Your Icarito

Tribute to Neil…Strapped triggered me in the best way possible. I was sending it for @MerchCzar to finish it out. I even had the course pulled up trying to follow along. After realizing he was in the red and then throwing a 5-spot up on a short hole, emotions reverberated with every high school golf soul out there.

Anyway, I think a therapy thread for our best round that was not is needed. I’ll kick it off.

I’m playing a public course on the west side of Cleveland with my Dad. He got me into the game and has been my main golfing companion, so every round with him is great. He’s got this short, straight ball that just goes right down the middle, and can chip and putt you out of money so quickly. He was playing well, +5 on his round through 14, but I was -5. Never have I seen territory that low this late in a round before. Not only was I spotting my dad 10 with four to go, I was on track to shoot 67, maybe 66 because my putter was doing nothing but making putts.

Kiss of death. Went double-triple-triple-par to finish with a 75. My dad, also shot 75. 10 shot swing in four holes. It was still my best round of the summer that year, but it was a crushing blow to my game.

This is a safe space, what is your Icartio moment?

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Course record from the tips was 67 at the time (it’s pretty damn hard from back there and nobody plays them). Was -5 through 16 and 17 is not only my favorite hole on the course, but it’s also a gettable par 5. I mean, big time birdie opportunity. But there is trouble both off the tee and surrounding the green. If Johnny had been calling my round he definitely would have brought out his favorites…“choked”, “double cross”, etc. because I found both the trouble off the tee and surrounding the green. Made double and limped home with a bogey on 18. Not only did I not get the course record, also missed out on breaking 70 from those tees for the first time.

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Double-triple-triple? That is seriously impressive stuff.

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I really appreciated that he kept it together to par the last to tie pops!!

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I worked at a country club and got asked to fill in and play a pro am event. I am an alright golfer, but nothing great. Was -3 thru 15 holes making every putt I looked at. Keep in mind I had never shot under par ever. 4 jacked 16 for double, bogey on 17(saved bogey after hitting tee shot OB) and than doubled par 5 18th without a penatly shot. Demoralizing 74 to say the least.

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I’ve never had an Icarito moment. I’m a notorious slow starter so I’m usually battling back all round.

However, I can share a story of one of my good friends from my high school days. HS state championship, final round. Going up against the clear best player in the state that ended up playing at Stanford. My friend didn’t even have an offer at the time so this is might as well have been David vs Goliath. He’s two back after first round and continues playing outside of his mind. Putts are falling, he’s keeping is emotions in check and somehow keeping pace with this kid.

18th tee, all tied. Birdie wins, par forces a playoff. My buddy played a Patrick Reed type draw that he could control really well so he tees up on the left side of the tee box, aims for right rough, planning to draw it back in. Was so dialed in that he doesn’t even notice there are overgrown tree branches hanging over the right side of the tee boxes, roughly 40 yards ahead. He smashes his drive right into the tree branches and his ball deflects into knee high shit. Made triple, finished T-2.

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i was once 7UP in a club championship semis with 8 holes left… proceeded to lose the match in regulation, losing at least 5 holes to my opponents bogey lol

it was rather impressive

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My handicap prevents me from coming anywhere close to a round under par, so my Icarito moment came recently when I had one of my best ever opportunities to break 90 for the first time.

