It has rained for 40 days and 40 nights in the San Diego area. As my ark pulled into the parking lot at National City Golf Course, the clouds parted; the sun came out; and we played golf.
Hole #1 is very short (225 yards) from the blue tees with a slight dogleg to the left. A draw is the perfect ball flight as the green is protected by a hill on the left and a bunker on the right. With my first swing in four months, I decided to sky one over the fence to the right and into the driving range. Hope this isn’t a sign of things to come in 2017!
Because of all the rain, Joey in the pro shop, suggested keeping my shots down the left side at Hole #2. What he failed to share with me was the hillside and trees that were waiting to gobble up all my errant shots. Shot 1) drive into the hillside and trees – lost ball; shot 2) into hillside and trees – found ball; shot 3) into the hillside and trees – once again found ball. Well Joey, I followed your suggestion and somehow even found a way to bogey this hole!
Hole #3 (or at least I think it was #3) is another short (250 yard) par 4. None of the holes had a tee marker, so I was just following the cart path to find my way around. The third hole and I finally hit a fairway! It is a slight dogleg right with the hillside/trees guarding the left side of the green (not messing with them this time) and bunkers protecting the right. Hole #4 (I think) is a short (240 yard) par 4 with a slight dogleg to the right. That is unless you just power it over the trees, then you have a straight, driveable shot at the green. I took the conservative route and finally recorded a par.
Hole #5 is the first par 3 so I know I am following the correct route around the course. Long slender bunkers on the right and rear surround the green. Easy, peezy, another par. The par 3 sixth hole is the #3 handicap and if anyone finds my Titleist NXT #2, your welcome. How can you lose a ball on a par 3 which has no hazards? Hole #7 is a sweet par 4 with a tee shot that needs to clear “junk” to land safely in a generous fairway (pictured above). Watch out for that bunker to the left of the green.
“What the…”? That was my initial thought as I surveyed the tee shot at Hole #8. I’m sure there is a landing spot out there but you need to sky your tee shot over a line of five large trees that cross the fairway. Today because of all the rain, the usually dry creek to the right of the fairway was a raging river. I half expected to see a group of people tubing down the rapids. Somehow I cleared the trees, avoided the “river” and recorded a par – wonders never cease. Driving range to the right (missed it this time); landslide area to the left – these are the obstacles that await at the par 3 ninth hole.
Ace: This par 34 course was the perfect way to start 2017 after a long layoff from the game. I was surprised I didn’t see Tiger here as he was getting ready for his return at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. Not only didn’t I see Tiger practicing here (maybe he should have) but I only saw one other golfer on the course. I realize it had been raining for 40 days and the temperature was 58 degrees in the San Diego area…but it was beautiful! As I floated out of the parking lot, the clouds once again materialized and the rain started. The golfing gods were looking after me today.
So now what? I would have liked to play the 18-hole Footgolf course but I’ve sloshed around enough today. Let’s see, maybe there is something else around the San Diego area. Since I am so close, let’s start with a tour of the Gaslamp Quarter Historic District of downtown. Or…you could explore the South Bay/Coronado area by taking a two-hour “Tour de Coronado” with a bike or kayak tour. My personal choice is the 24-mile Bayshore Bikeway loop around San Diego Bay. Too tired from the 9-hole trek around National City Golf Course? Sit back and enjoy the San Diego Wine & Beer Train Tour – www.SanDiegoBeerWineSpiritsTour.com. Or…grab your passport and you are Baja Bound. An easy crossing (for now?) into Mexico leads to art, culture and adventure in Tijuana, Rosarito, Ensenada, and Baja’s wine country. Enough to get you started?
1439 Sweetwater Road, National City, CA 91950; 619-474-1400; www.nationalcitygc.com