Pinto Lake has me yearning for more (punishment)

I’ve only played the first nine holes of Pinto Lake CDGC three times, and my score has gotten worse each time. This is mostly due to the fact that I’m only now fully aware of all the OB that exists on almost all the holes, but still . . .

There is also the frustrated mindset that many of the holes play much tougher for a left-handed backhand thrower, but that’s nothing new. I often go through that rationalization when confronted with a new course or hole location (like DeLa’s new spot for hole 6’s basket), then get tired of whining about it and go about solving the puzzle. So join me as I analyze each of the nine holes and try to learn from my numerous mistakes. After carding a +7 yesterday with, let’s see, four OB strokes, many are fresh in my mind.

Hole 1
One adjustment I made already was to throw my lefty hyzer far to the left and let it fade back toward the fairway. That worked well yesterday, leaving me with a 70-footer for birdie (which I missed).

Hole 2
Yesterday I tried to play it safe by throwing a mid-range down the middle and landing it short of the fence and creek. Being left-handed, however it trickled right at the end and ended up a couple feet into the OB road on the right. I guess I have to throw something with even less fade, and maybe keep it lower.
Hole 3

Not sure how to attack this hole yet. The fairway slopes down from right to left, and a wall of trees 80 feet from the tee offers no gap to aim for larger than 10 feet. It seems that drives that don’t get cleanly (and somewhat straight) past this wall will very rarely result in a par. And even those that do must contend with a narrow, tree-happy fairway and a steep green eager to suck discs away from the basket. Looking at the hole map at left, the red sqares show the OB along the left and the basket is in the upper-right corner.
Hole 4
The layout of this short hole forces me to do something I very rarely do- throw a sidearm shot off the tee. So far, though, so good, as I’ve had birdie putts every time I’ve played it.

Hole 5
Although three holes of these 9 holes use fire roads as part of their fairways, 5 and 7 so far give me fits. On both these holes the terrain slopes from left-to-right with the right side including OB lines. I don’t think it’s a whole lot easier for right-handers, but when I throw my lefty drives they have to be perfectly straight, accurate, and flat. Too much hyzer and they will fade right and go OB; turn it over or just miss left, and the disc (with its lefty spin) will hit the steep hillside and aggressively spin back across the road and end up OB. And on this hole the road-fairway climbs slightly and curves to the left, with the basket up and on the left guarded by a steady wall of trees.

Hole 6
This 320-footer is comparitively benign, and has no OB to contend with. But all along the right side of the fairway and behind the terrain slopes steeply into nast schule. Except for that, though, it’s wide open.

Hole 7
Almost as nasty as hole 5, this par four road hole presents a more difficult drive in terms of keeping it in bounds. The drive is downhill to a flat landing area (making smooth landings less likely), and the OB on the right seems to creep in even closer than on hole 5. After that, though, at least the basket is on the road itself and visible from the entire fairway.

Hole 8
This sub-2oo foot hole presents some challenge due to trees guarding the basket and a fairway that crosses a mini-chasm, but compare to the rest of the course it’s quite a G-rated reprieve.

Hole 9
Maybe the toughest par three on the course, or at least as challenging as #3. The dogleg right is sharp enough – with OB on both sides – that throwing a full-strength hyzer doesn’t follow the contour of the hole. So far I haven’t gotten any kind of a realistic look at the basket after my first shot.

So now, armed with this reflective analysis from yesterday’s round, I went out today with a bit more of a gameplan. I threw many more mid-range discs as drives (on all three road holes at least), and in general, and tried to value placement much more than distance. The results were on the whole positive, although #5 and #7 continue to frustrate me and I still went OB twice (drives on #7 and #9. I was shooting par until a very frustrating double on the last hole that hit a hidden high branch of an early tree and trickled a couple feet OB on the left.

Score-wise, here’s the rundown: #1-par 3, #2-par 4, #3-par 3, #4-birdie 2, #5, bogey 5, #6-pr 3, #7-bogey 5 (P), #8-birdie 2, #9-double bogey 5 (P). So the strategy worked, but I still have some figuring and learning to do before I’m shooting par or better here on a regular basis. As much as I always talk about perfection in golf being a life-long persuit, this course should offer ample opportunity. And humility.

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