Sunday, September 12, 2004

Inwood and Oakwood golf courses

On Thursday, we played the 18-hole course at Inwood. It's north west of Teulon. Due to the lack of signage on the highway, we weren't certain if we were actually going in the right direction. My golfing partner doesn't have a highway map.

This has got to be the narrowest course I've ever played. Several of the par 4s are under 300 yards. There's actually a par 5 that's 317 yards. Some of the maps of the hole layouts are backwards! One of the guys in our foursome estimated that he incurred 19 penalty strokes. It's really no fun being in the bush on almost every hole, so I doubt we would play this course again. Still, I went birdie-par-par on three consecutive holes which made my day. I almost greened one of the short par 4s by sneaking right through a dog leg. We actually spend a few minutes in the bush looking for the ball before I dropped another one. Upon walking up to the green, we found my original ball about 15 ft from the hole. The end result was a birdie.

On Friday, two of us played Oakwood, an 18-hole course located in St. Anne, right off of the Trans Canada highway. Like Inwood, this was a 9-hole course that was expanded. Oakwood's front nine are somewhat narrow. This is a not a premier course. On the first hole, I noticed a patch of grass growing in one of the bunkers. The back nine is more wide open. There are some holes where you can definitely cut the corner and safely land in the fairway. I'm always leery of courses that have par 4s under 300 yards and this is another one. I wouldn't go out of my way to play it again, but I would if they offered coupons again at the end of the season. This was our first time playing both courses.

I watched the gripping conclusion to the 100th Canadian Open today. On Friday, Vijay Singh, freshly ranked No. 1 in the world, shot a miraculous 28 on the front nine on the first day. He scored five birdies and one eagle - seven under after 9 holes. Yesterday, he fell apart with four bogeys and one triple bogey for a +1. Mike Weir was the leader going into the final round today. Vijay eventually caught him, and won after three sudden death playoff holes. It's a shame that Weir lost. He made some truly superb shots. Vijay putted poorly but still caught Weir after 72 holes. In the playoff, Weir's putter let him down. Vijay's also putted poorly, but he knew he had the game in hand when Weir's approach shot to the 18th green fell in the water. Vijay had an easy putt for birdie but missed it and parred to beat Weir by one. I think winning the Canadian Open would have boosted Weir's fame in Canada as much or more than his Master's win last year did. With 7 PGA victories and only 34 years old, he'll pass George Knudson's record of 8 wins sooner or later. I hope he wins the Canadian Open, though. It's the thired oldest national golf tournament in the world. It was disappointing to see Phil Mickelson, ranked #4 in the world, finish 57th. He recently split from sponsor Titleist after requesting to renegotiate his contract, and just signed up with Callaway (who also own the Top-Flite and Strata brands after buying them from Spalding last year.) Maybe he needs a bit of time to become used to his new driver and ball, both Callaway prototypes.

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