Dave invited me for a round at his club after he joined me at the Plateau Club a few weeks ago, so we met there around 10:30 this morning and headed out. I hadn't played at Bear Creek before, though I played against someone from there last year in one of the Washington Cup tournaments. Bear Creek is a very nice course, it reminds me of Sahalee in that the trees lining the fairways are very mature and while the course can be a bit narrow, it is also very fair.
On the range before the round, I was hitting the ball very well. Large divots after the ball and a high trajectory. Even the driver was doing pretty well. This was pretty much the theme of the day. I was making great contact and while there were a few errant shots, most of my clubs were doing pretty well today. My putter started out really bad, I had three 3 putts in the first four holes, but once I relaxed, they started dropping and I finished the last 3 holes on the front 9 with 1 putts.
While my final score wasn't great (94) I think a fair amount of the higher scoring holes were more related to not knowing the course very well, rather than not hitting the ball well. For example, on 13, which is a downhill par 3, I pulled an 9 iron on Dave's recommendation which ended up being just a little short, but what I didn't realize was that it would bounce right into a bunker. I muffed the first bunker shot and ended up with a double bogey, but if I had known the course better, I probably would have gone 8 iron in the first place and been on in one.
Similarly on a severely uphill par 4, I hit a great drive and was 150 from the pin. I hit my 7 iron but because it was more uphill than I thought, the ball plugged into the high wall of a bunker just short of the green. I got out of the bunker in one, but it took another shot to get on and I again walked away with a double.
The par 5 18th was the worst though. My driver was doing great all day, so I used it on this hole, but it's luck finally ran out. I sliced it off of a tree and into a creek and had to take a drop. My next shot was hit really well, but a tree jumped in front of it and left it well short of where it was heading. Then it happened AGAIN on a different tree! After that I hit a great shot that went right to the green but by this point it was too late to do any better than a double bogey.
The course was very nice though and I would love to play there again. I ended up using every club in my bag (except for my 53* wedge, though I should have used it on at least one hole). The thing that kept me going though was how well I was making contact with the ball. No topped balls all day and only one real fat shot. Fun! Now we need to see if that will stay with me through the weekend.