We love a random Tuesday off! I had worked all weekend including a late night on Saturday, so I got the random off day in the week and luckily Ritz […]
We love a random Tuesday off! I had worked all weekend including a late night on Saturday, so I got the random off day in the week and luckily Ritz was free as well. He had to be in White Plains so we met at a place near where he was called Dunwoodie Golf Course in Yonkers, NY. It is a municipal course, but arguably the best one I have played in the Westchester, NY area.
Dunwoodie is way better than Pelham or Split Rock, a bit better kept than Van Cortlandt and on the same level as Maple Moor. I would also put it above Saxon Woods.
The one thing I can say about Dunwoodie is that while it is not terribly long (Ritz and I played from the tips, so that will show you), there are not a lot of level shot. By that I mean the fairways and bumpy, slanty and hilly. A lot of the ball above your feet or below your stance. To be fair…I may be partially to blame because I only hit two fairways on the day. But in my defense, the fairways where fairly skinny, but not in an unfair way.
One other thing is that this course has a very strange layout in the fact that it has FOUR par threes on the back. FOUR of them. It is a par 70 course, but FOUR on the back is a lot. Only one on the front.
Ritz and I played with a couple of guys who were very good at golf. They are at Ritz’s level. They are bigger bombers, just absolutely mashing shots. They were good guys thought. Very good sports.
Also, can we talk about how google says that Dunwoodie is permanently closed?
Now let’s see how I did in my 13th round of the year.
Par 4 | 276 Yards
Never a fun time teeing up in front of people you don’t know. Even more nerve wracking when it is from the tips.
With that being said, this is a very short par four, so nut much to mess up. The really only exciting part of this hole with Ritz’s tee shot which went a bit right and struck a cart that was waiting to tee off on a later hole.
I hit my drive not too well, so it goes about 185 yards. It is a banana hook and I end up on the left side just outside the fairway. My approach shot to the flag is about 90 yards away, so I take out my pitching wedge and hope that I don’t skull it.
Thankfully I don’t hit it too thin and actually hit it about the average distance i normally do. That means I overshot the green, but it not too bad. I am on the fringe about 30 feet away from the cup. I three-putt from there and it is a bogey five on the scorecard to begin the round.
I noticed on this hole that the two fellows Ritz and I were playing with were very good at chipping. I was the only one in this group to not have the soft high-arcing chip/pitch shot.
SCORE: 5 (3 Putts)
Score Overall: 5 (+1)
Par 4 | 329 Yards
Not every hole is a bogey hole. Not at all.
I hit an okay drive that goes about 190 yards and lands in the right side rough. My approach to the hole was about 136 yards so I took out my seven iron. The hole is tuckered a bit down on a hill and it is a blind second shot. I can see my shot, which felt good coming off the club, leaning a bit toward the right.
I look over at our playing partners and he says that it went long and he wasn’t sure if it was safe or not.
I get down to the hole area hoping for a lucky bounce…and there was not such thing. It was thicket behind the green and the drop off on the right side was not transverable.
I drop and play my fourth shot…which I chip 90 degrees…directly into the bunker. Great, I gave myself a sand shot. What the heck. That is not what you want, Stanko.
I do get out of the sand (on my fifth shot), in one try. It is wonderful and and ideal. I am ecstatic. I am not so pleased when I three putt and I am writing down a quadruple bogey on my second hole.
SCORE: 8 (3 Putts)
Score Overall: 13 (+5)
Par 4 | 373 Yards
Third hole is a longer par four that has a hill that slops entirely left to right downhill. Very severe. Then, as we fast forward to the green area, going long and right is again a death sentence.
So I hit my drive and it is going left. It is going okay, definitely playable, but then my ball suddenly bounces 20 feet high like a kangaroo. What the hell was that! We are all perplexed on the tee box.
So i walk to the hill where my ball launched into orbit and i see a nice metal sewage grate. It is mostly cement and has a two-by-two grated area. I mean what is this sewer grate doing there!?
So I drop down, hit my second shot which was about 140 yards away. Seven iron again. Let’s do this.
