68 Seven Hills CC Sedona AZ
First two thoughts:
1.Thank goodness there are no pictures on a scorecard!
2.This course is a bowling Alley!
This was a first look at this course for me. Very tricky layout. This place requires precision shot making. Designed by the great Tom Weiskopf who played his whole career in the persimmon age. This is a persimmon track no doubt.
ABSer JRICH99 and both our fathers joined us for a game around this wonderful layout. I would really enjoy playing here again.
Well, I’m glad there are no pictures because while the score was more than pleasing, it was not a textbook round of perfect ball striking by any means. I hit a few very suspect shots, and a couple very poor shots that I got away with due to nothing more than some good fortune.
Three birdies and an eagle allowed me three mistakes to card a 68 on this challenging par 70.
This kind of golf is exactly the reason I count my blessings for having Mare Island and my home track. Because of Mare, I don’t fear these kind of courses. Mare forces you to think on every shot… and I get bored to death if I don’t have to think on every shot on a golf course. Arrive at ball, laser the pin and play from a flat lie to an huge green is not my cup of tea.
This was some real golf out here.
Bogeyed the first hole right out of the shoot which never feels good. I simply played the wrong kind of shot into this green.
There is a slope right of the green you can use to play off or favor, and I took an 8 iron right at the pin and pulled it a bit, and it got over the green left… a real no no in golf. After seeing the green I would play a lower ground runner into the right side of the green with maybe a 6 iron from 135, and just feed it in there. Tough chip from back there, and no conversion.
Second hole I hit driver but should not have. Although it is 450 yards… there is no reason to bring the left fairway bunker into play… and beyond that bunker the fairway bottlenecks and it’s a sucker shot to try to thread one in there. I hit a good drive down the left side that ran into the bunker. A one iron off the tee would leave me a 4 or 5 iron into the green and I take all trouble out of play. In this case I hit a great shot with a 6 iron from the bunker to about 15 feet above the hole and made the putt. A birdie, but not really the way to play this hole.
The third is one of only two five pars on the course. Both five pars have very tricky tee shots. This third hole… even though it is a par 5, I did not hit driver. The fairway was just too tight. I figured a 1 iron and maybe another iron would still leave me a wedge. Case in point here… just because a hole says par 5 DOES NOT AUTOMATICALLY mean hit driver.
If you don’t think you can get the ball in play 90% of the time… hit the club that you think you can. In this case, after a good 1 iron off the tee, I made a poor swing with a second 1 iron and cut the ball too far right and almost landed in the shrub bushes. My ball was actually just into the junk, but I had a swing and a playable lie so I was able to get the ball on the green and made par. (escape #1)
Two holes later I made my second bogey by skulling a 1 iron off the tee about 150 yards. I didn’t feel comfortable setting up because I could see that a driver would be too much club, and with the hole being a sharp dogleg left, I had to turn the ball right to left which is difficult for me to do with a 1 iron. The third element was that the ground was frozen and I could not get a broken tee in far enough so I had the ball teed too high for a 1 iron. So in an effort to compensate I knew I had to come into impact high, and I just skulled it in an awful way. Straight, but leaving me out of reach of the green. Another nice 1 iron got me greenside short right about 30 yards out and I hit a beautiful pitch to about 3 feet. Did I miss the putt due to a guilty conscious? Who knows… at that point I felt I gave away another unnecessary bogey.
Came back with a birdie on the next hole which was a short four par. While it really is an iron shot off the tee, the fairway just shaped in a perfect left to right way along the water, and it was exactly my typical shot shape with a driver, just a low bullet power fade that ran up close to the green. Not a very good pitch shot as I was trying to play off a slope to the right that I carried too far to get the bounce, but I holed a 12 footer for birdie.
On 8 I hit a wedge fat and left the ball short of the green, but chipped up for a kick in par. Not pretty after hitting a wonderful drive. I didn’t have a four on the card until the 8th hole. Pretty unusual for sure, but turned in 35.
