outdated, the hilliness of the design feels embedded and elemental to the panorama. Hilly programs typically really feel gimmicky. Not this one, which embraced subtlety and nuance all through the property’s ups and downs.
We teed off at 8 a.m. and acquired the complete Bay Space expertise; we teed off in what felt like fog however by the point we trekked all the way down to the primary fairway the air was utterly clear. Your entire spherical toggled forwards and backwards between moody fog and vivacious solar, which meant I took off and placed on my sweatshirt on 4 totally different events. A part of the appeal.
The outcome: The nice guys prevailed. Presidio isn’t a very lengthy course, however just a few of its par-4s have tooth from the guidelines — and its brief holes are compelling and quirky from the up-tees. In the event you’re a high-handicapper getting further strokes, you’ll be happier taking part in the toughest holes from the ahead tees, negating your drawback (and maybe the sport ought to be performed with 80% handicaps because of this). However I took benefit of the shorties and survived the full-lengthers, pulling away with a birdie at No. 16 to complete Sean 3 and a couple of.
It was a much-needed win to quiet the doubters and maintain the sanctity of our showdowns alive. It’s not a rivalry if one man wins on a regular basis, in spite of everything.
Parting thought: Get the breakfast burrito at Presidio. Get it! Don’t make me let you know once more.