Guess what, when you do the same thing twice in a row and you get the same result every time…that is what some people call insanity.
My seven iron goes long again, and for the second straight hole I am down a ball.
I literally repeat the same mistakes as the second hole. A bad first chip that goes from some rough to worse rough. The only difference is this hole and the last hole is that I two-putted this challenge rather than three-putted. A suppose a step in the right direction.
SCORE: 7 (2 Putts)
Score Overall: 20 (+8)
Par 4 | 386 Yards
I hit driver on this hole, but I think it went only 140 yards. I hit the flop shot version of a drive and it didn’t even land in the fairway. I landed in the left rough so off to a great start. Needed to get the ball over 200 yards, I just take out a three iron and try and get it close but I hit a great golf shot and I get the ball 10 yards away from the green. I hit my three iron probably 190 in the air and had a good roll out. It was a fantastic shot.
I take out my pitching wedge and hit a solid chip, giving myself a decide look at par. I missed it…but still a tap-in bogey after i had 15 strokes combined on the last two holes is a massive exhale.
This round through four holes has been so inconsistent. A good first and fourth hole that sandwich a pair of horrendous holes.
SCORE: 5 (2 Putts)
Score Overall: 25 (+9)
Par 4 | 321 Yards
I played this hole so weird, but it worked out so fucking well.
This hole is dog left right and it is short, so driver is out of the question. The fairway starts bending around 175, so a three-iron is too much because I would most likely overshoot the fairway and I’d end up in some rocks.
I take out a seven iron off the tee. Yup, I mean that. I take out a seven iron and I hit a lower line drive type of shot that is quite literally picture-perfect. The shot lands around 150 and rolls out and holy shit I just hit a seven iron about 200 yards. I swear to god this is true. The benefit of hitting an iron thin on a hole that is downhill and where I caught the grain right.
The flag is about 104 yards away because it is in the front of this green, so I take out my pitching wedge and take my approach. I lose sight of the ball due to a tree with some elongated branches, but I get up to the green and I see I am putting for birdie.
We. fucking. love. it.
It is a two putt for par, and I am ashamed to say that my first putt wasn’t the best…but it is a par on the scorecard no matter which way.
SCORE: 4 (2 Putts)
Score Overall: 29 (+9)
Par 5 | 505 Yards
We enter the par five realm.
I would like to never come back to the par five realm.
This 505-yard hole was just a bad hole, even after a good drive that went over 200 yards and landed in the fairway. I take out a three-wood because I am an idiot and I absolutely duff it. Now only 50 yards in front of where my drive landed, I take out my three-iron to be smart. Turns out you can really only be smart when you don’t hit a three-iron that goes almost perpendicular.
I am still well away from the hole so as I inch my way towards the green, I am telling myself to not make matters worse.
You know what makes matters worse? A duff chip that leaves me about 45 feet from the hole putting for bogey. Three putts later and I am writing down an eight on this par five. A triple bogey after finding the fairway. It is a very frustrating experience.
Through six holes we have three good holes and three terrible holes. I can not stay level. It is peaks and valleys. All I want to do is be consistent, even if it is not the best scores. I would rather know what to expect than be surprised or anguished at my own ability every other hole.
SCORE: 8 (3 Putts)
Score Overall: 37 (+12)
Par 3 | 184 Yards
This is a WONKY hole. It is 184 yards, but it is all downhill, so I played it down to 140.
I took out an eight iron…and got very lucky that it stayed in play. I hit it well but it faded a bit left towards the woods…but it hit a branch and dropped down in the rough about 10 yards shot of the green. There was a bunker directly in front of me…so I aimed to the left of it and I came up short. I got scared of the bunker and I had a scared swing.
However…my second chip was AWESOME. I nearly chipped the ball in and I had a tap in for bogey. I got so lucky my ball didn’t go OB, so taking a one-putt par from this hole is like having a horseshoe stuck up my butt.
This is the easiest hole on the front nine according to the handicap, and I don’t think I agree. A hole with this elevation change is very hard to articulate. Luckily the breeze wasn’t bad for our group with this hole otherwise it would have been worse.
