So I had some vacation time coming up but my wife could not take off work herself. I was left on my own to make the most of my time and you know golf is going to come into the picture. After a great weekend in Kiawah with Uncle Ed, I wanted to keep it local and goof around. I knew the courses would be empty so playing once would not take long and I should play twice. Calculating the time, I determined with a bit of will power that I could play three rounds in a day. 54 holes of golf. I wanted to make it a challenge so I determined I would carry my golf clubs. I know that I was inspired by Tom Coyne’s book, a Course Called Ireland.
I decided to play Bacon Park for several reasons:
- Low cost: I paid $24 for each 18 to walk the course.
- Terrain: Bacon Park is relatively flat.
- Player density: Bacon Park gets busy on the weekend
- Ease of play: The blue tees have a rating of 69.1 and measure 6,025 yards.
I booked three tee times: 7:30, 10:30, and 1:30. I estimated a 2.5 hour round based on my 1st man out Sunday rounds. Weather was a concern given the high temps this year but it was okay.
I would take breaks to fuel up and rest. The only hiccup in the planning was the attendance of blitz group of elder golfers going out around 9.
Golf Bag Preparation
If I was going to carry may clubs for 54 holes, I would not carry any extra weight. I carry 9 golf clubs regularly so that was good. 6 golf balls reside in the main back pocket and slipped three sleeve in the side pocket to reload. I put a box of dozen golf balls in the car trunk in case I got a case of the shanks. I removed anything of no use or duplicated:
- Rain gear
- Extra towels
- iPhone tripod
- Extra golf balls
In the end the bag weighted 20.5 pounds.
In Between Breaks
I parked my car under a tree to keep it cool and put a cooler in my trunk. After each round, I stopped by my car to change my wardrobe and fuel up. I ate a bit of beef jerky and a protein bar and stuck in my bag an energy drink to consume on the first 3 holes. On the course, I refilled my water bottle at every water cooler. I probably drink 4 bottles per 18 holes.
I changed my shirt, socks (except for the 3rd round which was a mistake) and wrist bands. Sunscreen was reapplied.
So How Was It?
There are rounds of golf where I say, “I wish I played 9 to warm up for these 18 holes.” This was true. Bacon Park’s greens are hit or miss. Some are in good shape and others are waste lands that are bumpy and speedy. Coming from playing the pristine greens of Kiawah, I shot several putts well past the hole before I learned the course’s touch. The fairways were in good shape and the crew was out trimming them.
The walking was not the challenge as one would expect. Bacon Park is flat and my bag was light. The blue tees measure 6,025 yards and with a couple hundred yards for the in between holes walk I call it 3.5 miles. All in all, I walked 10.5 miles and the next morning my feet were a bit soar but not bad. There is something romantic about feeling the course below my feet and sensing the terrain.
I played some of my best golf. The second round of 78 is a personal record. Here is a breakdown of my scoring:
Best and Worst Shot
3rd round 6th hole: My ball sat just off the green with the pin 30 feet away. I pulled out my Rezults chipper and sunk the chip/putt. It ran straight and true. Made me love that club just a bit more.
2nd Round 18th Hole: There is something magical about not loosing a ball during a round of golf. I made it to the 18th tee box of the second round and felt good. The 18th hole is one of the few holes at Bacon Park that take accuracy and strategy. A drive must be hit but not too long to avoid water cutting across the fairway. There is also an annoying pond sitting on the left side and I have been fighting snap hooks recently. Sure enough, I snapped it to the left and splash. The dream of 54 holes with the same ball sunk like my ball into the slime of the water hazard.
Why did I take this epic journey? I don’t know. I could have played 4 rounds but that now seems silly. My body woke with some aches the next day but my love for golf remains intact and the low round propelled me to my next round at Oak Marsh in Amelia Island, FL. Not sure if I will ever do this again but it makes a great story.