Before we jump into the Cobblestone hole reviews, just a little house cleaning.
The tKOXI team draft will be Friday evening, shooting for 6PM, at Jefferson Tap. It’ll probably take us a little time to get the live stream up and running, so if you plan on watching online, just wait for the post alert email. Since Ben is out of town, I won’t have anyone to help me set it all up, so don’t be surprised if we run into some technical difficulties. Also, I need 2 people or someone with 2 flight glasses to bring them to the bar. I’ll bring my 2. No Big Deal.
As you all know, Roll With The Winners will be back to defend their title next year, so Andre, Ben, Ian and Bryce won’t have their names in the draw. Here are your pools (one player from each pool on each team).
- PGA – White James, Nathan, Cahill, Rich, Robinson, Asian James (!!)
- LPGA – Tall James, Brendan, Wally, Eddie, Lloyd, Austin
- Recycle – Marty, Greg, Kevin, Chris, Shane, Mat
- Trash – Mustang Mark, Pete, FNG Mark, Jeremy, Keith, Danny
One more thing, Pete took a break from the fundraising call center and bumped into a tKO legend on Tuesday in Chicago. He sends all of us his love and wishes he could be there this year.
I would love to hear the conversation between Pete, Curt, and whatever random person in Shake Shack they asked to that picture.
Cobblestone #1 – Par 4 – 385 yards – Handicap #5
tKO Average: 5.21 (+1.21, 17th hardest for tko participants)
Despite being the second round opener for tKOs IX, X,and XI, Cobblestone #1 will always and forever mark the true opening hole of the Kendallville Open. It’s for this reason that I’m honestly a little shocked we’ve managed to play it so well (17th tKO handicap?!). For 8 year’s straight, the galleries would line up ten deep on the first tee to watch us spray drives all over the field. Even long time tKO stalwarts like Robinson and I would succumb to the pressure, both nearly airballing and/or subterranean-ing. Next year, the rota will return with Cobblestone as the opening course, but for now it marks the beginning of moving day.
A little bit of actual course knowledge, the approach is deceptively downhill. And if you are anything like me, your adrenaline is pumping at Tim Tebow levels. But if you go long, you’re dead. If you are grizzled vet, you’ll park your cart behind the green to block overcooked approaches from careening into the hazard. But most of us are too lazy for that uphill walk, so greenside parking it is. So do yourself a favor and take a club off that approach. With no trouble short of the green, it’s a lot easier to salvage a good score from there.
Cobblestone #2 – Par 4 – 343 yards – Handicap #3
tKO Average: 5.62 (+1.62, 4th hardest for tko participants)
When I calculated the tKO averages for this hole, I was relieved to see that everyone appears to have as much trouble with it as I do. While it’s a pretty short par 4, there’s all kinds of trouble to be found off the tee. There’s basically no rough to the left, so if you miss the fairway on that side, you’re dropping. The smart play is to play your drive down the right side and let the hill funnel it back into the center of the fairway. But don’t go too far right, because the tree line will block any shot you have at a green in regulation, not to mention that puts you in the dangerzone for errant tee shots from #3. And there are plenty of those. If you manage to find the fairway off the tee, there’s not much trouble for your approach, though it’s about 1 club uphill. The greens at Cobblestone are absolutely massive, so three putts are basically in play on every hole. This would be no different. That has nothing to do with the size of the greens though. We’re just awful putters, so 3 putts would in play on greens the size of a placemat.
Cobblestone #3 – Par 5 – 490 yards – Handicap #7
tKO Average: 6.90 (+1.90, 1st hardest for tko participants)
This being the hardest hole for tKO-ers is the most obvious thing ever. Allow me to break it down for you. It’s really quite scientific. I’d say at least half the field has the intention of not drinking during the opening 9 at Noble Hawk, then cracking 2 or 3 on the back 9. With two hours between rounds, let’s say another one or two, perhaps a Wedge or Crown & Coke. So I’d say the majority of the field is 3 to 5 drinks in when we start playing the second round. We normally tee off at Cobblestone by 3pm on Friday afternoon, so you are hitting #3 by 3:30. 3:30pm on a beautiful Friday afternoon is the witching hour. If you are stuck in the office, all you can think about is that first drink, so if you are outside drinking beer already, 3:30pm is when you step on the gas. I’m 100% positive there are at least 28 empty beer cans in the trash can off the #3 tee box.
It doesn’t help things that #3 is traditionally the first long drive competition of the afternoon session. 95% of the field is either dropping a ball after losing their drive left or punching out of the woods on the right, after nailing someone who’s playing #2. For the 5% of the field that actually hit a qualifying shot into the fairway, they think they can reach this green in two. IMPOSSIBLE. Half of those guys won’t clear the bunker in front of the green. Going for this green in two is probably the stupidest decision you can make all weekend. Play your second shot down the left side of the fairway and give yourself the best angle to attack that pin. And then crack another beer, you’ve earned it.
RIP Mr. Pasquali. Here’s all Ben could find on Cobblestone. Ben’s YouTube search history must be a wild, wild ride.
See you boners on Friday!