MS 16-3

Mattaponi Springs Golf Club

Mattaponi Springs Golf Club – Played 2016

  • Rankings: Golf Digest Public #50
  • Location: 22490 Penola Road, Ruther Glen, Virginia
  • Year: 2004
  • Architects: Robert Lohmann
  • Course Access: Public
  • Walking Rules: Carts Available

Score Card Information:

  • Black: 6,890 yards, Par 72, 74.2 Rating/147 Slope
  • Blue: 6,406 yards, Par 72, 72.2 Rating/139 Slope
  • White: 6,155 yards, Par 72, 71.0 Rating/136 Slope (Men’s), 77.6 Rating/144 Slope (Women’s)
  • Gold: 5,571 yards, Par 72, 68.3 Rating/129 Slope, 74.3 Rating/137 Slope (Women’s)
  • Red: 4,924 yards, Par 72, 70.8 Rating/127 Slope

On my way up to Merion I decided it would be nice to get a round in.  I will be honest and say that I am not beholden to the Top 100 lists, but I am trying to play them.  Financially, it makes sense to play them if given the option instead of another course in the area.  I try to say yes to any golf, but this one worked out well as it was a Top 100 and pretty much on my way to Ardmore.

The name of the course refers to the freshwater springs that feed into the river of the same name.  Traditionally the Mattaponi people used these springs for drinking water.  The property has a lodge and convention center according to its website, but I didn’t see it.  I believe I saw some lodging options, but I’m not sure.

According to the website the goal of architect Bob Lohmann was to utilize the natural terrain, preserve natural attributes of the property, and highlight the natural elements when possible.  The fairways and tees feature zoysia grass while the greens are bentgrass. Continue reading

The First Time I Broke 80

It’s been some time since the golf blogging world lost a dear friend in Ryan from Front9Back9.  I feel worst for his family and friends who are experiencing true loss.  I would just hope that they can keep their head up and celebrate his life.  While I didn’t personally know him, I felt like I got a sense of his personality from our interactions on #GolfChat.  That is the beauty of that Twitter conversation and I am glad we have it.

One of Ryan’s frequent topics on Twitter was his quest to break 80.  In honor of that I wanted to share my story of that accomplishment.  I hope he is up in the sky and breaking 70 by now.

I was 14 when I first broke 80.  I don’t remember much about breaking 100 or 90.  I think I had come close to the 70’s a few times, but hadn’t really done it.  On the day I was playing with my grandfather and his two friends.  This was during the summer when I would spend time in New Hampshire so I was playing at Candia Woods where he worked.  I even remember the horrendous late 90’s golf shirt I was wearing.

I am not going to go into the hole by hole specifics mainly because I don’t remember them, but I played the front nine in even par 35!  I knew where my score was because I am one of those people that always knows how he stands more or less.  I have gotten better at that, but still usually know if we are putting everything out.  After that start I knew a number in the 70’s was well within my reach.  Over the back nine I didn’t play as well, but still managed a three over 39.  My playing partners were not quite as aware of what was going on as I was.  When we totaled up the score I exclaimed 74!  I had shattered the scoring barrier and I was really happy about it.

Beating that number is a liberating feeling.  It allows you the confidence to know you can shoot in the 70’s.  It also leaves you expecting to do so, but that is just fine!  I have since broken 70 a couple times, but none since I got out of college and had to get a real job!  Something about working that is not conducive to practice.

How have your scoring milestones come about?  I would love to hear about them.  Sound off in the comments section or shoot me an email.  Have fun out there.


Trump National Doral (The Blue Monster)

Trump National Doral (The Blue Monster) – Played 2016

  • Rankings: Golf Digest Public #84, Golf Magazine Public #100
  • Location: 4400 N.W. 87th Avenue, Miami, Florida
  • Year: 1961, 2014 (Update)
  • Architect: Dick Wilson (Original), Gil Hanse (Update)
  • Course Access: Resort
  • Walking Rules: Carts & Caddies Available

Score Card Information:

  • Black: 7,590 yards, Par 72, 77.4 Rating/146 Slope
  • Gold: 7,034 yards, Par 72, 75.0 Rating/140 Slope
  • Blue: 6,698 yards, Par 72, 73.5 Rating/139 Slope
  • White: 6,334 yards, Par 72, 71.7 Rating/139 Slope
  • Red: 5,463 yards, Par 72, 72.9 Rating/138 Slope

The final course of this trip was to be The Blue Monster at Trump National Doral.  The course is now the former host of the WGC Cadillac Championship on the PGA Tour.  It has been around since the 1960’s, but had lot some of its original luster.  I wasn’t really sure where this property was located from watching on TV.  I was surprised to learn that it is in a pretty industrial area with a lot of business around it.  Then you make a few turns and boom you are there.  It is also very close to the Miami airport.

