Well well well we were lucky lads to get a completed round of golf in this day.
In Florida there is one constant at this time of the year and that is electrical storms. As sure as the sun coming up you know that between 3 and 5pm there is going to be an almighty storm when the trade winds from the east and the west converge over the southern part of Florida and all hell breaks loose.
After three days of this phenomenon, our original plan for a quick 9 hole knock-a-round at La Cita Country Club wisely turned into a full 18 hole round when we displayed a bit of foresight.¬† We were hosted at La Cita by Mr John Zambos and we played with John‚??s brother Tony and Jason Bruno ‚?? two guys mentioned in yesterdays blog who are joining us for three days straight. ¬†
Being honest, when I was teeing off on the 1st at 730am the last thing I wanted to be doing was be playing a round of golf that ¬†(at that stage) didn‚??t contribute towards our puregolf challenge.¬† Even after making birdie, I would have happily gone straight back to bed. But after a couple of holes, a couple of doubles and a couple of waters to wake me up we were away laughing.¬† And come the 9th we thought it best to hedge our bets and skip round the other nine ‚?? it helped that we were loving the course!
La Cita was a very playable course.¬† Shorter than the monsters we have been playing, much tighter holes cut through the trees and much smaller greens.¬† It‚??s a pleasant wee track, and adjoined by accommodation and a stately clubhouse.¬†¬†
Unfortunately the greens had been punched (it‚??s that time of the year down here in Florida) so again putting was hard work.¬† Jason thought it was a great ‚??old school‚?? course because you needed to shape the ball off the tee.¬† I followed a piece of advice I read by Mike Clayton - to hit it to the point of the dogleg and go from there.¬† Not being a shot course, many of the holes played this way were a 2 iron / 3 wood and then 9 iron.¬† A thinking mans course and one that if you played a few times you‚??d know exactly where to hit it and be able to score really well.
A highlight at La Cita was the chance to meet the owners, Dale and Jim who bought the course a few years back, terrific lucid humans who clearly share our entrepreneurial streak. ¬†They joined us for the back nine and we heard about their careers in the golf world ‚?? both originally from Pinehurst (where we‚??re going next week) Jim (the professional), and Dale (the greenkeeper), decided it would be best to work for themselves and now they‚??re their own bosses at La Cita.
A quick bite (burgers washed down with iced tea ‚?? Of Course), we were back in Dodgy and cruising north to Hammock Beach (Dodgy wasn‚??t necessarily cruising I think he has a minor cold). After the entre that was La Cita Hammock Beach was the main meal (or entre as they call it in the US? Still bemuses me every time I read a menu and all these huge steaks are called entre‚??s).
The Ocean Course at Hammock Beach is a relatively new course built by Jack Nicklaus.¬† A couple of holes run alongside the ocean but the others actually play inland amongst lakes.¬† Not a traditional links feature you might say but the wind and the ocean definitely play their part.¬† Tony Zambos had arranged this game at Hammock and I was joining him in a cart game against Jamie and Jason.¬†¬† I started pretty well, missing a 6 footer on the first for birdie but then making a ‚??tweeter‚?? (as Tony the greek with the big personality would say) on the next couple.¬† Probably the pick of the holes on the front was the par three 8th which plays back towards the ocean.¬† An elevated green but when you get the ball up in the air you‚??d normally get hammered by the wind.
On the 9th hole the weather started to get a bit iffy. We paused for 5 minutes or so. But then the clouds above got pretty dark. We kept going as the storm rolled in, and I managed to squeeze in bird #3 & 4. But then as Tony and I skirted back to pick up the camera (which was charging in the clubhouse) the first cell of lightening hit. And it was serious stuff. ¬†Jamie and Jason were holed up in the tunnel between 12 and 13. Tony and I weren‚??t moving from the cart bay.¬† Yarning with the locals, I realized we need not hang around to finish our round as we had already completed one full round that morning at La Cita. ¬†Jason and I wanted to continue as the round was going OK but there was no chance whatsoever. So a quick phone call later and JP and Jason braved it back in amidst the lightening and rain and minutes later we were packed up and outties. ¬†An aborted round at Hammock Beach but still a Huge Day of Golf.
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