World Am Day 3: Carolina National Golf Club
By mustang6560 on 8/28/13
In terms of layout, Carolina National Golf Club is the best of the three courses I've played so far. I didn't realize Freddie Couples has done some course architecture, but he and architect / partner Gene Bates designed one of the most visually challenging courses I have ever played. The Ibis-to-Egret 18, the two nines we played today, features forced carries off the tee, blind tee and green shots, and elevation changes.

The entrance to Carolina National Golf Club

The clubhouse

The practice range

The large practice putting green

Located in Bolivia, North Carolina, Carolina National is a little over an hour north of the Sheraton, which is where I'm staying. In order to get to the course on time (which means one hour early), I wanted to leave the hotel by 7:30 a.m. to arrive by 8:30 a.m. this morning. But a miscalculation on the line at Starbucks cost me, so I didn't get to do my full warm-up routine.

For a brief moment in time, I thought I was on pace for a career round at the World Am, but then the course bit back — and it snowballed from there. As y'all all know, golf is all about confidence. If you're playing with confidence, then your swing feels good and you begin to think you're untouchable. But as soon as you lose your confidence, a two-foot putt turns into a ten-foot putt and you feel uncomfortable over every shot.

That's exactly where the visual intimidation works. I started on hole 3 of the Ibis 9. On those first few holes — the holes where I felt confident — the forced carries and blind tee shots didn't bother me. Outside of a couple three-putts, I played extremely well. But starting on hole 3 of the Egret 9, I lost it. I pulled my driver left, narrowly missed O.B., and was lucky to save bogey. I double-bogeyed three of the next four holes to finished +9 (45). I rebounded on the last few holes, only to triple the last for an 87.

Hole 3 on the Ibis Nine

My playing partner nearly aced the par-3 5th hole on Ibis.

The par-4 6th hole on Ibis.

The 9th hole on the Ibis Nine: This par-4 features two fairways,
and the cart path goes directly through the sand.

The good news from my round today was that my birdie held up for a skin. I birdied the relatively long par-3 11th (2nd on the Egret 9). I striped my drive right down the pipe, which left me with a 9-iron into the green. I stuck it to about three feet and drained the putt. The bad news is seven other skins held up too, so my cut was barely over the buy-in for the week. I'm not complaining though; I still have another chance to win tomorrow!

There were a few solid scores today (78, 81, 85), but the majority of players finished above me, so I shouldn't drop much — if at all. I entered today tied for third; here is where where all of the oobers stand after three rounds:

Through Round 3, Wednesday, August 28







Flight 2 Chris 2 82 (net 76) 76 (70) 80 (74) 238 (220)
Flight 4 Thomas 39 85 (net 77) 93 (85) 95 (87) 273 (249)
Flight 5 Mustang T-5 83 (net 73) 84 (74) 87 (77) 254 (224)
Gio T-20 82 (net 73) 91 (82) 86 (76) 260 (233)
Flight 7 Tyler T-30 93 (net 81) 98 (86) 88 (76) 279 (243)
Jay T-38 95 (net 83) 102 (90) 90 (78) 287 (251)
Flight 8 John T-32 95 (net 82) 91 (78) 89 (76) 275 (236)
Flight 31 Gary 44 139 (net 117) 116 (95) 114 (93) 369 (305)


I'm headed to the 19th Hole to meet up with Chris. The other team members decided to take it easy tonight, in order to prepare for the much-anticipated, Third Annual Putt-Putt Challenge on Thursday evening. In addition to my Round 4 wrap-up, I will also post the results of the Putt-Putt Challenge Thursday evening. If you have missed any of my World Am coverage, click here, here, here, here, and here.

Ciao for now!

All photos by Nathan J. Trifone

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