I’m playing one of my regular muni courses in Minneapolis on a beautiful September day where I got out of work early on a Tuesday because I had spent the day out of town for a site visit for work and figured I’d rather sneak in a round rather than go back into the office for another 2 hours. I come out of the gates blistering hot for my abilities, and shoot 42 on the front which included a double bogey where I 3 putted from 5 feet, so I felt like maybe it could have been 40, but either way, I’m feeling good and not letting that bother me. I make the turn and I’m playing solid bogey golf, which is what I knew was all I’d need to break 90. A tee ball that faded a little too far into the shit off of 13 led to a triple, but I bounced back with a par on the next hole. But then I start leaking oil a little bit more with a double on 15 due to some sloppy play around the green. No worries, though, as 16 is a straight forward par 5, 17 a short par 3 (the absolute strength of my high handicapper game, since longer shots are my greatest weakness), and a short par 4. I hit my driver about as hard as I did all day on 16 but I pulled it left into some trees. I still figured I’d be fine, though, as they weren’t that thick, but as I walk up I see that it settled right up next to the tree trunk, but playable. I actually had a nearly full swing at it, and made great contact, but I didn’t play a low enough punch shot and it shot off the club face beautifully up into the next trees branches, and dropped straight down for a shot that advanced maybe 15 yards. Okay, still fine, if I can get on in 4 and 2 putt I’m away with a bogey and still in great shape. I pull 5 wood because I want to leave a wedge in for that approach. Huge chunk, ball goes about 20 yards. Now I switch to 3 wood, thinking I can pull of a miracle and still get on in 4. Another massive chunk and the ball goes hardly anywhere again. Anyways, I end up making a 9, which included a three putt, so now I’m convinced my sub 90 round is completely lost. I’m trying to not do the math in my head so I can enjoy my last two holes, but I’ve already had my Icarito moment. I thin my 8 iron a little bit on 17, but it lands below the hole for about a 12 footer. I tell myself I probably need this if I want to revive my sub 90 hopes, and I absolutely blast the putt but it catches the hole, bobbles a bit but drops for a 2! All is not lost, Icarito lives! Now I have to know what I need for an 89 going into 18 so I check, and par would get the job done. 18 is a hole where I should probably hit less than driver, but I had been driving the ball that day about as well as any round I’ve ever hit, so I figured hit one more nice drive, doesn’t have to be pounded, but get it up there where you’ll have a wedge in your hands on the approach and you can 2 putt for that 89. Skyball out of nowhere. Hadn’t hit one all day but sometimes I pop up my driver and it landed about 100 yards from the tee box and the left to right dogleg of that hole had me completely blocked out with that pathetic effort from the tee. I had to hit an iron up to the fairway and try and get up and down from about 125 or so but it wasn’t to be as I went long into the rough and didn’t have a good angle to go at the pin and ended up making a 6 for 91. Icarito, despite momentarily being revived, eventually succumbed to the powers of the sun. :pensive:

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Lots of water hazards…

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Bird

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homies

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When I was in college I played to about a 7 index on a 5800 yard course. Anytime I played a different course I would get waxed because I was used to playing what was essentially a glorified pitch and putt. In particular there is a course in Huntsville, TX called Raven Nest. It is the Sam Houston State course and home of their PGM program. This course in particular kicked my ass while I was in college due to multiple forced carries off the tee box and long par 4’s. I have never broken 90 on this course, and it is a par 71 course.

Flash back about 3 weeks now. Buddy and I are walking the course for the first time in 3-4 years, and I’m currently an 11 index. I get to 14 (Par 5), sitting at +6. Round of a lifetime going. Proceed to hit two good shots, and I’m about 50 yards out from a gettable flag. I hit the wipiest slicing pitch shot of my life and miss the green to the right. Can’t get up and down, and I bogey the hole. Currently +7. Walking to 15 frustrated, but know I can bounce back. Proceed to hit a good drive, and gorgeous 5 iron to reach the 2nd hardest hole on the course. Easy two putt for par. Going to 16 +7. 16 is a quirky par 4 where you’re gutsy you can drive the green. I decide to lay up to my 60* wedge yardage so I can have a full wedge shot into an elevated, very small green.

This is where it goes south.

I proceed to hit the thinnest wedge of my live, 30 yards over to green into the woods. My buddy helps me look for a good 5 minutes (no one else on the course), but we can’t find the ball. I drop, make a double. +9 going to 17. I’m pretty hot at this point, but I know I have a par 5 coming up on 18, so maybe I can get a shot back. 17 is a 210 yard par 3. I hit a good 5 iron to about 20 feet. Proceed to 4 putt. +11 going to 18. It is over at this point. I pull driver on the 18th. The round is lost at this point. So what do I do? Hit about 4 inches behind the ball and put a sky mark on my driver. Nothing like only getting 60 yards off the tee on a 520 yard par 5. I finish out the hole decent enough and make a bogey.

