The Residential Library

The sometimes demented, frequently irreverent, and occasionally stupid musings of Ron Hargrove

Best. Round. Ever.


I really don’t know how to explain what happened.  I’ve been playing some good golf lately, but to say I found myself “in the zone” a few days ago really doesn’t do it justice.  Mostly I’m telling you this to brag. But partly I’m telling you because something weird happened and I thought you might like to know.

For context, in 48 years of playing golf I’ve probably played 500 rounds and my best scores have been:

79:  10-15 times
78:  3-5 times
77:  twice
76:  once (Sand Springs, 2013)

Having turned 60 this spring I didn’t envision that my best golf would lay ahead.  But a couple of days ago I played at Los Rios CC in Plano. It’s not a hard course (par 71, rating 69.4, slope 117), but I’ve played similar courses a lot over the years and still my best scores are no better than shown above.  Even when I’m playing “really good”, there are always a couple of bad holes in every round. But, not on this day. After never shooting better than 76 in all these years, I shot a 2-under par 69, beating my personal best by 7 shots.  Almost regardless of skill level, when you’ve played as many rounds as I have, it’s awfully hard to beat your best score by 1 or 2 shots.  To do it by 7 shots was surreal.

The nerd in me compiled the following shot-by-shot recap of the round.  It’s probably way more information than you can stomach. And that’s fine.  Heck, I’m not sure I would respect anyone that would read it anyway.

Date: 8/12/2014
Course: Los Rios CC, Plano, TX  (tees: white; par: 71; rating: 69.4; slope: 117)
Score: 69
GIR: 10 (including a par 5 in 2)
Putts: 27
Playing partner: Tim Eshleman

  • Cleveland Launcher 400cc driver
  • Knight Tuff Shots 3 wood
  • Nike CPR hybrid (18 deg.)
  • Cobra S2 irons – 4-9, PW, GW
  • Integra SW, LW
  • Scotty Cameron Red X putter

Ball: Green logo Nike PD (#1)
Beer: Miller Lite


– Hole distances are from scorecard
– Distances to green are from GPS, imply “to the center of the green”, and may be off by a couple of yards because of memory, or lack thereof
– Distances on greens are estimates

Hole 1 – 430 yd par 5

Crushed a drive down right side of fairway. 170 yards to green, hit 5 iron to back of green.  20 feet away, putted to 2 feet and made that for birdie. [1-under]

Hole 2 – 335 yd par 4

Nice drive in left rough just past a tree that could have been a problem. 120 yards to green, hit PW to fringe short and right of the green.  Putted to 4 feet and sank 4-footer for par. [1-under]

Hole 3 – 122 yd par 3

114 yards to green, hit PW to back of green, 20 feet from hole.  Putted to 3 feet away and made that for par. [1-under]

Hole 4 – 361 yd par 4

A group of trees are set between the tee and the green about 200 yards from the tee.  The fairway bends around them to the left. I decided to play to the right of them (a shortcut) aiming for a clearing in the right rough beyond that clump of trees.  Boomed one pretty close to the line I was aiming for. Waited on my second shot so as not to bother a guy teeing off on a nearby tee box. After he hit, the next guy told me to go ahead.  With their 3-some watching I pured a gap wedge from 100 yards over a mature tree and stopped it about 10 feet past the hole. Got some raves from the 3-some. Then made the 10-footer for birdie.  [2-under]

Hole 5 – 380 yd par 4

Boomed another drive into the left rough just past a tree that could have been a problem.  120 yards from the green and pin in the back, hit a 9-iron pin-high to the right fringe. 25 feet to the hole, putted to 4 feet away and made that for par.  [2-under]

Hole 6 -115 yd par 3

114 yards to an island green surrounded by water on all sides except a narrow path on the back.  Ok, it’s a peninsula. The greens on this course are hard and even a high shot will bounce and roll instead of biting.  So I hit my 100-yd club, a gap wedge. Hit it pure to 1 foot. Probably the closest I’ve ever come to a hole-in-one. Tapped in for birdie.  [3-under]

Hole 7 – 408 yd par 4

Number 1 handicap hole.  Lakes on left and right come into play on the drive, and a ravine cuts straight across the front of the green.  Crushed a drive to the left side of the fairway. 170 yards to the green, I hit a pretty good 5-iron but it sliced a little and ended up pin-high 5 yards right of the green.  Hit a pretty good chip, 6 feet away. Missed the putt for bogie. [2-under]

