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Thursday, 31 March 2016

St John's Golf and Country Club

I played St John's Golf and Country Club near St Augustine. I had my long-suffering wife with me, armed with her camera and a new ball retriever we bought on the way to the course at a thrift store for two bucks to assist in her ball-hawking efforts.  We were paired up with Paul and Dave who had just flown in to Jacksonville from Boston.  

We had booked a 2:01 tee time, but were bumped to 2:19 to accommodate a foursome of members--two men and two women--who were seemingly content to keep us waiting over every shot for the entire day.  Despite being encouraged to speed up by the marshall, they took their sweet time, obviously unconcerned that they were holding up some green-fee players.

The course was an interesting and reasonably challenging layout at 6801 yards from the blues where we three seasoned and slightly crippled veterans teed it up.  The course was firm and fast, and the greens were excellent.  The staff were quite friendly and welcoming, even if some of the members weren't, and I wouldn't hesitate to play the course again when I'm back in the area.

Both Dave and Paul acquitted themselves pretty well despite it being Paul's first outing after having had a hip replacement and Dave suffering from rotor cuff pain.  With me taking morphine and Dave swallowing Motrin, we remained undaunted and, as bravely as we could, took as many strokes as required to complete the round.  Dave putted really well and hit some excellent iron shots, but wasn't particularly thrilled with his driving.  Paul was adjusting to a new set of Hogan irons and was tinkering a bit in an effort to find his swing after his hip surgery, so there were a few wayward shots, but plenty of good ones, including some laser-like drives.

The best thing about my play was that I somehow managed to resist any temptation to tinker all day.  I stuck to the left-hand-low putting stroke and had another pretty good day on the greens.  Old Man Par was never really threatened, but I managed to keep it a couple of strokes under 80 on a course I'd never seen before, so I figured I did okay for an old crippled guy after a winter layoff.  If I can give up the tinkering, there just might be some hope for me.

As for Kathryn; she used her new ball retriever to find me lots of previously-enjoyed ammo, including close to a dozen Pro V's.  She also got some pretty nice pictures.  

The boys have come down to Jacksonville to play with a group of friends who meet annually for a friendly tournament that will be played over several days on different area courses, finishing on the Stadium course at TPC Sawgrass.  I'm sure they'll have a blast.  They didn't seem the least bit perturbed to be paired up with my wife and I and, despite our five hour round, I think it's safe to say we had a great time of it.  They were really good company and made it a memorable day on the links.

Eighteen holes at St John's Country Club--a good deal at thirty-one dollars--to play it with Dave and Paul--priceless!