Over the weekend, I made my way out to Falcon’s Fire, for an invigorating and at the same time, exhausting round of golf. I also gained some new insight into myself, and that is, I hate golfing alone. Thinking back, I can’t recall a single time I’ve ever golfed a full 18 holes solo. There’s been many occasions when I’ve gone solo to the course, but I have always been paired up with others prior to starting the round. Last Saturday, at the last minute my golf partner had to bail and I was forced to play the first few holes solo. It was miserable. I can’t explain why exactly, but I felt rushed, unfocused, aggravated and frustrated. I mean, the course was good and there was no one behind me, but I couldn’t get my mind focused on the game.
When I golf, I don’t consciously pit myself against other golfers, so it’s not the competition with others that drives my game nor would the lack of competition kill my game. I always figured a solo round of golf would be something meditative and therapeutic, guess I was wrong, perhaps I’m harboring some abandonment issues that manifest themselves while on the links….alone.. Thankfully, the guys in front of me allowed me to joined up with them on the 3rd hole, so Alex, Keith, thanks for saving my round! 😉
But, I digress….
Back to the course.
Driving into Falcon’s Fire made me feel like one of those regular joes you see in the movies who somehow end up in a situation that has them driving up to a rich relatives mansion trying to take in all the amazing and unbelievable sights. It was an exciting experience to drive up to the valet parking, have the fellas unload my bag and park my car.
I arrived early so I could scope the place out. I ended up forgetting my golf glove and had to purchase another, which, almost cost as much as the round… Note to self… don’t ever do that again! Check-in went smooth enough, got to the starter who was very informative and ensured I was aware of the location of the restrooms and watering holes along the course and also told me the name of the cart lady who was driving around. The 90-degree rule was in effect, not surprising really, considering the amount of rain we’d gotten the previous week. Each cart is equipped with it’s own GPS unit and it’s accurate to the pin placement and not just to the center of the green, which I thought was pretty cool, and it also showed the distance to the golfers in front of you. I started out playing the whites, but when I partnered up with Alex & Keith, I switched to the blues… What can I say? A man and his ego…
Over the years, this course has won it’s share of awards and accolades, with it’s most recent being “Best Public Course in Florida” – Florida Monthly, 2006 and in this humble bloggers opinion, it’s pretty well deserved. The course holds it’s fair share of challenges with the blues boasting a slope of 132, a course rating of 71.7 and 6473 yards.
I wish I had been able to play the course under more optimal conditions. There’s been so much rain lately that it deterred from the enjoyment that one should have playing Falcon’s Fire. Many of the holes were a bit soggy in the fairways and roughs, but thankfully the greens were in really nice shape. Now I’m not blaming the fine folks over at Falcon’s Fire for the sogginess, that’s something no man can control, well, at least no man I know about.
Above is a picture of the 5th hole, Alex was gracious enough to let me hit his cleveland driver 9.5 degree on this hole. I only bring this up because, as a left-handed golfer, it is a damned rare occurrence to actually play a round with a kindred-handed person, so whenever you do, it’s almost a requirement to sample the others clubs because, god only knows when the opportunity is going to arise again..
Falcon’s Fire has a fair amount of character, each hole has it’s own name (which I personally like) and I think my favorite, like many others is the 13th, adequately named “Bunker Hill.”
Let the record show that I had an amazing 260 yard drive that landed on the fairway in front of the 3rd bunker from the right. Let the record also show that this is one of my highest scoring holes because my short game was horrible for the remainder of the hole…, well everything except the amazing 1 putt I had.. 🙂
My Falcon’s Fire arch-nemesis was the 14th “Falcon’s Lair,” it’s long, it’s strong, and it’s a ball eater… A whopping 550 yards of pure entertainment and delight… Avoid the right side of the hole and a note of caution, the water on the right side goes all the way up to within probably 10 yards of the green and if you manage to avoid the water, it’s a pretty steep uphill shot. My recommendation if your planning on avoiding the fairway (like most of us do) stay left.
Number 16 “Double Dip” is another fun hole to play, your playing against water hazards on both sides of the fairway.
Overall, it’s a really fun course and there’s a lot of coupons floating around out there, so I definitely recommend checking it out. I asked Alex and Keith if they thought the course was worth paying $90 and they both said yes. They’ve played it before when it wasn’t waterlogged. Oh, if you decide to grab a bite to eat after the round, the pulled pork sandwich with cheese is DYNOMITE! 🙂