I have a ritual every golf season: some time in the first week the local golf courses open, I set up a tee time at Dunwoodie to serve as my inaugural New York round. For some reason, I fool myself into thinking those short par-4s and manageable par-3s make it an easy course.
And, like an idiot, I pull out my driver on the first hole.
Yup, I did it again today. Despite wind in my face and rust on my swing, I tried to drive the first hole, a par-4 260-yarder, even envisioning the majestic flight of my ball over the bunker. Instead, I hit a low liner into a row of trees along the right side before nestling up to a patch of brown dirt.
Welcome to the 2009 Season, dummy.
I only got to play nine holes today but it was glorious enough. I made par on the first, followed by back-to-back doubles and an unsightly quadruple on No. 4, before settling in the rest of the way.
Overall, I thought the condition of the course was fair. The only temporary green was on No. 5, which is the way it was for most of last season (turning a dog-leg par 4 into a downhill par 3). But it looked like the normal green was almost back to health after being rebuilt last summer.
The green on No. 3 wasn’t great, but it never is. While I was hitting up, there were four workers there pointing to the trees above. Perhaps the green isn’t getting enough sunlight, which is why it’s a mess. The hills on No. 7 and 8 were both very short, allowing balls to run off back into the green/fairway. And if you thought the green on No. 9 was slick last season, wait until you see it this year. (Hackers tip: Always be below the hole).
Amazingly, the course was pretty quiet. I teed off just after 9 and there were probably 3-4 groups ahead of me but only 3-4 directly behind. There were more people on the course after that. But even when I left, the parking lot was only 2-3 rows full and there were 5-6 people on the driving range.
This is the Hudson Valley, so obviously that’s going to change very soon.