This hole was the only hole where our group had to wait. It was the only time the pace of play slowed up.
SCORE: 4 (1 Putt)
Score Overall: 41 (+13)
Par 4 | 340 Yards
Hole eight is a leveled slight dog leg right. After getting a bit lucky with my tee shot on the seventh hole, I take it into my own hands to find the fairway with this one. I hit the ball about 200 yards and I have the most remarkable banana hook you could think of.
I aimed this tee shot at the seventh hole green. Luckily there was no one on that green (which is elevated compared to the eighth hole tee box). My ball takes flight at it and then ends up plump in the middle of the fairway.
I have about 140 yard approach in so I take out an eight iron. I hit the ball very thin, and I am very worried that my low liner skimmed over the green and rolled off the back and went into the shit.
I don’t know if I had some spin on the ball or what, but my ball somehow stays on the playing surface. I am not on the green, but I am just on the fringe and I have a chance at making something out of a thought to be nothing situation.
I chip from the top of the hill on the back of the green and it is a superb chip. Remarkable. It was a very risky proposition for me to chip, but I put my cards down and I came down with a flush. I guess the risk I took was worth it following the luck I had with the second shot.
SCORE: 4 (1 Putt)
Score Overall: 45 (+13)
Par 4 | 245 Yards
This is a funky hole and I made a big mess of it.
The short par four begged for me to lay up and be smart, but I took my driver out. STUPID STANKO.
My drive, which I hit really well, managed to hit a branch on a tree and then ricochet right. Not good. I am basically playing from the eighth hole fairway.
Why do I do this to myself.
So I have to punch out of my situation, and my first attempt strikes a tree. Not what you want. My third shot gets round the green, and THANKFULLY I avoided a front edge bunker by about six inches.
My fourth shot, and third straight with my pitching wedge, gets onto the green, and then it is the Stanko two-putt from about 20 feet.
A six on this hole is really hard to swallow because of the scoring opportunity. If I had laid up eight eight iron then nine iron or pitching wedge, I would have shaved a stroke off.
SCORE: 6 (2 Putts)
Score Overall: 51 (+15)
Par 3 | 175 Yards
We begin the back nine with new liquids in our tummies and a downhill par three. I take out a six iron for the first time…and it doesn’t go well. I slice it left and lose it. Not what you want. This would be my last lost ball of the day. It would be my last penalty stroke.
My third shot is a chip from the rough and I hit it far too hard. It rolls to the back of the green and I have my work cut out for my with my fourth shot. The putt gets around near the hole, but I have a slippery three footer for a double bogey.
A huge putt here for me. I know it seems silly for a double-bogey, but this putt gave me a ton of confidence. I think I wore it for the rest of the round.
SCORE: 5 (2 Putts)
Score Overall: 56 (+17)
Par 5 | 505 Yards
This here may have been my best hole of the entire round. Spoiler alert, I scored par on this hole. I love scoring well on the longer holes because it means you strung shots together, which is exactly what I did.
My drive was good, not great. It went about 190 yards and was leaning in the left side rough. I am okay though, not panicking. I just need a good lay up.
I take out my three iron. I need to hit a lower line drive type of shot because I have some branches ahead of me.
There is something about this shots that I love. Put the ball on the back foot, like all the way on the back foot. Take a hack at the ball with a bit of an open stance and then watch it tail a bit to the left and then let it roll.
This is one of of the few shots I am good at because the open stance allows me to get a lot of power on it. I don’t know why, but for me it works.
I end up about 124 yards away from the hole. It is downhill and a little blind. I need to get it over a tree and there is a bunker about 100 yards away, protecting the green. I decide that I do not want to be short because of this bunker so I take out my nine iron.
Colin Morikawa could not have hit a better shot than I did. Okay, well maybe he can, but still I loved this shot. I stuck this ball to within 10 feet with a PLOP. I mark the ball and I have to fix the divot right there on the mark.
Now I may have missed the birdie putt with a misread. I may have thought it’d break one way but it went the other, but my pace was strong. I was able to just get a tap-in for par on a par five that was over 500 yards.
