The Wanamaker Course at PGA Village is by far the best of the three main courses. It isnt completely fair for me to say that without playing the back nine of the Dye course, but I think its safe to say. The course is the most challenging (on paper) of the courses at PGA Village and it played as difficult as we expected. There were some fantastic holes, including long par 5s, par 3s with tough greens and even short par 4s. The course condition was almost perfect. Even with all the rain, the greens and the fairways held up nicely. And these greens, unlike the Dye Course, were rolling pure and smooth.
This was a challenging round. For one thing, it was raining off and on the entire round. We had also spent the entire morning practicing and hitting balls, which was awesome. For another, we were going to miss Luke Donald giving a masterclass in putting and short game. I had known for a day or so that Donald was going to be doing many of the drills we were doing throughout the weekend and because of our afternoon tee time, we would miss it. But I tried to put it out of my mind. Unfortunately, the front nine was brutally slow taking almost 2 hours and 45 mins. By the 9th hole, we were concerned we wouldn’t even finish the round. In my mind, if we weren’t going to finish the round, I would rather quit at 9 holes and go watch the greatest short game player in the world.
But we made the turn and with that, I changed my atitude. I went birdie, par, par to start the back. I was driving the ball extremely well (86% on the back) and after driving 3 holes in a row, I got back on a par run with 16. As we approached the long par 3 (over 200 yards) 17th, we could barely see and the rain had picked up again. I hit a hybrid to pin high but 40 feet away leaving me a sidehill/downhill putt. I took a confident stroke and rolled it in the high side for birdie. If I had missed the hole I would’ve been 10 feet past. I went to the par 4 18th sitting at 33. If I par 18, I shoot 37 and my best 9-hole score ever.
By this point, we couldn’t see anything at all and wondered if we would get called off the course. 18 is a great finishing hole. A medium length, dogleg right with a long fairway bunker that guards the right side of the fairway leading to the edge of a lake that guards the rest of the fairway all the way to a green. The smart play is to take a fairway wood. I grabbed my RBZ 13º and hit a solid shot up the right that finished at the front of the fairway bunker. I’m lucky I didn’t flush it, I would’ve been in the water.
My lie in the bunker was good, but it was close to the edge. I needed to fly the ball 150 over water and had to aim a little left of the green. I took a 7i and gripped down. I normally would’ve taken 8i, but in this case I wanted to make sure if I caught it fat, I’d have enough club. I hit it solid, but left and long. I was left with an uphill chip to a downward slopping green and needed to get up and down for par. I had to leave the chip right on the top of the mound and let it trickle down, but I didn’t get it enough. The darkness made it so hard to see. I putted down, missed the putt back and doubled the hole. I still shot 39, and after the terrible front 9, I felt really good about it.
I'm the Vice President of Digital Innovation and Mobile, which is probably the coolest job title out there. You can learn more about my work in emerging technology on the About or Work Pages.
As for this site, it's a place where I can jot ideas down and share some of the stuff I'm working on. The views are my own and some of them might not make much sense, but hey, that's part of the process. I'm also working toward being a single digit handicap golfer, so I post a lot about my golf game.