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A Journey to Old South

April 5, 2010
Old South Scorecard

Old South Scorecard

This past week  I was a guest of my friend Paul Cohen for a round out at Old South Country Club in Lothian, MD. Never one to miss the opportunity to check out a course I’ve never played, I am happy to say that Old South is worth the drive from DC.

Old South Country Club (http://www.oldsouthcountryclub.org) is about a 45 min. – 1 hour drive outside Washington, D.C.  The course is a par 72, playing 6723 yards. It has a slope of 134, with a rating of  73.3.  It is a very traditional layout, with some elevation changes (particularly a few of the par 3 holes), some blind shots, but greens that hold and provide ample space for errant approaches.

From a conditions perspective, the course was in excellent shape. We lucked out on our day, with the weather being a perfect 75 degrees and sunny with a 7-10 mph breeze. Given the time of year, we had the extra bonus of fairways dotted with cherry blossom trees in full bloom.

Old South Cherry Blossoms

Old South Cherry Blossoms

Note.. as I sit here writing this post I am watching Anthony Kim blow a 3 footer on 18 to force a playoff at the Shell Houston Open. I happen to have AK to win the tourney this week, so he’s killing me right now. I’m hoping a playoff will provide him the kind of atmosphere that will motivate AK to hunt this win down… and he did! I’ve just won my golf pool for this week!

Old South Clubhouse

Old South Clubhouse

Back to Old South. On the down side, I was late arriving to the course so I was unable to take advantage of what looked like some decent practice facilities. Old South sports two practice greens, bunkers and what looked to be a matted driving range. The staff is extremely friendly and the clubhouse facility is great.

The first tee really sets the tone for Old South, leading you out on to a 2 part fairway that dog legs left, then right, making it a thinkers par 5. As I ran from the parking lot to the tee box, I had already written off any chance of a decent start. To my surprise, I was able to put a decent stroke on the ball, but wound up driving it 30 yards through the first dog leg. Unable to play the hole properly, I scrambled with a second shot from the second fairway to just short of the green, ultimately finishing with a par.

Old South First Tee

Old South First Tee

On the whole, the course sports easily accessible fairways and short rough. Rarely will you find yourself in jail if you miss, but I did have a guide to let me know which sides to avoid.

There are a few blind shots, including the signature par 4, fourth hole which requires a smartly placed iron shot, leaving an easy wedge into a rolling, lilly pad green.  I left my shot up on the hillside in the right rough but was able to manage an accurate wedge onto the green for an uneventful 2 putt.

Old South Hole 4

Hole 4, Courtesy of Old South Country Club

If I have one quip with Old South, it is that the bunkers are in pretty poor shape for a private club. Lucky for me, I was only subjected to one of the green side beach fronts on the shotmakers ninth hole. They are in need of a little more powder, which may be an effect of the recent heavy rains this past month.

Old South Hole 10

Old South Hole 10

Overall, Old South was a great time and a nice relaxing round of golf. Now, if you’re one of those masochists who is looking for a rehash of your round at Whistling Straits or Pinehurst, this isn’t it. But if you are looking for a solid round that will push you to make some smart shots and reward you risks, I think you will find Old South to be an enjoyable track.

On the round I ended up shooting a 43 on the front 9 (posting a triple bogey 7 on the 9th hole). I’d like to thank Paul Cohen and his son Ben for a great day on the course and a fun trip around the 19th hole. Ben is 18 years old and  a senior in high school, with a nice swing and a heck of a good putter.

Keep ’em in the short stuff!

Nick

First Round of the Year

April 1, 2010
Falls Road 3.30.10

Falls Road 3.30.10

Well, what can I say. It’s been a long time coming and I’ve been dying to break out of the winter blues. I’ve spent my fair share of time on the range throughout the winter months, and for those of you who have kept an eye on DC weather, that hasn’t been easy. At the last minute on what wound up being a cold, blustery afternoon I shot up River Road and to get a few buckets in before the daylight slipped away.

As I approached the course, I noticed only a handful of cars in the lot. As my eyes darted over to the range, I could see most of their owners were sitting there pounding away, leaving a wide open course to yours truly. Of course, I was laced up, warmed up and on the tee within 10 minutes.

Now, there are a few things in life that are just special to me. A solo round (even if it’s just 9 holes) on an empty course is one of the those things. More than anything, I was really excited for the chance to use my new toy, a 56 degree Volkey Wedge from the good folks at Titlest. LOVE IT! Admittedly, I play with older clubs. my irons are edging up on 15 years old now, but I hit them a mile, can work the ball either way and with the height I get on the ball, stopping it on the landing pad is usually not an issue.

Scorecard 3.30.10

Scorecard 3.30.10

But this new wedge from Mr. Volkey… oh man. I have always struggled with my consistency with my wedges, specifically with my aggressiveness because I was always afraid I wouldn’t be able to hold the green. With those grooves and some decent fairway conditions, it was like shooting darts. A lot of fun. Had I been able to putt, it really would have been fun. Here is a quick video recap on the round and the course. It’s not much and you’ll need to excuse the wind (20 mph!), but it’s a start and we’ll improve over time.

Hit ’em long and straight!

Nick

Hi, my name is Nick..

April 1, 2010
Nick's Fairway Iron

GBA Golf Class 2007

Hi, my name is Nick and I’m a golfoholic.

This blog is my way of realizing my addiction, and feeding it 🙂

I’ve been playing since I was about 10 years old and I truly love every aspect of golf. The game has given me so much in life including great friends, life long memories, repeated lessons in humility, it has taught me respect for a rich culture and history, along with the beauty of nature. Whether it’s the smell of the fresh-cut grass or the heart pounding rush of standing over a 3 foot putt to win a match, my addiction keeps getting fed each time I pull the clubs out of my car.

Anyone who knows me well, knows that my day is spent practicing my swing while doing just about anything. If we’re talking on the phone, I’ve probably taken 2 or 3 cuts. Brainstorming on marketing strategies or creative? I have only one way to keep the ideas flowing. Elevator rides, no better place to perfect your take away. Getting the idea?

So what will I be posting here besides my obsessive musings on the greatest game known to man? I’ll be updating the blog with all my trails and tribulations throughout the year, the highs and lows (hopefully more lows than highs!) on the scorecard, reviews of courses in the DC area and wherever I am lucky enough to play, some product notes and of course some tall tales.

I hope you enjoy reading and encourage your comments.

Hit ’em long and straight!

Nick