SCROLL DOWN TO READ PHIL’S (ALBEIT BIASED) ACCOUNT OF ROUND ONE
Every vacation that involves a few rounds of golf ultimately sparks a competition between my parter Phil and myself. Are we competitive? Yes. Have I won every PAR WARS golf cup to date? Yes. Does mentioning that fact make me an ass? Yes, and I’m OK with that.
The rules of PAR WARS are simple.
We play matchplay with handicaps (Phil is giving me two strokes this trip).
Whoever wins the most rounds in a holiday is the winner, and she or he gets to feel smug in victory until the next vacation.
The Sub Par Golfer P.O.V. :
Twenty minutes into our first day of PAR WARS and the debate was already raging. A half hour of discussion later and we had come to the agreement that I would not tee off from the ladies’ red tees as, I dunno, gender stipulates but I’d tee off from the men’s white tees behind. Phil insisted “The red tees are too far from the men’s gold tees, and I want to play the whole course.” So after some overly complicated percentages of difference and handicap calculations, “we” decided that this was most fair.
We chose to start PAR WARS at Maui Nui Golf Course (read the review here). It’s a good course to warm up on as it’s pretty wide and not too challenging. We hadn’t swung a club in about two weeks so we needed every grace we could get. The course is in good shape and you could tell once you stepped onto the first tee.
DING! I could almost hear the boxing bell as we teed off. Let the battle commence. Phil drove long but a bit right, and mine came off the club sweet and landed dead center. Already I was thinking “this is gonna be a good day.”
We halved the first hole with two bogies. After a 20-minute wait on the second tee box we both hit some solid shots down the fairway and both came away with pars – only I had one of my two shots there, so I went one-up. After that I just seemed to play pretty solidly and snake points away from Phil. We both screwed up the 4th, but as it is in golf, I just screwed up less and so I won the hole to go 3-up.
Nine holes in and I had shot 43 and Phil 47. Four-up. Phil would have to turn his golf around if he wanted to make it close. And to be fair, he did. He shot 9 shots fewer on the back but it wasn’t enough. I won on the 14th. Ouch. Sorry darling.
We finished the round with no hard feelings (might have been a different story if I had lost but Phil is pretty gracious in his losses) and the score is now 1-0 to The Sub Par Golfer.
As for the round, I’d always played off the reds at Maui Nui and I have to say, it was more of a challenge from the white tees. A few par 4s had me hitting a rescue club in whereas from the reds I could have been hitting a 7-iron or less in. It did make the course more interesting, and I recommend it if you want to play a course you know well but want to play different shots.
The other big difference about PAR WARS this time around was that we’ve only brought 7 clubs each (including our putters). The wind really picked up at Maui Nui on the 8th and we had some approach shots uphill into the wind that required some creativity. I reckon it’s going to be really good for our golf. Next round: KAHILI.
Phil’s P.O.V. :
So PAR WARS begins. Let me give you a little history from my point of view.
When choosing a holiday destination, in general it’s always nice to get away and spend a few weeks staying with your folks, catching up with old friends and going down memory lane on the streets where you grew up.
Well I grew up in Stevenage in the UK and Michelle grew up on Maui, Hawaii. Hard as I tried, I could not persuade her that six weeks in the “first new town” of England would be much fun so we ended up here on Maui as we do every two years.
I met Michelle about eight years ago. She was a lapsed golfer, I was a three-year beginner, a keen-as-mustard 15-handicapper. She dusted off her clubs, got back into it and we progressed together.
The first time we came to Maui was four years ago. We played about 7 or 8 rounds of golf and although I beat her once or twice gross strokeplay, when it comes to net matchplay, I have yet (yet) to win a game off her. We (in truth, I) have a bone of contention with our matches. Simply put, it’s the tee boxes.
Where we live in France, there are 4 tee boxes: 2nd series ladies, 1st series ladies, 2nd series men’s and furthest back, 1st series men’s. So there is no argument where to play from. I’m not saying our system in France is fair – especially when you have a girlfriend who hits her irons as long as you do and her driver only 10% less than you do, but it seems more fair than having one ladies’ tee in America.
So we had to try to find a tee box scenario that was deemed to be fair by both of us. At the golf courses in the US, there appear to be up to 5 tee boxes and no indication from where one should play. From the shortest, there’s red, red/white, white, blue and longest is gold.
I like to get my money’s worth so I want to play from the gold tee. Michelle being a lady insists on playing from the reds. This left me in a situation where I was hitting 50% of the distance more than her. What to do? Michelle insists that ladies can “only play from reds” and I disagree.
So that brings us to our first game of PAR WARS 2016. Maui Nui in Kihei.
The red tees here are really, really short so I couldn’t let her play from there. I asked at the pro shop if they had a standard scratch for the course and hallelujah they do. As it turns out, there is a slope rating for women from reds and whites (yes Michelle, ladies can play from another tee box) and there is a slope rating for men from white blue and gold. Comparing the slopes, the 2 that matched up best seemed to be white for ladies and gold for men – there was only about half a stroke in it. So I thought I could live with that…
First hole went ok, good drive, approach a bit short but I got away with a half. We halved the 2nd and both bogeyed the 3rd but Michelle gets 2 shots off me and this was her first point so I
went 1-down after three. I hit one out the park on 4 so went 2-down. A nightmare on the 6th and a few missed putts put me 4-down at the turn. I played a whole lot better on the back nine, even in the 2-3 club wind that had whipped up, but it was not enough and I went down 5 and 4.
I wasn’t too disappointed as I had played OK. I did mess up a few holes and I still can’t get my head round the greens. Nowhere else have I played on Bermuda grass. The grain of the grass affects the roll of the putt – yes, I get that, but which way? Some say the grain always goes downhill, some say the grain goes towards the sea, some say you can tell by the “burn” around the cup. Anyway. I don’t get it and it cost me dear. The only thing I can take from this round of golf is that I shot 85 and Michelle shot 86.
Next round is Kahili on Friday.