On Monday night, I provided a business golf presentation to 60 executive women from the Chicago area at Medinah Country Club. It was a great event with women who've never played becoming enthusiastic to learn golf and experienced golfers ready to hit the links. I told them I felt like a kid in a candy store because I was playing Medinah's Course #3 the next morning with the General Manager and a board member.
With the two caddies and my playing partners, I took the advice that I often give to women business golfers, and decided to hit off the same tees as the gents. It meant playing off of the silver tees, which is 7009 yards and a slope of 147 for men. I have to ask for help to calculate the slope for me, but I have a pretty good idea that it's going to be high. For the ladies off the white tees, it's 6728 and a slope of 146. 149 or 150 for me wouldn't be surprising.
As I walked down the first fairway, I was in awe of the carpet-like fairways. I made the mistake of hitting my second shot in the rough and had to contend with getting out of 4 1/2" rough. Needless to say, I used the 7-iron quiet often during the day to get out of the tall stuff.
I stood by the tree where Sergio hit his famous slice onto the green in the 1999 PGA Championship. I saw the height of the collection area on 12, which is an incredible hole that Rees Jones found nothing to change. I stood at the tip of the 13th hole to take a picture of the 224-yard signature hole across water. When we reached 17, the gents suggested that I hit off of the white tee and I took their advice. I ripped my driver onto the green 8' behind the flagstick into the rough. After a weak putt through the fringe, I sank my par putt and celebrated.
I'll be honest, the course ate me up and I shot 106. My playing partners were kind and said that it was respectable considering my first time, near Major conditions, and playing a set of rental clubs. But, it's one day I didn't really care about my score. I was thrilled to be at the course where Tiger, Sergio, Retief, Ernie, and the golfers of their ilk have played.
Most importantly, my playing partners were gentlemen of the kind that I sadly don't meet often. It will be a day of golf that I'll not forget and I can't wait to watch the Championship in August!