The firebrand Donald Trump bought the property a few years ago and The Blue Monster underwent a complete redesign from Gil Hanse.  The property also has 54 other holes as well as the Jim McLean Golf School and a hotel.  I can’t really go into much on the hotel since I didn’t stay there, but I can show you some pictures of what surrounds the course.  Below is the clubhouse, understated right? Continue reading

2016 Ryder Cup Wrap-Up

Wow, what a performance!  That was exactly what the US needed.  I watched some from Friday.  Saturday was the big showdown at Clemson against Louisville, but luckily we had two TV’s at the tailgate so golf was on one for the better part of the day.  I watched almost all of Sunday though.  I just want to do a little bullet list of highlights from the event.

  • Best match: I know everyone will expect Rory – P Reed here, but I am going with Phil and Sergio.  19 birdies between them!  It was spectacular golf and only fitting that they halved in the end.
  • Feel good story: I’m going with Davis Love III for getting redemption from the Meltdown at Medinah.  You can argue all day that he shouldn’t have gotten a second chance, but I am very happy he got a win!
  • Told You So: Maybe there was something to the task force or maybe we just played better.  Either way it was great to see the US go out and perform.  They made the shots and the putts when it counted.  I was tired of seeing us under perform.
  • Euro MVP: This is tough.  I didn’t look at the stats, but I am going with my gut here and picking Henrik Stenson.  The guy has been on another level for most of this summer.
  • US MVP: It’s Patrick Reed and I don’t think there is any debate.  He is like an American Ian Poulter, but in a good way🙂.  He just always brings out his best in the Ryder Cup.

I could talk for much longer on how the US played, but overall I am just thrilled with the win.  I hope we can back it up in 2018 and keep the Cup for a little while this time.  GO USA!!!!!!!!!!!!

Goodbye Arnie

Sunday was a day filled with sad news.  The coupling of the deaths of Jose Fernandez and Arnold Palmer were a tough blow.  One so young and one much older, but both full of enjoyment.

I want to focus on Mr. Palmer, since this is a golf site, but don’t forget Jose either.  Arnold was, by all accounts, one of the most gracious public figures we have ever had.  I have not read one negative story about him.  I don’t know that I would care if I did.  Of the stories I have read the last couple of days, they all have similar themes.  Arnie would spend time to talk to almost anyone, he would sign nearly every autograph, and he loved his life.

I can’t think of a better way to be as a person.  I wish I was half as gracious and patient with my time.  While I never got to see him in his prime, he will always be one of my favorites.  A competitor, gentleman, and caring human being.  The world lost a good one.  My words can’t sum up what he meant to the game, but just know he was monumental for golf.

So long Mr. Palmer.  Rest in peace and tee one up.  I hope I get to play with you one day up there.



World Woods Golf Club (Pine Barrens)

World Woods Golf Club (Pine Barrens) – Played 2016

  • Rankings: Golf Digest Public #76, Golf Magazine Public #19
  • Location: 17590 Ponce De Leon Boulevard, Brooksville, Florida
  • Year: 1993
  • Architect: Tom Fazio
  • Course Access: Public
  • Walking Rules: Carts Available

Score Card Information:

  • Yellow: 7,237 yards, Par 71, 75.3 Rating/133 Slope
  • Black: 6,817 yards, Par 71, 72.5 Rating/131 Slope
  • Green: 6,316 yards, Par 71, 70.2 Rating/125 Slope
  • White: 5,891 yards, Par 71, 68.5 Rating/118 Slope
  • Orange: 4,983 yards, Par 71, 68.4 Rating/114 Slope

We had a little longer drive from Palm Coast to Brooksville.  I will say that I didn’t expect to find much in this town as I had heard it was in the middle of nowhere.  While it was certainly not a metropolis, there were plenty of places to eat on the main drag.  I was pleasantly surprised.

Let’s go over some of the history of this complex.  Opened in 1993 by the World Woods Corporation, the land it sits on was purchased from Florida Crush Stone, Punta Gorda Isles and several privately held properties.

The name came from the ideal of providing world class golf to the masses.  This includes a massive practice facility with a 23 acre, circular range, 36 hole putting course, an iron range, and more putting greens. Continue reading