SCORE: 5 (2 Putts)
Score Overall: 61 (+17)
Par 3 | 135 Yards
This hole is measured out at 135 yards. All three golfers when in front of me on this hole, and they played it at 150 and 140 yard distances. Everyone went long, so I take out my seven iron and all I want to do is get it high and not hit a bullet into the hill that is behind the green.
It feels fantastic off the club and seven iron was 100% the right choice. I was pin high one yard into the right side rough. I was closest to the pin from everyone playing with the flag being on the right side.
I take out my sand wedge for a low distance chip…but I still manage to hit it short. Fucking hit the ball Stanko. I just chip it onto the fringe, and then two putt from there for bogey. I really can not complain about bogeys, but all I wanted to do was have an up and down and this was the best shot I had all day.
I am not good at chipping with my sand wedge. I am just not good at it at all.
SCORE: 4 (2 Putts)
Score Overall: 65 (+18)
Par 4 | 328 Yards
I sliced my drive VERY POORLY on this hole. Very, very badly. No banana hook this time. No long trajectory arc. This was a SCHWIINNGGGG drive.
Fortunate for my second shot to be playable, I take out my pitching wedge and just get the ball back onto the fairway, leaving myself another pitching wedge shot to get onto the green.
I wish I could say that I hit a good shot here, but we are in the trust tree. I hit a ground ball worm burner, but luckily I hit it straight and so this ball just starts going, and going, and going…and holy shit I am on the green.
It is nice to miss straight, but it is also better to be lucky than good.
From there it is the two-putt parade and another bogey on the scorecard.
SCORE: 5 (2 Putts)
Score Overall: 70 (+19)
Par 3 | 172 Yards
I want to die. This hole took my soul and stomped it into a pile of goose shit and then took the mashed poop from the bottom of the shoe and used it as ink for the fountain pen that I had to write this score down in. Gross.
I took out a three iron hybrid because if I hit a straight three iron I’d go long and I wanted a shot that would get some loft. I hit a good second shot after duffing my tee-off attempt, but so good that it went over the green and down a massive hill. I am stuck behind a mound and a tree is preventing me from going high, so I try and be delicate….and that was a mistake. It took me four chips to get onto the green. Four of them. Four chips. Then I had to two putt. I got an eight on this hole.
I got an eight on a par three. I had two different duff chips from the same spot.
This is the most embarrassed i have been on a golf course in a really long time.
SCORE: 8 (2 Putts)
Score Overall: 78 (+24)
Par 4 | 404 Yards
We need some happiness here. So bounce back. Pretty, pretty please.
My drive is very good. In fact, I killed it. According to my GPS, I hit this drive 230 yards which is BY FAR one of my best of the year let alone this round. It may not have found the fairway, but I leaned on the right side of the fairway because I didn’t have any hook or fade to this drive. I aimed right and that is where It stayed. I just absolutely destroyed the ball.
With about 183 yards approach in my eyesight I take out my three iron. I don’t particularly hit it well. I hit it incredibly fat and chunky, but I missed it straight. I left myself with a 50 yard pitch shot. It is a middling shot, but luckily for me there is nothing in my way from a wonderful bump and run type of shot. I am not good with the soft pitches. Not good with them at all.
I am able to my preferred type of chip and and get it onto the green, about 15 feet for par. I have an uphill putt, so i have to get it there.
I don’t. I unfortunately do not and I have a one-putter uphill tap-in for bogey.
Next time to score well, I can not allow myself to hit the putt short. I am not good with having the conviction to putt the way needed to give it a chance.
SCORE: 5 (2 Putts)
Score Overall: 83 (+25)
Par 5 | 519 Yards
The final par five of the day is the longest hole of the day. Just what you need when your energy is starting to wane.
I had a good drive that went just under 200 yards but missed the fairway on the right side. I was able to connect on a good three-iron that got me within 125 yards. It was extended pitching wedge or be aggressive and go for the green. Seeing where my score was at why as of now, I took the safe approach and went pitching wedge. I came up short, which is what I expected. My fourth shot it a chip onto the green which almost went in the hole but rolled past the hole about 10 feet. I missed the par putt because I am a terrible putter so it is a two putt bogey.
