Saturday, January 7, 2012

Round #2: Arizona: Troon North Golf Club - Pinnacle Course

The weather has been very favorable for this trip. The folks in the Pinnacle pro shop told me that it snowed in Scottsdale the week before Christmas. I have been playing in a short sleeve golf shirt for the most part; I wore a jacket at the Pesidio in San Francisco, the last few holes at Pebble Beach and the first 9 holes at Pinnacle. The temperature feels much warmer than reported and the sun has brought the temperature up as I played. The temperature climbed to 73 before I walked off of the course today.

Round: #2
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Golf Digest Best-In-State Rank: #24
Date: 6 Jan, tee off at 9:00 AM 
Conditions: sunny skies, 7 mph winds, 53 degrees
Yardage: 6,645
Lost balls: 1
Score: 88 on a par 71
My reservation at Pinnacle was for a 9:15 tee-off; it was the first group for the day according to the schedule. I was scheduled with two other players who were taking their time on the practice range. When the starter asked if I wanted to join two local players who headed to the tee box at 9 AM I did not hesitate to switch groups. I prefer to play with someone who knows the course and can help me navigate through the course hazards.

I joined John & Phillip on the round of golf. They liked to talk - which made for an interesting round of golf.

John (Galena) & Phil (Scottsdale)

John is in the trucking industry, although he no longer owns trucks or moves loads. His firm evolved into a trucking brokerage which performs all of the back-office operations between clients and the truckers. He was originally from northern Indiana but now calls Galena, IL his home. He recently bought a home in Scottsdale where he plans to live several weeks a year.
John purchased his home from a bank who had foreclosed on the previous owner. The home was 6,800 square feet with an 1,800 square foot  5-1/2 car garage. A pool and water fall overlooked the #13 green. The previous owner owned a cattle feeding operation in Muscatine, IA. He originally built the house; during construction he brought in 650 truckloads of fill in order to elevate the home to improve the view. Needless to say, John got a good deal on the price of the home - and the view is not bad either.

John's home (viewed from the #14 tee box)

Phillip lives in Scottsdale but hails from Chicago and San Diego before landing in Arizona. He sells insurance; some of his clients are very wealthy families who he has served for many years. 

Both of these gentlemen have accumulated enough wealth to be quite comfortable. That did not stop them from looking for errant golf balls in the Arizona desert when they missed hitting into the fairway. It was amazing to see how many of the balls they could find; I just was not as convinced it was worth the risk of getting poked by a cactus. I had a couple of them jab me which was a couple too many. 
When I shared with John & Phillip, my hole-in-one shot at Pebble Beach John told me he has had 5 hole-in-one shots in his life. One such event occurred when he was much younger and his pocket book much lighter. He was playing golf at a course named Lawsonia in Wisconsin when he recored a hole-in-one early in the round. For the remainder of the round, other players kept coming over, congratulating him and telling them they would meet up in the clubhouse after the round to celebrate. It is customary for the person who made the shot to buy a round of drinks. John was worried by the number of men offering him their congratulations and the $40 in his pocket. After all, they were in the state of Wisconsin where there have been known to be a few beer drinkers. John turned to his partner to find out how much cash he had on him, only to learn it was less than $10. There were more than 35 men gathered in the clubhouse when he arrived - where he learned that the local Baptist presence made for dry bars. He $40 was sufficiently handled the round of Cokes used to toast his success.

The golf course was in impeccable condition - on the same level as Pebble Beach. I played well but did not always land in the fairway with my tee shots. A desert course is very unforgiving, so I did incur several penalty strokes when I found my ball in an unplayable lie. One accomplishment was only losing 1 ball; John said their experience is that most visitors lose a dozen balls per round. 

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