David Toms and the 2011 PGA Championship

David Toms did us proud in the 2011 PGA Championship at the Atlanta Athletic Club. The course looked to be incredibly hard, with outlandishly long holes and nearly impossible driving fairways. After two plus par rounds (+2 and +1) on Thursday and Friday, Toms had the lowest third day round of 65 and followed it with a 67 to finish in a tie for fourth. He had the lowest weekend score of -8. If he had shot even par on Thursday and Friday, he would have tied for the tournament lead, which was won in a playoff by Keegan Bradley over Jason Duffner. The eighteenth at the Atlanta Athletic Club was by far the hardest hole during the tournament. The average score for the tournament on this par 5 converted to par 4 for the tournament was 4.58.  Toms scored -2 for the hole for the tournament with two pars and two birdies. Amazing on a hole that saw many bogies, double bogies, and worse.

 Toms now ranks 8th in the FedEx standings and is seventh for the Presidents Cup roster. This week is the Wyndham Championship at the Donald Ross designed Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina. It was at this tournament last year that David began turning his game around by finishing second to Arjun Atwal by one stroke. He is my choice to win the tournament this week. More about David Toms can be found a wonderful article recently written by Stan Awtrey at http://www.pgatour.com/2011/tournaments/r013/08/17/insider-wyndham/index.html.

 -rt

Tamahka Trails

 
Tamahka Trails #4, par 3

Tamahka Trails #4, Par 3

My wife Bebe and I drove up to Marksville to stay at the Paragon Casino Resort Hotel for our anniversary this year. While we were there I played Tamahka Trails for about the fourth time. It was the third Audubon golf Trail course that Bebe and I have visited on one of our anniversaries. This trend began with Cypress Bend Resort in 2002 and was followed by Carter Plantation in 2003. I also was able to meet Matt Goldsmith, the pro at Tamahka. The course was just about how I remembered it-very pretty and playable. It requires accurate placement of your shots, primarily because of the large number of bunkers strategically placed on each hole. This time I believe I hit more bunkers than ever before. From personal experience, I will have to say that if your ball is near the high bank on the front side of a bunker that you will have a most difficult shot. You will not be able to hit anything other than a very lofted club if you are close to one of the embankments. I was forced to hit out of two fairway bunkers with my sand wedge just to put the ball in play.

Tamahka Trails - Bunkers on #8

Tamahka Trails - Bunkers on #8, par 4

All in all, I found that my favorite holes still remained my favorites – #7 stands out above the rest.

Tamahka Trails #7

Tamahka Trails #7 from creek near green looking down the fairway

 #9 still ranks among the hardest holes for me, however, I was finally able to get over my 7 average on that hole to make a par for the first time. It took two good wood shots, a pitching wedge, and a one putt to achieve this goal. But all they do at the end of the day is say how many, not how did you do it (although my total “how many” is definitely nothing to write home about). I still find #13 a very difficult par 5. Unfortunately, it was my worst score of the day this time. So you want to know how many? – I’ll never tell.

Tamahka Trails #13, par 5

Tamhka Trails - Cavernous sandtraps on #13, par 5

I found a great internet special for $29 to golf between Tuesday and Thursday or $35 for Friday through Sunday. This special lasts until August 31 and is good if you are an Email Club member. I also found a hotel special of $49.95 online. Just Google “Paragon Resort Specials”. We stayed in the North Tower and had a wonderful King Size bed and a nice bathroom with a Jacuzzi. After we spent the night in the hotel, we drove to Natchez to wander through the downtown shops. It was a lovely drive which took less than an hour and a half. Natchez is a beautiful and quaint town. All you arts and antique shoppers, as well as antebellum home lovers, will most assuradely find this town to their liking. We found a really nice bookstore called Cover to Cover Books & More at 401 Main Steet in Natchez. They sell a lot of beautiful coffee table books and used books and also have a large web business (http://www.c2cbooks.com/). The wonderful people at the bookstore told us about a photo exhibit at the First Presbyterian Church, which is just around the corner from the bookstore. For those interested in historical photographs, this exhibit is outstanding!

(A note-you may not want to go to Natchez on a Sunday. Bebe and I went there for another anniversary several years ago on Sunday and found there was nothing open except for the Wal-Mart, the Casino, and a movie theater. We chose the movies but when we went there they told us the projector was broken. So Wal-Mart became out entertainment. Thus, I highly recommend the Wal-Mart in Natchez on a Sunday night!). 

Tamahka Trails #5, par 5

Tamahka Trails #5, par 5

Tamahka Trails #15

Tamahka Trails #15, par 3Tamahka Trails #5, par 5

 -rt