Tee To Green

Thoughts and photographs as I play and watch golf.

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The real way to enjoy playing golf is to take pleasure not in the score, but in the execution of the strokes.

— Bobby Jones

Above are photos of Baltusrol Golf Club’s Lower Course, host of the 2016 PGA Championship. Phil Mickelson won the PGA Championship the last time it was at Baltusrol in 2005. I played there for the first time last week and it is a beautiful and fun golf course.

The two toughest elements of the course are the greens and the bunkers. The greens are very large and quick so a miss on the wrong side of the green leaves a very challenging two putt. The fairway and green side bunkers are very deep. In the fairway hitting out with a higher lofted club is usually necessary. Some of the green side bunkers are so far below the green that the green isn’t visible from the bottom.

Reminiscent of the Ben Hogan plaque at Merion, there are two Jack Nicklaus plaques on the 18th hole of the Lower Course at Baltusrol. One is at the tee in recognition of his U.S. Open victories. The other is in the fairway at the spot he used an 1 iron to reach the green in the 1967 U.S. Open.

Greenwich Country Club is a fun Donald Ross designed golf course in Connecticut. It is the fourth country club established in the United States. My favorite hole is the par 3, 2nd hole, pictured in the top photo, that always plays the yardage despite a steep downhill. The prettiest spot on the course is standing on the 9th tee looking down at a waterfall and stream that runs behind the 8th green.

Dare to play your own game.

—Annika Sorenstam

The Stanwich Club is in full bloom! I spotted pink blossoms off the 1st tee, daffodils behind the 3rd tee, and dogwoods blooming between 18 tee, 1st green, and 17th green. Happy Spring!

The only shots you can be dead sure of are those you’ve already taken

— Byron Nelson

The two best spots on the Streamsong Resort property have great vantage points.

The first spot is between the par 3, 16th hole on the Red course and the par 3, 7th hole on the Blue course. Both holes play over water and are right next to each other. They are my favorite par 3s on each course.

The second spot is the back tee box on the Blue courses’ s par 4, 1st hole. The tee is the highest point on both courses and provides a 360 degree view of the property.

I played Tom Doak’s Blue course at Streamsong today, and boy are the greens tough! Not only are they rolling nicely, but they have so much slope to them that if you hit the ball in the wrong spot, a two-putt is almost an impossibility.

The next toughest elements of the course are the bunkers. The fairway bunkers aren’t too penalizing as the lips aren’t usually high enough to impede a second shot, but greenside bunkers don’t leave much room to land the ball before or after dramatic slopes.

Harmony Preserve is the first Johnny Miller designed golf course I have played. It is operated by the Troon Golf network. I enjoyed the layout and especially the wildlife through the marshes around the property. While playing we saw a bald eagle, alligators, wild turkeys, and a number of other colorful birds.

The “Charging Bull” most famously recognized in New York City’s Financial District was created by Arturo Di Modica. He created five bulls in total. One is in Shanghai and another in Amsterdam on public display. A more private display can be found at Isleworth Golf & Country Club located in between the first and tenth tees of the golf course.