Hole 8 – 334 yd par 4

Boomed another drive into the left rough but under a tree.  100 yards from the green, pin in the back, punched out with a 4-iron, bounced it short of the green and it ran up 12 feet past the hole.  Made the putt for birdie. Four birdies in the first 8 holes sent a chill down my spine. [3-under]

Hole 9 – 346 yd par 4

The hole was playing into the wind and a lake covers the right half of the fairway 200 yards out, so I hit a hybrid off the tee.  I hit it well and dead center in the fairway. 160 yards to the green. Couldn’t decide if I should play 1 or 2 extra clubs because of the wind.  Decided 1 extra because the pin was in the front. Pured a 5-iron to 10 feet. Missed the putt and tapped in for par. [32, 3-under]

Hole 11* – 343 yd par 4, dogleg right

There was a foursome on the tee box on #10.  They wouldn’t let us play through so we drove around them and went to #11.  I hit a very mediocre drive. It was low and I pulled it into the left rough of a dogleg right.  170 yards to the green, I hit an ok 5-iron, but left it a few yards short of the green. Chipped up to 4 feet and made the putt for par.  [3-under]

Hole 12 – 160 yd par 3

152 yards to the green, hit 7-iron ok but left it 5 yards short of the green.  Hit behind the ball on my chip and left the ball 20 feet short of the hole. Beautiful putt crossed in front of the hole and stopped on the right lip.  Tapped in for bogie. [2-under]

Hole 13 – 353 yd par 4 dogleg right

Another dogleg right with trees guarding the corner, but there is a clearing to the right of those.  I decided to go for the clearing to the right which is the shortest route to the green. Crushed the drive but pulled it directly at the trees on the corner.  Barely missed the trees and bounced a couple of times on the cart path then into the fairway on the far side of the bend. My longest drive ever on this hole. 80 yards to the hole, pin in the back.  I hit a partial GW to the back edge of the green. Made 12 footer for birdie. [3-under]

Hole 14 – 484 yd par 5

Not a particularly hard hole except there is a wide ravine that crosses the fairway directly in front of the green and the green is hard.  I hit a real nice drive to the right side of the fairway, but with 200 yards to the ravine, I had to lay up. Hit an ok 4-iron to the left rough.  80 yards to the green, hit nice SW 12 feet past the hole. Missed the putt and tapped in for par. [3-under]

Hole 15 – 157 yd par 3

168 yards to the green, I probably should have hit 6-iron with the pin in front, but I hit 5-iron.  Hit it well but pulled it long and left of greenside mounds. Pitched a nice LW over the mounds 12 feet short.  Missed the putt and tapped in for bogie. [2-under]

Hole 16 – 402 yd par 4

Number 2 handicap hole, with creek along the right side of the hole and pond on the left of the green.  Crushed a drive down the middle with a little draw. 160 yards to the green, pin in back. Hit a good 6-iron to front half of green.  25 feet to hole, left a 3-footer on first putt, but made that for par. [2-under]

Hole 17 – 193 yd par 3

198 yards slightly uphill to the green with lake on left of green and creek on right.  Boomed a hybrid right at the pin but left it 2 yards short of the green. Putted to 3 feet and made that for par.  [2-under]

Hole 18 – 563 yd par 5

Crushed a drive to right side of fairway, probably my longest ever on this hole.  Fairway makes a gentle S-shape so there were mature trees 100 yards from me directly in line with the green.  Nailed a 3-wood that cleared the trees but came to rest under a tree in the left rough. 100 yards to the green with a dirt lie, punched out with a 4-iron on line, but a mound in front of the green kicked it to the right of the green.  Chipped up to 3 feet and made the putt for par. [2-under]

Hole 10 * – 450 yd par 5

Went back to play the hole we skipped.  Crushed a drive to the middle of the fairway.  Maybe my best drive ever on this hole. I thought I was 250 from the green and hit a 3-wood.  But I didn’t hit it very good and it still ended up pin high just left of the green. I think I must have been 200 yards out instead of 250.  (I didn’t check my GPS, because I don’t check my GPS when I’m 250 out!). Hmmmm, that could have turned out much worse. Anyway I hit a beautiful chip to 5 feet.  Then missed my only putt of the day and settled for par. [32+37=69, 2-under]

Personal bests:

Raw score on a regulation course: 69 (previous best 76 at Sand Springs)
Score in relation to par: 2-under (previous best +5 at Sand Springs)
Score in relation to par at any point during the round: 3-under (previous best 2-under)
Most birdies: 5 (previous best 3 birdies on one round and 2 birdies and an eagle on another; later had a round with 4 birdies)

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