snilsen's picture

A quick summary of my day at Flossmoor.

Clubs: Driver, 3-Wood, 4, 6, 8, P, 56 and Putter

Carry/Caddy: Carried for the first 66 holes, had a diligent caddy for the last 42.

Tee Time: 4:41 on the 14th hole

Round Times: 1 - 2:09 (19 holes), 2 - 2:07, 3 - 2:10, 4 - 2:34 (half as a twosome, half as a threesome), 5 - 2:40 (half twosome, half threesome), 6 - 3:10 (17 holes, half as a threesome, half as a foursome, 12 pack of beer in tow for the closing stretch)

Golf Highlights: Playing Flossmoor (a fantastic course); playing the 7th and 13th at even par, the 4th at +1 and the 16th and 18th at +2 for the day; my second round; making an inordinate amount of 4 to 8 foot putts; closing the day by parring my last three holes

Golf Lowlights: Not parring the 5th, 8th, 12th or 17th holes once; my fourth round; the period of time between 1:30 and 3:00 when I forgot what a golf swing felt like

First 3 Rounds:

Playing as a single, I found a nice spot with no one within two holes in either direction for most of the morning. With just enough light to see if a tee ball was heading in the right direction, I set off from the 14th with the earphones in playing Widespread Panic's 7/3/01 show from Milwaukee's Summerfest. If you haven't heard it, the Imitation Leather Shoes, Ain't Life Grand, Heaven, Thought Sausage, Chilly Water, Pilgrims and Climb to Safety are great songs to get you in the right frame of mind for an event of this kind.

After an uncharacteristly strong start (+2 after 6), I settled into a pretty good groove. The dew on the greens helped to slow putts down around the hole and the tracks laid down by those out ahead helped with the lines. My first birdie of the day came on my second trip through 16, where I sank a 40 foot downhill putt from the back right corner of the green. Unfortunately, whoever installed the time lapse camera set up to monitor the 16th (http://www.hundredholehike.com/blogs/flying) did not get coverage of the back corner in question, meaning the only two witnesses to the event were two maintenance workers who seemed mildly disinterested in the goings on. That birdie, and a second a bit later on the short par 3 7th set a nice tone for my first two rounds. I should have relished the moment a bit longer, as those were the last holes I would play under par for the day.

Towards the end of my second round, with the sun starting to demonstrate its strength and the wind announcing its presence, I was searching for a bit of motivation. With nary a soul in sight, I was lucky to stumble upon Whitesnake's Slow and Easy on the iPod. If there was ever a song that extolled the virtues of the diligent pursuit of a goal, this is it. A little trail mix, a few more waters and gatorade, and the check engine light was off. Back to Widespread Panic for their 10/28/11 show, and low and behold the third song from the show? You guessed it, Walkin'. Followed by Up All Night (I slept maybe three hours Sunday night), North (the way the wind was starting to blow, and pretty strongly too), One Arm Steve (funnily enough, not a golf song), Action Man (self-explanatory) and Thought Sausage (again). The Machine into Barstools closer for the first set got me through a couple of holes, but I skipped the Impossible/Saint Ex combo that followed, they didn't really seem appropriate. I won't bore you with the details of the rest of the show, but suffice it to say that Stop-Go and Ride Me High were the highlights.

Already on my second pair of socks and shoes, I finished round three (actually 55 holes) at 11:25 with just enough time to scrounge up the cash to pay for the Jimmy John's delivery. My morning rounds had been strong, the birdies offsetting only two doubles to mar a pretty even mix of pars and bogeys. My second round was the best golf of the day (for me), having hit 8 of 14 fairways and 9 of 18 greens. The tiny bit of moisture made putting a bit easier, the only nuisance being a lack of towel (a slight miscalculation in planning).

Lunch, Shower and Suntan Application.

Last 3 Rounds:

Having played the morning accompanied only by the boys from Athens (with a brief hairband interlude), in the afternoon I opted for non-digitized company. Three of us teed off a bit after 12:00 to start the trek homewards. As good as the shower and brief sit felt, between the sun, the wind and the legs, the elements and miles were starting to take their effect. My fourth round included 4 times as many doubles as I'd made all morning. Despite the good-natured intents of my traveling companies, no kind words were going to keep me from going sideways. If ever a man was in need of divine intervention, it was me after a smooth 6 from the middle of the fairway on the 8th. As luck would have it, a higher power stepped in with the addition of my caddy to the entourage. While not necessarily well versed in club recommendations or reads on the green, she does a wonderful job shuttling a pullcart up and down the fairways, and reminded me that drinking a bit of water now and then might be a halfway decent idea. In the words of the song, the women are smarter.

Perhaps it took a few holes for my back to adjust to the lack of the constant weight of 8 clubs, but 4 or 5 holes into the caddy experience I was starting to feel like I'd actually played the game before. My fourth straight par of the day on the short par 3 13th was the only highlight of a back nine 48. But when we hit the 1st tee for the 5th time, things were starting to look up.

The fifth round saw a nine shot improvement in score. The driver started to cooperate again as I was learning that muscling up at this point in the day did not make a ton of sense. Although I was hitting fairways (for the most part), the lack of distance lead to quite a few two-putt bogeys. The good news was the ball was going straight (this is a relative term) and the lag putting was dialed in.

We ended up playing the last stretch of holes as a foursome. Along with my girlfriend, we had another hiker's wife join us as we closed in on 100. One member of our group (the young guy) had hit the century mark some time earlier in the day. I was poised to get there on the 7th hole, with the other two joining me in the select club on the 8th. As the count down was on, the holes seemed to pass by with little effort. On the 7th (my 100th), I slid a birdie putt by on the right, but watched one of my playing partners drain a 4 footer for his. We finished the 8th, and after a moment's discussion on calling it a day the committee decided we'd stock up on beer at the turn and make the charge to get to 108. The High Lifes helped, as I managed to par my last three holes of the day.

108 Holes, some good tunes, good friends, wonderful company, good golf at times and a ton of fun later, we were done. I'm guessing if I was 15 years younger, the idea of charging off into the waning light for a few more holes might have snuck into my head. Last night, the only thing I was thinking about was taking my shoes off and going to bed.

To all of you that are hiking, I hope you have as good a time as I did. For those that aren't, I hope this little missive inspires you to get on board for next year.


HOLES: 108
VS. PAR: +80
PAR: 43


Great work on the hike, Sven! And great write-up here. Really enjoyed it.

Congrats, Sven!