Greg has been rousting me for months to pontificate on our Olympic experience and maintain my blogging responsibilities…..Ashley will refrain from writing in the 3rd person. In an earlier write up, posted many moons ago, Greg detailed our first adventure to SF and most of the Shenanigans that came along with the trip. While our trip did not reap as many top 100 golf rewards as originally planned we were able to play Olympic Lake with a couple of great guys and spend some time with old friends.
And away we go…..Olympic has been home to 5 US Open’s(55′, 66′, 87′, 98′, 12′) and 3 US Amateur’s(58′, 81′, 07′). This course and club have some serious historical relevance. The club was opened in 1860, under the name “San Francisco Club”, as an Athletic and Social club making it the oldest of it’s kind in the United States. Golf was brought to Olympic in 1918 when they purchased Lakeside Golf Club, which at the time had been struggling financially. Both the Lake and Ocean courses were designed by Scottish architect Wille Watson and opened in 1924. The courses were remodeled by the original builder and superintendent Sam Whiting in 1927 after being devastated by landslides.
One of our friends that I had met on my first trip to Bandon Dunes, who Greg has known for many years, is a social member at Olympic and graciously offered to arrange our round with a member friend. Our round was scheduled for Wednesday 7/17. As usual we woke up early with that familiar feeling of excitement around playing one of the top 100 courses. One common occurrence that I noticed this trip, which is starting to get burned into my brain, is the one where Greg says, “I am going to kick your ass today”. I am not sure I like it and it is definitely motivating me to improve my golf game. As we left the hotel we grabbed our coffee’s at the local coffee joint (which there is no shortage of in SF) and then ventured across town to the course. Greg and I met Neil at the pro-shop around 7:30 and then met up with our host Ben shortly after hitting a few balls on the range.
The group decided that we would play the “back tee’s” which measured out at 6,934 yards with a course rating of 74.7 and slope of 138. It’s hard to put into words how long 6900 yards feels when you are at sea level. I think I had a 4 iron or Hybrid in my hand all day on my approach shots. Unfortunately the greens had recently been aerified but they were rolling pretty good for being a week or so into the healing process. The theme of the day was trees and heavily protected greens and the Ham Dogs(AKA Burger Dog)!
I think for me some of the best holes were 9, 12, 16 and 18. 16 being the most challenging for the group at 609 yards. The finishing holes at Olympic are awesome you come home with two par 5’s followed by the famous 18th hole. it is so hard to describe how small the 18 green is but I would liken it to a postage stamp. Overall, It was a rough day out there for me and I wound up loosing “two ways” to Greg in our Nassau bet. Greg finished with a 82, Ashley a 92, Neil 83 and our host Ben with an 85. Neil came roaring into the clubhouse on the back with a very respectable 38. Let’s just say his driver was working!