About the only thing I find worth waking up early for is golf, and that was the case Saturday morning. I was up a little after 6 a.m. to give me time to wake up, get dressed and otherwise get ready for S to pick me up at 6:45 a.m. We had a tee time set for 7:45 a.m. with our friends, C and J, at the Country Club of the Pacific, located in Ipan, Talofofo, on of Guam's southern villages. The course is on the eastern side of Guam, built not too far off the coast. It's long been one of my favorite courses, but I haven't played there in quite a while; several years in fact. There are several courses that are either closer, cheaper, or both. LOL
The day started off bright, sunny and hot and pretty much stayed that way. CCP is a pretty tough and long course (at least it plays that way LOL). From the white tees, the front nine is 3,146 yards long, the back nine is 3,079 — for total yardage of 6,225 (Sorry Knight, but I couldn't find the slope rating of the course; it's not on the score card). It didn't help that it was blazing hot out there today ... I mean smoldering. A beat-down from the sun with no real breeze to cool things down. I'm glad I brought plenty to drink, and had to cool down a couple times by dousing my head with water. The course is pretty mean in its setup too, as no matter which nine you start on, you're faced with a par-5 on the first hole.
We decided to play two-man best ball for the day, for which we are all grateful. If we'd played individually, there would have been some VERY high scores. LOL. Using the best-ball format though, it was rare for either team (Me and S vs. C and J) to have bad shots on the same turn, though of course, being golf, it did happen.
It ended up playing out pretty evenly. We pretty much played match play, with the winner of any hole taking a skin ($80 total in the uncovered skins pot). We also played team putting Olympics — the team closest to the hole when finally on the green, if they made the put, got $2, while the team furthest away got $4. If a team chipped in from off the green, they got $5.
Me and S won a total of 7 skins, while C and J took 6, with 5 being pushes. So me and S pretty much only won $2 each from C and J. The putting Olympics was a different story — me and S racked up $24 thanks to a variety of putts and other shots made, while C and J won $16 worth — and only because we allowed them to press $8 worth on the last hole. If we'd have won the hole, it would have been our $32 to their $8, but instead it was our $24 to their $16. So, after all was said and done, S and I cleared a total of $10 each from them. Not bad for a fun outing.
Despite us all playing pretty well all around, there were only two birdies registered all day. On the 18th hole, which was our 9th hole as we'd started out on the back nine, I hit a driver down the middle of the fairway and we used that shot. After S topped his shot, I played a nice 5-wood to about 30 yards short of the green. I hit a wedge but caught it too full, overshooting the green — C and J were on in three and looking to make par. S gets up and hits a beautiful pitching wedge that hit into the face of the green, bounced up, then smoothly rolled into the hole for a chip-in birdie, a $5 Olympics and the skin. Neither S nor I saw the shot go in because of the angle, but we knew it went in when Jojo threw his clubs up into the air. LOL
Just two holes later, on Hole 2 (our 11th hole), which is a pretty tough par-4, being uphill most of the first half of it, we used S's drive, which was a good 80 yards past mine and on the right edge of the fairway. Steve hit it a little fat, fanning it out to the right rough. My 5-wood came through again, a nice fade to just 15 feet or so off the green, right at the pin. If I would have hit it perfect, we would have been putting. Good thing I didn't, as my chip from there left us about 5 feet away. But S again saved the day. His chip shot was perfect; as soon as it hit the green, J said "Oh, no!" ... yep, it rolled straight to the hole, hit the pin and dropped in for another birdie, another $5 Olympic and a skin!
On our last hole, C and J were on the green in two, with a long birdie putt to win the hole and the press. S and I were short of the green by about 15 yards, with a gaping sand trap in front of us. I stepped up and hit a pretty little pitch, which just skirted the left edge of the hole. One inch to the right and we would have done the chip-in birdie to them again! Oh well.
All in all, it was a great day on the course with a bunch of good friends.
Afterward, we went to a favorite Vietnamese restaurant. We shared some fried lumpia, which is placed on a piece of Romaine lettuce, then topped with cold noodles and/or bean sprouts and dunked into fish sauce. Mmmm ... I had the fried short ribs, as did C. S had friend rice and these HUGE fresh lumpia. J had combination crispy noodles as well as the friend spare ribs (he IS a chef and a gourmand and a hungry boy LOL). It was a nice capping off to a fun day of golf.
For a couple of nice landscape shots of the golf course, with the Pacific Ocean in the background, check out my photo blog: DZER's Guam Pics.