Valentine’s Day Massacre at The Carlsbad Crossings 2021
I was never in the world expecting that on a Saturday afternoon I would find an early Sunday morning tee time for 2, especially at one of the premier courses in San Diego on a double holiday weekend. In addition to finding the miraculous tee time availability, another miracle happened when my girlfriend actually let me book it on Valentine’s Day!
For those of you who have never played at the Crossings, I’ll try and sum it up for you. For starters, I have a love/hate relationship with this course. As is the case with most love hate relationships, she (the course) is absolutely beautiful. The views are breathtaking, and at most times if you are having a bad round if you stop, take a deep breath and look around the views and fresh ocean air can rejuvenate you. This is good, because one way or another I always seem to need a few of those moments when I play here. The course is very long and has lots of hills, and brush/canyon hazard zones to hit over. Not only are the holes long, but the layout makes it not walkable as you have long cart drives between many holes
This course just seems to always reveal my flaws, which is why I also consider this to be my archnemesis course. It doesn’t matter how well I have played in my last few rounds/range sessions. It does not matter how many good shots I make on the course (and today there was surprisingly plenty of those to go around). No matter what the case is, there will be several holes on this course that get the absolute best of me and completely trash my scorecard. Basically if I was Batman, this course would be my Catwoman (Anne Hathaway Catwoman, not Halle Berry).
For me, after the course gets the best of me a couple holes is where the love part of the relationship fully blossoms. Once you find your scorecard to be trashed (for me today it was around hole 6-7 and again at hole 10 ruining any idea I had of comeback on the back 9) all of the pressure for trying to score a good round comes off and then you just focus on the fun parts of the game. Trying to make difficult shots maybe beyond your current skill level, talking shit to your friends, and usually this is where the beer drinking steps up another level.
But on this Sunday morning before the round completely went to trash, there was a mini rollercoater ride to get me started. Leading off with triple bogeying the first hole because my tee shot put me at the bottom of a hill, and then taking a drop after my next shot, despitemaking smooth contact with my 6 for what I thought was a great shot landing mid-fairway, it turned out that ball was never to be seen again. I’m still convinced it was just such a good shot my golf partner threw it out of bounds on my in spite due to his poor shot… But that’s argument for another day.
After a terrible start on the first hole I somehow found myself down to below I consider to par (which is 1+ every hole) after 4. I was able to accomplish this by sinking one of the longest putts I have ever made, with a great read to claim first bird of the day on 2, and then back to back pars 3-4 to do so. At this point I was all sorts of jazzed up… Which is when ot all fell apart.
I don’t know if I was feeling tight physically, or if mentally just forgetting how to put it all together but I lost the ability to use my driver effectively. It might also be due to the fact that my golf partner just decided he wants to be the long drive champion of southern California which meant obviously I was trying to add a little pepper to my swing to keep pace. Some days I can add some pepper and let them rip, but in my case today it meant lots of lost balls and taking drops, and ultimately filling in sad faces on the scorecard instead of the actual numbers because it made me too sad to physically write them out… ☹
Unfortunately, the inability to drive came at the same time I lost my ability to putt. After making one of the best putts of my entire life for birdie on 2, it was now so bad that I couldn’t make a 5 ft putt into a basketball-sized hole to save my life. Hello back-to-back 3 putts.
Then on 7 I had a nice long walk after a poor drive, so I took my look around, took a deep breath, and I remembered how much I effing love this game, and I re-found my focus. I followed that up with a great approach shot onto the green from 120 out over the pond that guards ¾ of the green from the fairway. I finished with a nice putt, and from there on out I was able to dial it putted great the rest of the day… well mostly.
After a so-so finish to the front 9, the back 9 is always where you get a fresh start. The problem for me was that freaking hole 10 started off the back 9. I was actually looking forward to this hole because the last time I played The Crossings a friend from the San Diego Golf group asked me how I did on specifically #10. Unfortunately I was not able to answer because we played a super twilight we only made it to hole 8 (but it was the best 8 holes of golf I had ever played up until that point in time).
What I found out about hole 10 is that it has some evil traits to it. 308 from white, but you are hitting over brush onto a long narrow fairway, which at the end has a green with a pretty steep incline between flat layers. I actually came out hot with one of the best drives of the day, landing pretty far in the narrow fairway, which had me feeling pretty good. My approach shot was decent, landing on the front of the green, but the problem was that today the pin was in the back atop the steep incline.
Since we had the early tee time, the ground was pretty wet much for the front 9 and the greens were playing pretty slow, except for the last few holes we noticed they were picking up quite a bit of speed. So when I sat looking at this sharp incline, my goal was to not hit it too hard so that I didn’t end up off the back of the green. I definitely did not hit the ball too hard….
In my attempts to be precise, I did my best reenactment of a child trying to put uphill his first time at the mini-golf course… 3 attempts to get up this mother effing ramp of a green to have to sink a long putt to salvage another triple boge.
That was definitely the low point of the day. My driving was so-so rest of the day, but my putting was on point. The best putt of the day for me was actually a 40 ft put that was hit so precise, but off just enough that it curled around the rim and remained inches from the hole for a nice gimme for a single bog.
Lately I have been trying to focus on bringing consistency to my swing, but today that was not the case. It was quite the rollercoaster for me, but I did have some amazing shots in the mix which kept my moral boosted. I need to stay focused on more natural swings as I know I will never be the long drive champion of southern California (even though my usual golf partner might be).
At the end of the day, it was, as always, a great fun round of golf. The pair we golfed with were a lot of fun and got into our shit talking with us a little bit. Figuring out some things with my putting, making some of the best putts I have made in recent memory really has me excited to see if I can replicate moving forward. We kept pace on the first time ever being the first group to tee off in the morning (despite how poorly some holes went for me).
To end the round our ladies, and my beautiful 6 month baby girl met us for a great brunch at the Crossings restaurant, which is also one of the best course restaurants I have yet to go to, making for a great way to start a Sunday, and thank our ladies for letting us golf on Valentine’s day.
Things are going to be busy with work the next few weeks, so that means back to range sessions to figure out my drive, taking care of my body so that I can swing the club smoothly, especially if we get another early morning tee time, and share my findings with you guys and gals.
Thanks for reading and feel free to reach out to me if you would like to share any similar experiences at the Crossings, or any other course for that matter. I have greatly enjoyed the JC circuit this year, but looking to branch out to get a taste of more of the amazing courses SD has to offer.