I’d forgotten that golf is hard.
Welcome to our game of Wolf at Dye Fore – a Pete Dye course at Casa De Campo Resort that is, in a word, a Beast! We played the Chavon / Marina nines from the Blue Tees at about 6500 yards.
As it was our last practice round before the “real” golf began on Thursday – Mike, Steve, Dave and I paired for our traditional game of Wolf. To make it more fun, we played for 2 1/2 times our normal stakes.
The day began well enough with a par on the 500 yard #1, but it was halved by Dave’s bogey/net par for a push in the Wolf game. Even though I made 3 double bogeys over the balance of the front 9, I was up 5X after the front. Mike was also up after he rallied from a tough start to make 4 pars on the last 6 holes of the front. Steve and Dave were both down as no amount of strokes could help them on the front.
The back nine began with another 500 yard par 5 into a strong wind. I made a critical Wolf error here being too conservative. My partner on that hole – Dave – drove his ball into a hazard and had to take a drop. Dave and our opponents also stroked but I was in the fairway about 235 yards out. Steve & Mike both laid up to about 150-160 yards with their second shots, as had Dave, but he was lying 3, net 2. Our opponents were both lying 2, net 1 and I still had 235 to the hole. Steve doubled the bet and I declined for our team – not taking the risk.
Naturally, I proceeded to hit it in the bunker by the green, pin high, knocked it out to about 4 feet and made birdie. Steve and Mike both hacked it around to ultimately make doubles even with their strokes. But they won the hole because I didn’t think through accepting the double back in the fairway. My partner Dave must have been pissed off because to proceeded to par the next 3 holes and dig his way out of a fairly deep hole in the Wolf game.
On the other hand, I was rattled and double bogeyed 2 of the next 3 holes, hitting drives out of bounds. Yes, I was on my way to shoot a sparkling 87 with 3 lost balls, 5 double bogeys, and a mess of 3 putts.
After a very fitting cold rain shower on the last few holes, we all limped home with our tails between our legs. I was the only one to break 90, but Mike ended up the big winner at 6X our bet. Dave broke even and I ended the match up 2X. Steve would be paying us out at dinner which would make the osso bucco at La Plazzetta (Altos De Chavon) taste even that much better.
The real “tournament” begins Thursday. Al 10 players are now here and we’ve each kicked in $100 for the cumulative Stapleford score over the next 4 rounds – 2 at the Teeth of the Dog and 2 at Dye Fore. We’re paying 3 spots. Our modified Stapleford scoring awards 6 points for Eagle, 4 for Birdie, 2 for Par, 1 for Bogey and 0 for Double Bogey or worse. We track our position versus our quota which is 36 minus your handicap. Theoretically, I’m a 3 handicap, so my quota each day is 33 points. If I earn 32 then I’m -1 versus my quota.
That’s the theory – in reality I’m not playing to my handicap at all currently, and I’m expecting to be led to the slaughter. At least you get to follow along and hear about the carnage.