The final bogey came on the 10th a par three. This again was a poor club selection because I could not see the green from the tee and didn’t know the shape of things up there. The pin in reality was back right, but it looked middle to me and the green appeared to run diagonal form short right to deep left which was actually the opposite. About 160 I pulled a 6 iron and played a draw shot that I tugged a hair and I hit it hard thinking the hole was uphill I would need to hit if full. Second bogey from missing long left into a bunker. No shot really. The right shot was to fade in a 6 iron and feed to the back right pin. So a combo of errors. Miss information and a bit of a tugged shot from working the wrong shape.
So being 1 over after 10, doesn’t look like anything great is going to happen out here today. Don’t know the course, not hitting it all that great today… and tough to hit it good really with so much uncertainty on so many shots trying to figure out a very tricky course as a play and go.
On eleven I hit a 1 iron off the tee and the green is a blind green down tucked over a hill. I hit a 9 iron right at the pin, but had no idea where it was going to be on the green… ended up a foot from the cup for a kick in. I’ll take it.
The 12th, is a short four par, multiple ways to play the hole, great hole really offering good risk and reward situations. Safe play is maybe a 4 iron right of the center bunker with just a wedge in from there. I this case, I felt I could carry the fairway bunker and get the ball down near the green. I pulled the 2 wood so I could turn it a bit right to left.
Well, best shot of the day… maybe of the year… just nailed it perfect… it hit over the bunker and ran right up between two greenside bunkers and stopped dead even with the hole 10 feet right of the cup. Nice to make the putt for an eagle two.
So how quickly things can change. I’m thinking now if I can put together some good shots and holes, I have 6 holes left and who knows… maybe I can birdie three coming in for a 65… wouldn’t that be nice.
13 is the toughest hole on the course. A long par four that is also a sharp dogleg left but you can’t hit it too far or you end up in a creek that you can’t see from the tee. It’s a long iron into the green with a huge bunker in front of the green, and the green is much to severe for the trajectory of shot that would typically come into this green. There is also a tree in the middle of the fairway. I didn’t like this hole… it’s too much in my opinion. I teed it high and gambled with a shot over the corner which paid off leaving me only a 6 iron in, but I was almost in this creek I didn’t see. I hit a nice 6 iron in 25 feet left of the pin, but the green was way too severe for my tastes for a hole this long… it would be silly if the greens were running really fast. The right way to play this hole would be to hit a 2 iron off the tee and try to run it out just past the fairway tree, and then come in with a 3 iron to a difficult green that is not shaped correctly for that trajectory.
I made par, but this is not a great hole.
14 I had no idea where the green was off the tee. I thought it was a sharp dogleg left, but a bunker deep into the right side of the fairway made no sense. I played right short of that bunker then found the green to be straight up a hill behind some trees. Wedged on and missed the bird from 15 feet.
15 is the other par 5. I again played a 1 iron off the tee to lay up short of the fairway bunkers down the right side. The hole doglegs hard left. It was downhill and my ball ran out and still got to the bunker. Should have hit 3 iron. Pitched out, pitched on… missed the putt. Didn’t birdie either of the par 5’s which is a disappointment.
On 16 the sun disappeared behind the rocks and it dropped 15 degrees in temp really fast. Suddenly my hands are getting numb and I realized I would not be able to do much… just try to par in. I did hit a really nice 4 iron into the par 3 #17 that hit the front of the green just right of the pin, but it caught a false front and pulled back 20 yards down the slope. Cold hands I bladed my pitch 30 feet past the hole. I walked up quickly, too one look and hit the putt and knocked it in!
18 we came up the hill out of the canyon and caught the sun again for another 5 minutes… just in time to finish our round without freezing solid. Nice drive and a 6 iron to 20 feet, and two putted.
What did I learn?
I think it’s important to always keep faith in your round. You never know when a couple great things might happen… and it’s important to keep yourself in the game if you can. Play smart, avoid the big mistakes and even on an off day, with a bit of luck you can still post a really good score. It sure helps to make some putts too!.
What to work on?
Didn’t feel the shaft slotting at transition today like it was a couple days ago… so need more SS work.
Probably my last round for a while as I will be heading back to SF and the deck.