This weekend the Stortz family went to the Pocono’s for my mom’s birthday (and to play a lot of golf). We stayed at our house in Lake Naomi and enjoyed some nice weather and company. On Saturday morning we visited the farmer’s market where my mom has sold 100 of her flower arrangements. I also bought some grapes there. On to the golf recaps.

Pocono Manor

The 3 boys went up on Friday and played a course called Pocono Manor. It was an older course recovering from a fire. The rate was $30 for twilight and none of us had played it before so we weren’t sure what to expect. Sam hit a bomb down the middle to start the round, Jeff got off fine, and I had to use a breakfast ball. Off we go. After a blind tee shot on par 3 which was unusual on hole 3, 2 teenagers roll up behind us. They start off by hitting our cart with their tee shot as we were on hole 4 and then yell out “yeah!!! into the fucking woods” when they watched Sam’s tee shot from the hole behind. The kid proceeded to hit his chip shot in front of us with a beer in his mouth, while attempting to drink it, while also hitting the chip. Quite impressive. They disappeared on hole #11 for some unknown reason. Jeff led the standings with a 41 after 9 and Sam broke 50. The back played relatively similar and I shot a 42 to lead the scorecard with an 86, Jeff finished with a 90, and Sam shot a 110. It was an overall fun round on an average course where pace of play was unbelievable as we finished in 3 hours.

Jack Frost National

I’ve played Jack Frost a few times so I had some course experience. JC joined the round. One major advantage I had during this round is that I was drinking throughout it. I know that sounds strange, but it truly helps me get a rhythm. On hole #8, I put the ball to 1ft on a 170 yard par 3 and thought I had my 2nd hole in one of my career.

Sam was struggling a bit and JC pulled too far ahead to make it competitive. Jeff played solid on what I deem a relatively tough course. I enjoyed the round and it was by far the best round I had played all season. I only took 3 OB strokes and kept my ball down the middle and long on almost all of the holes.

Split Rock

Where to begin on this round. JC joined on what I thought was going to be a challenging course. I knew this because almost every tee time was open on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in the summer. Major tell. So we get there and JC wants to warm up and I wanted to get the round in as we had to drive home after. So the first hole is a dog leg right and Jeff and I keep our ball in play and he manages a par while I 3 putt for a double. JC gets a 9 complaining he didn’t get to warm up. The next hole I hit a great drive, chip on and miss my birdie putt and settle for a par. JC also pars it. So much for warming up. Hole 3, I hit another amazing shot on a 180 yard par 3 that is 2 feet away and make the birdie. How hard could this course be? JC starts to struggle through some of the holes on the front and is running out of balls. Jeff and I were squeezing by. I had a 44 on the front and Jeff was 51 or so. On hole 10 I hit a 3 wood out of bounds. Then I hit my approach shot out of bounds. On the next hole I hit my drive out of bounds. Then I hit my next shot out of bounds. On hole 12 I hit my drive out of bounds. Then I hit my approach shot out of bounds. The next hole I’m starting to unravel and hit a grounder drive, a chip into a waste bunker, 2 to get out, 3 putt for a 7 on a par 3. I start the back 8, 7, 8, 7. I didn’t make one bogey on the back 9 and shot a 61. Jeff won the match by 1 stroke with a 104. This was a great course if you have some idea of what not to do. It broke me down mentally and I’d have to amp myself up before giving it another shot. So what makes it so hard?

This hole is a good example. All you have to do is hit a straight shot and you’ll be fine. If you are wayward left you have to drop. The entire fairway will push right which will lead to another drop if you err that way. There were no white stakes on the entire course so imagine shooting the number I did without ever taking +2 OB strokes. Plus there are carries off the tee and canyons / water guarding greens. I think we probably lost about 45 balls combined and that’s not an exaggeration.