Friday I took yet another half day and decided to hit the links again. This time I texted one of my friends from the First Tee to see if he wanted to play. He said he wanted to but didnt know where. He made some phone calls and we ended up at Firewheel- Bridges course. It was a course I had never played before and boy was I in for a treat.
A Perfectly Manicured Course
The course is regarded as one of the best in the area. The course regualary hosts the North Texas Mid-Am. After a few holes I could easily see why. If you want a fair test of golf this meets the bill. It was long but it wasnt unfair. The par 5’s were reachable in 2 if you wanted. One of the worst things in golf course design is the crazy long par 3 hole. It always feels like a course is trying to add length artificially. Firewheel didnt do this. It did a great job of mixing up the distances on every hole. We played from the tips and managed to use almost every club in the bag. The fairways were cut at a great length as well. Sometimes courses can cut their fairways too close and make it almost more valuable to be in the rough so you can get a nice lie. It was nice to have white sand in the bunkers as well. I didnt hit into one (Which is a good thing) but it made the course look great.
The other reason Firewheel gets so much love around here is the greens. The greens at Firewheel give us an experience in Texas that we dont really get often. It gives us the chance to play on Bentgrass greens. Bentgrass is a cool weather grass that is very popular in the northeast. We cant have it in Texas very often because it burns and dies very quickly. Playing on Bentgrass was a new experience and boy was it awesome. Bentgrass is softer and allows for even more creativity in your short game. I was able to be much more aggressive because the greens would just grab the ball. On longer shots into the green it was fun to watch the ball check quickly. Putting was an absolute treat. Here in Texas you cant cut those bentgrass greens too short or they will die in 30 minutes, because of this the greens were rolling a little slow. Getting the speed down was difficult but once I did, I couldnt have asked for a better experience. The most interesting part of the greens were these fans they had to put on around some of the greens to make sure air was flowing and keeping the greens cool. They also had to have a maintenance guy out there watering the green to make sure it was cool.
Fix your dang ball marks!
Online I see a ton of complaints about ball marks all over the green. Honestly here in Texas it isnt a huge problem. Greens are rarely soft enough to really cause a deep ball mark. Playing on the bent grass greens I was seeing ball marks all over the place. Holy cow people repair your dang ball marks. It makes putting difficult. I always have been a proponent of fixing your ball mark and another but seeing a bent grass green for the first time really made me realize how big of a problem it could be