Thursday, June 22, 2006

Golf Vacation, Part One - Primm Valley

The plan: six days of golf, three days of drag racing and whatever trouble we can get into in between.

Part one begins as we set out for our first destination. After dropping off the Goose at Grandma & Grandpa's house for her extended stay, we rented a car and headed out on Friday for Primm Valley. Our golf club (The Treehouse) held its annual "away" trip at this California/Nevada Stateline location. The hotel and casino are just on the Nevada side of the border and the golf courses are just on the California side. It's the same location we went to for our away trip last year, where we won the team event on Saturday and did quite poorly in the Sunday team format.

Primm Valley Golf Club has two courses: The Lakes Course and the Desert Course. The Desert course does have some water, however, not as much as the Lakes course, as you can imagine. Both are well designed and scenic Tom Fazio courses. The Lakes course has much more shade, and the water helps cool the ubiquitous breeze, so playing it in the summer is more comfortable than playing the Desert course. We actually got lucky with the weather and it wasn't too hot. Even though our scheduled shotgun start was suddenly changed to a series of foursomes and we were near the end of the group, the heat didn't beat us. According to the course and slope ratings, the Lakes course is easier for women than the Desert course and vice-versa for the men. From my perspective, the ratings are accurate for women, but according to the men, they got it wrong. It seems the Desert course is more challenging all around. The Lakes course is a little more shielded from the wind, and it might also have something to do with the comfort factor of the temperature. The format we played on the Desert course might have been the biggest culprit. I'd like to get my hands on that course for a whole round of my own.

Bunnies relaxing in the shade by the clubhouse.
See last year's post from this tournament for photos of the jackalopes (link above).

The first tournament

The formats this year were the same as last year. Saturday was a two-person team event, where each person plays out his or her ball for an individual score, and using handicaps, you take the best net score of each hole for a total team score. This format is played on the Lakes course. I mentioned that Greg and I won this event last year, and this year we won it even more dramatically. Greg shot the round of his life (a +4 75) and I shot a rare sub-90 (89). I had two birdies in the same round (on the same 9!) and 38 putts. In other words, that should have been an even better round for me than it was. Woulda coulda shoulda, yadda yadda. Greg holed out his second shot of the day to eagle the first hole for a net 1 and nearly eagled the second hole, settling for a birdie there. He probably would have been lynched if he eagled two in a row, so I guess he did the right thing. Combined, we netted a 54, which tied another team and we won it in a card-off for the $250 payout. Great start for our trip!

This beautiful yellow-headed bird cheered us on to victory on the Lakes course.

The gambling

We headed back to the Nevada side of the line for the evening, feeling like luck was on our side. Greg sat down at the sports book and on his very first bet won a $2 trifecta for $200. My horses didn't come in. We moved around to different games and although I was down almost $200, my luck turned around when we changed casinos and took the monorail to Whiskey Pete's. By the time we went to bed, we were both up, but just a bit. Still, it beats being down. Plenty more golf and plenty more gambling to do on this trip.

The second tournament

Sunday's event was played on the Desert course, using the same "modified Pinehurst" that we played and hated last year. It's another two-person team format, but rather than play out your whole round, you each tee off, then you each hit the other person's tee shot, then you pick the one you want to play from there and alternate hitting that ball until you hole it out. It might sound like fun, but it's not. You can't get into any kind of rhythm, you don't get to play an actual round, plus, your teammate is forced to play your bad shots. All I can say is you better really like your teammate. There were a lot of grumpy golfers out there that day. One of them was in my twosome and it wasn't me. :) I didn't enjoy the format either, but I just tried to go with the flow and enjoy the day anyway. It wasn't easy. I think we shot an 88 for a net 73 (+1), which was nowhere near good enough to place. Mr. Grumpy cheered up by the time it was over, which was a good thing because we checked out of Primm and now it was time to drive to Mesquite for the next segment of our golf and gambling marathon. Stay tuned for part two!

Next post.

Skip the next post, go straight to Golf Vacation, Part Two - Wolf Creek.


Kiwi said...

That sounds like a great trip Kirsten. The first day sounded great but i agree the 2nd round sounds a bit weird.
Well done to greg for holing out with his 2nd on the first hole.
Gotta love being 3 under after 2 holes......not that I'd know

2003 AAGT Nat'l Champ said...

When I played there in February, I was amazed at the volume of rabbit turds that littered the tee boxes, etc. Was that a problem for you this trip??

Golfchick said...

There were a lot of rabbits but not a noticable amount of their remnants on the teeboxes. Are you sure they didn't just punch them? ;)