Thursday, June 24, 2010

Day Sixty-Six - 6.24.10 - Elmira, New York

Day One of the Tournament - Qualifying - Kicking off the weekend, all 2 man teams played a best ball qualifying round. It was an educational go, my first trip around all 18 holes of this lush, woodsy, undulating, elevation changing course. Tee shots are challenging, but not unfair, and the par threes are all reasonable. It is the greens, the smallish and lightning quick greens, where strokes build up and build up quickly. The rolling Appalachian mountains that surround the course played tricks on this flat-lander's mind while reading putts. Putts that look uphill, are actually of a devious downhill variety. Putts that look downhill can stop short if directed up toward the mountains. Subtle breaks lie in wait and carry short puts away from the center of the cup... We fired a 78 as a team, good enough to place us in the second flight for the remainder of the weekend. Match play starts tomorrow at 9 AM...

Following the round, Uncle Mike drove me around the various Elmira neighborhoods including the houses he and my father lived in growing up, along with Grandpa Thom, Grandma Marg, Uncle David, and Aunt Annie Pie. Elmira is the epitome of a working class town, with a rich history dating back to the Revolutionary War. Like many old blue collar towns, Elmira has seen better days... As we made our way through Elmira's east side, we passed an old steel foundry, now boarded up, that pre-dates the Civil War.

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