SCORE: 6 (2 Putts)
Score Overall: 89 (+26)
Par 4 | 419 Yards
LONGGG par four here. Have to just not completely fuck it up.
My drive here on the 419-yard challenge goes a bit left and travels about 190 yards from the tee box. My approach to the hole is about 200 yards away, so I take out my three iron (which has treated me well on the back nine) and hope that it beckons my warmth again.
It does. Lovingly and caressingly. I do not care if I am hugging this tree line on my left the entire time. I am plotting my way down and just staying out of trouble. I am living close to trouble, but I am not living with it.
The classic Stanko gets around the green, chips on but not close enough for a realistic par and two putts for a bogey. We are well on our way to a below 100 score.
SCORE: 5 (2 Putts)
Score Overall: 94 (+27)
Par 3 | 164 Yards
What a way to end the day. I knew I was in decent shape coming up on this hole. Basically just don’t completely implode like on hole 14.
This is a straight forward par three. It is the easiest hole on the course. It is also a very pretty hole as you can see the entire NYC skyline (if you look past the cell tower).
I take out a five iron AND I HIT A FUCKING GREAT GOLF SHOT. IT LOOKED PROFESSIONAL. It started on the right side on the green, slightly fading toward the middle of the green. It lands about five feet short of the hole and five feet left of the hole. It rolls away a bit, but I have a 10 foot, uphill birdie putt to end the day. Let’s get after it.
I step up to the putt and I give it the best shot I can. I did not leave the putt shot. I thought it would break right to left, but I misjudged. I really should have just hit it straight. Still, a tap-in par to end the day is about as good as it gets for me.
SCORE: 3 (2 Putts)
Score Overall: 97 (+27)
- I only hit two fairways the entire time on the course, and they both came on the front nine. There were only five fairways on the back nine because there were FOUR PAR THREES on the back nine, but still didn’t didn’t hit a single one.
- The only fairways that I hit where hole six where I got an eight (triple bogey, awesome), and a par four score on the eighth hole.
- What I am most proud about is two-putting every single hole on the back nine, and I did not have a three-putt over the last 12 holes. That is a way to keep your score low when you only hit two fairways.
- I finished the day with four pars, eight bogeys, two double-bogeys, two triple-bogeys, one quadruple bogeys and one…pentaple (what is the prefix for five in this setting) bogey?
- I only had two greens in regulation. I was relying a lot on my chipping and pitching. I hit the green in regulation on two of my four pars. Who would have guessed that getting on the green earlier helps your case for lower scores?
- I really do need to thank my three iron for carrying me on the back nine. It served me well.
- I feel a little bit bad for Ritz because he didn’t play his best. He was a tad bit frustrated but next time he plays this course he is going to kill it.
- Credit to the course, the greens were nice. They were very fair. Not super hard, but not super tough. Not like Gator Trace easy but not Fair Winds hard.
WESTERN HILL ROUNDS
|#1 | Par 4||5 (3 Putts)|
|#2 | Par 4||8 (3 Putts)|
|#3 | Par 4||7 (2 Putts)|
|#4 | Par 4||5 (2 Putts)|
|#5 | Par 4||4 (2 Putts)|
|#6 | Par 5||8 (3 Putts)|
|#7 | Par 3||4 (1 Putt)|
|#8 | Par 4||4 (1 Putt)|
|#9 | Par 4||6 (2 Putts)|
|#10 | Par 3||5 (2 Putts)|
|#11 | Par 5||5 (2 Putts)|
|#12 | Par 3||4 (2 Putts)|
|#13 | Par 4||5 (2 Putts)|
|#14 | Par 3||8 (2 Putts)|
|#15 | Par 4||5 (2 Putts)|
|#16 | Par 5||6 (2 Putts)|
|#17 | Par 4||5 (2 Putts)|
|#18 | Par 3||3 (2 Putts)|
|Total||97 (+27) | 37 Putts, 2 FIR, 3 GIR|
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