Saturday, August 27, 2005

golfing Hecla Golf Course ( Gull Harbour)

Four of us played Manitoba's # ranked golf course today (as of Score Golf's 2002 ratings.) This was my first time playing it in about five or six years.

I started off fairly well, with a double-bogey 6, followed by a birdie three and two pars. Unfortunately, things began to fall apart after that. I shot 49 on the front nine. My problems involved not adjusting my aim for my usual slice / fade. On the challenging par 5 number ten, for example, you might be able to reach the green in two, or you could lay up. I chose to fire a three-wood shot since I was about 221 yards away and I just had to go for it. It flew the right distance but ended up fading to the right of the green and into the bushes. I was disappointed with myself since I could have greened it in two, had I only aimed more the to left.

For some strange reason, I had a lot of trouble with the par 3's. My tee shots were dreadful, usually going less than 30 feet. I kept on missing the ball,even though I teed up fairly low. I may actually just use no tee at all since I get really good contact with several of my irons, from the fairway. Take away the horrible scores on the par threes, and I would have shot under 100.

I also got greedy on one hole. My tee shot ended up on the right side of the fairway, in the rough. I could either hit the ball towards the hole and advance it several yards and risk hitting a tree or I could play it out in the fairway, and gain no yards, but have a makeable shot to the green. I foolishly tried to advance the ball and missed it. Then, when I did hit it, it hit a tree and ended up in an unplayable lie, in the trees. Right there, I wasted three strokes! And, had I advanced the ball, I would still be hitting an iron into the green. Whether I played it safe or tried to advance it, I would still be shooting for the green with my next shot. There was no advantage to trying to advance the ball, but my greedy self got the better of me.

A couple of drives slipped out of my hands, but overall, I was very pleased with the distance I gained from my new 440 CZ Cobra driver. One of my foursome is totally in love with his oversized driver and hit some remarkable shots. One of them lined him up for an easy 60 degree wedge shot to the green, followed by a putt for birdie.

I left my "new" used Cobra 5-iron at home and opted for my regular oversized 5-iron, which is noticeble heavier and easier to hit. Good choice. I may never use that Cobra iron again.

If there's one thing that I didn't like about the golf course, it was the huge amount of goose poop on the fairways. It's everywhere!

The cost of walking Gull Harbour Golf Course was $35 - a great deal for such a beautiful course. The fairways are wide and varied. You see Lake Winnipeg on several holes. This course is the best course that I have played and it makes a lot of my regular places to play seem so "Mickey Mouse" in comparison. Maybe next year, I can convince my friends to arrive early enough to play two rounds instead of just one. It's a two hour drive to get there from Winnipeg and well worth it.

"The J.A. Thompson-designed Hecla golf course has been a major draw since 1975 when it first opened for play. At 6,696 yards from the blue tees and covering nearly 195 acres, Hecla has lots of undulating land in which to strategically place its 75 bunkers. Water hazards come into play on seven holes, while water views over scenic Lake Winnipeg appear on 12 holes."

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