Monday, December 31, 2012

The Last Round: California - Presidio Golf Course

A surprise package appeared on my doorstep in November. My sister, Rose, surprised Julie & I with a quilt she made as a birthday present for us. The quilt had a “golf” theme commemorating our year of travel. We should not have been surprised following our visit with Rose & Frank in Minneapolis last July (refer to July blog on Round #38). She can whip out a quilt in no time once she sets her mind to it. Her present was a lap quilt which is just the right size for covering my legs while watching TV on a cold Iowa evening. I have put it to good use already.

Rose & Frank

 The golf quilt

Signature patch on the back side of the golf quilt

The weather in Iowa during December was very mild, which provided ample opportunity to extend my golf season. I played golf 10 of the first 13 days of the month before our departure to Disney World. However, my return from Orlando preceded a winter snow storm by one day. The arrival of snow ended the Iowa golf season while also breaking  the record for the longest period of time between snow falls in our area (290 days). 

Iowa golf in shorts - December 2012

Christmas Day found us on an airplane headed west to San Francisco. It was time to catch up with our Californian grandkids again. For someone from Iowa, the San Francisco weather (mid-50‘s) is great golf weather. I decided to finish my year of golf at the same point it had started - - -  the Presidio Golf Course in San Francisco. 

Round: The Last Round
Location: San Francisco, CA
Golf Digest Best-In-State Rank: Not Ranked
Date: 27 Dec, tee off at 10:00 AM
Conditions: sunny skies, 2 MPH wind, 52 degrees
Yardage: 6,422
Lost balls: 3
Score: 92 on a par 72 

It had been raining heavily in the days prior to my round of golf. The sun broke through on Thursday which made me think it would be a great day to play golf, especially with a  forecast calling for additional rain showers again on Friday.

 504-yard par 5 hole #10

 453-yard par 4 hole #12

374-yard par 4 hole #16

For some reason the golf shop was starting everyone from the #10 tee that morning. I was paired up with two brothers for the round. Matt was from Detroit, where he was in-between jobs in the real estate development field. His brother Dan lives in Los Angeles where he works as a film editor. Although they grew up in Detroit, they were in San Francisco visiting their parents for the holidays. Their dad took a new job in San Francisco a year ago which brought them to the West coast from the Detroit area.

Matt & Dan on the 516-yard par 5 hole #18 tee box

While it was a beautiful day to play golf, the recent rain had produced a very wet golf course. We had considerable difficulty keeping the mud off of both our clubs and the golf balls. We an unusual amount to times looking for plugged balls in the fairway, and were not always successful finding them. Many of the sand traps were filled with water;  I started to use them to clean my clubs in between shots.

Water in sand trap on hole #4

304-yard par 4 hole #5 (view of water in the green side sand trap)

 Muddy tracks left from walking across the fairway

Muddy tracks left from walking across the fairway

I had previously shipped an old set of clubs to California for use during my visits. That sounded like a good plan at the time but it did not work out that well. It was hard for me to become familiar with how my old set of clubs felt, even though I had previously played with them for several years. I definitely missed the driver and putter that I had sitting in my golf bag back home in Iowa.

 473-yard par 4 hole #2

 130-yard par 3 hole #4

 522-yard par 5 hole #9

View from the hole #9 fairway of the 2nd shot

This last round of golf at Presidio was the 190th round of golf I played during 2012. It is nice being retired with time to play on a regular basis. One thing that makes it possible to play so many rounds is being the first group to tee off in the morning on my home course. I also play fast golf. When I play alone I walk the course in 2-hours flat. I played a number of rounds with John Quinn this past summer that averaged 2-1/4 hours in length. Whenever a group of guys showed up to play the average playing time rarely exceeded 3-1/4 hours. The morning walk around the course always felt like a great way to start the day.

View of Alcatraz from the Presidio

Temple Emanu-El (the dome is visible from several points on the Presidio Golf Course)

This is my last post in this blog. I thought it would be a good way to keep people up-to-speed as we traveled the USA in pursuit of my goal to play all 50-states in one year. It has been a lot of fun along the way. As I mentioned earlier, I intend to keep going with the travel as I pursue playing the top 100 public golf courses in the USA. If I decide to write about my continued travels the stories may appear on Facebook instead of a blog. I probably have to sign up and learn how to use Facebook first!

 Granddaughter Layla

Grandson Max

The one unfinished item at the conclusion to 2012 is Julie’s quilt. She did buy quilt fabric in every state during the year, with multiple stops at quilt shop and purchases in most every state along the way. She has yet to start designing and sewing the quilt. I suspect she may get started if we ever stay home long enough for her to tackle the project.

As I sign off I am hopeful you have enjoyed reading the blog as much as I have enjoyed playing all of the courses!

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