Finish the day out with an 83. Still the best round of my life on this course but it sure didn’t feel that way.

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Icarito = my golf game. Three over through six? Nice. Finish the round 20 over. WTF.

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I got married in June. On the honeymoon, we went to a resort in Cancun that had a course. First round of my marriage I par 4 of the first 5 holes and making jokes to the randoms I’m paired with that “marriage has done wonders for my golf game, I never play this well”. Ended up shooting 103…haha

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This thread is going to be horrible (in a great way) to follow. While watching @MerchCzar this just brought back horrible memories that I thought I removed from my brain years ago.

My home courses finish is brutal, the last 4 holes are very tough and the typical wind direction makes them even harder if its blowing. I have seen and had many rounds go ary. Walking off 14, i have been under par at least 25 times and shot over par in the last 9 years of being a member. Common story at our course.

But my Icarito moment comes at a different course in a tournament, I am trembling just thinking about it.

I’m 3 under in a college tournament through 15, never broke par before (tournament or otherwise), and my team shows up on 16 tee, which never ever happens. They don’t say anything but I know, top 4 scores of 5 players count and we are on the verge of making a cut. We don’t make cuts, we are a “golf club” not a team, so no scholarships, not even any funding from the school, they even turned down our request to use the school logo on bags that we were purchasing out of our own fundraising.

The situation sets in hard, cause I know. Shaun probably shot 67 (cause he is a player), Robert and JD likely something around par (which they often did, just not in the same tourney) and Braden likely shot 90 (cause he shoots 70 or 90) and I am basically the steady guy who shoots between 77 - 80. They aren’t super happy so I know its not a done deal. They chat with a fellow player in my group and as suspected I later find out, they find out where I am at.

This is 11 years ago and I remember like its yesterday, 16 is a long par 4 into the wind, and I am no bomber so its driver into a fairway bunker, pretty solid hybrid just short and right of the green, and nice pitch to a back left pin to about 6 feet, left to right putt, left it hanging on the edge - Bogey. The audible groans from one of my teammates make a normally acceptable bogey on a tough hole hurt, like spine trembling hurt.

17 is roughly 200 yard par 3 over water, narrow green, and again into the wind. I ain’t going to be short so pull hybrid and knock it onto the right side of the green, maybe 60 ft. I nearly hole the thing, and Robert hits the ground like Bones did when Phil lipped out for 62 at The Open. Par. Onward.

18 is funky par 5, water on the left off the tee and then a pond on the right from about 100 yards that wraps around the back of the green. I am shaking putting the ball on the tee, a likely cut on the line and my first round under par, in a tourney non the less. I do my best @Tron and wipey fade one off the tee that runs into the right rough, I got a brutal lie and hack an 8 iron out that maybe goes 80 yards and I got about 210 left. Left to right cross wind on a slight left to right slope, water right. Lay up doesn’t even cross my mind, get it up there, close to the green, chip on and 2 putt and take your bogey and run. I just hit 2 acceptable hybrids on the last 2 holes, I got this. I aim right (slope, wind and I tend to hit a cut with longer clubs) and pure a hybrid, like as good a shot as I can hope to hit and it just doesn’t turn and I find out when getting up to the green, its buried, like barely even can see the ball in the left bunker about pin high. Take a huge swipe and still have no idea how this happened but hit it thin (no mistaking that sound) the ball came out hot, flew the green by 30 yards and over the water hazard onto the 1st hole! I am alive but the pitch/flop is more then challenging. Hit an ok shot on the fringe, make a bad choice and pull a wedge to try and take this slope out of play, chunk, 2 putt, triple. Game over.

Miss the cut by 2 (it kills me knowing a bogey was good enough) and don’t break par. The boys handled it really well, they were 15 ft away for the bunker shot, saw the lie and none would have even considered the possibility of somehow hitting it thin. They put it on themselves for putting the pressure on by showing up on the 16th tee but I squarely put it on myself. Took me 6 or 7 years to break par after that too. Oh golf!

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In 2012 I was trying to make it into Colorado’s Junior Match Play Championship. There was a stroke play qualifier the day prior to the first round of matches to determine the 64 who’d get in.

We’re playing at Bear Creek Golf Club just outside of Denver, a very challenging course, and one that had a few holes nominated in August’s “Worst Golf Holes” thread. Shot 40 on the front nine with two birdies, which was really good and put me ahead of pace to make it in. Last seven holes were played in +7, which led me to shooting 85 and finishing… in a tie for 65th.

I thought at the start of the day 85 would be good enough for a playoff at worst and I was crushed. Distinctly remember having like a 7-8 footer for par on the last and just missing it on the right edge. I wanted to make it just for the insurance, but didn’t think it’d be the difference between me going on or missing.

So yeah, definitely the toughest pill I’ve had to swallow since I’ve played golf. Moving on and playing match play against the best players in the state would have been a blast and a big learning experience. Wasn’t meant to be though and not moving on served as an equally important learning experience.

First and only happened just last month and it included a part A and B. Golfing friends got together for a Ryder Cup style event.

Part A) I win the first 2 holes of the match and am feeling great about this match as I’m getting 10 strokes on my opponent (our group has a wide range of golfing abilities, so handicaps were necessary). halve a few holes in the middle of the front and then lose 6-9 and I’m 2 down at the turn. the back 9 was an absolute war, we halved only 1 hole.

Part B) after missing a 4-footer on 15, I’m standing on 16 2-down. opponent puts his drive OB, I find the fairway. On the approach, I pull my wedge, heading straight for the shit, gust from the gods brings it back to safety, lucky bounce off a hill short of the green, approach rolls to less than a foot, win the hole, 1-down with 2 to play. Big drive on 17 and it’s in the fairway. 210ish approach to an uphill green. I stripe a 4-iron and give it a full sauce treatment, club twirl followed by running to the other side of a fairway bunker so I can see the green, approach is on the front edge about 20 feet short of the hole, fist pump. Make birdie to win the hole and i’ve got the match back to all square. Tee ball on 18 is a double cross that finds the first fairway. Approach is sprayed right and short of the green into some awful rough. Take my drop and proceed to duff my chip. I have a chip for double-bogey that would win the hole (again, we’re using handicaps so net bogey). We’re the last match and everyone is around the green. I tell somebody to take the flag out because i’m going to make it. Hit a great chip that finishes about a foot short, lose the match 1-down. Thankfully our team won so that was a nice consolation.

Ahhhh, the moment that still has the power to wake me in the middle of a dark, cold, winter night…

My sister used to live in Michigan and we went up to Bay Harbour for the weekend and my brother in law and I played all 3 nines in a day. The Quarry 9 and the Preserve 9 were played well, pretty much to handicap. However, I was -1 gross for the Links 9 stood on the final tee and then proceeded to thrash two tee shots into the reeds on the right and came off with a quad. Gutted was not the word and my brother in law often brings it up.

My only crumb of comfort is there was a Shell Wonderful World of Golf filmed there which was Phil v Lehman and I’m pretty sure Phil snapped hooked one into the reeds off the same tee. I’m not going to waste my time playing those types of courses again!

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Raven’s nest haunts my dreams (i still flip it off when I pass it driving to Dallas). Once played a HS tournament there in 35+ mph winds and sub 40 degree temperatures. It was a two day tournament with a cut. Our coach was very wise to not book hotel rooms and keep the van warm. Ejections abounded…

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Shoulda hit driver on 16, just can’t lay up when playing your best

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