Years ago, at least two or three jobs ago, the Bethesda-based company I worked for ran a golf league at Falls Road.  So once a week we’d go to Falls Road and play 9 holes in the evenings.  It was a great way to have fun and play golf.  I still have many happy memories of playing there.

Despite the clusterf**k that is Montgomery County traffic controls (especially in the Bethesda-Potomac area), I like to make the hike down there to see what’s happening.

My round on Saturday, if it were a highlight reel, would have this as the soundtrack (just click on it- it really makes everything better):

It was a cascade of shit in the form of el hozel chips, bad approach shots, and 37 putts (I never did get the pace down…which is a nice way of saying I putted like crap).

Falls Road, based on Saturday’s round in full-blown summer heat and humidity, is still catering to the masses and is still offering up a playable yet challenging course.

The first three holes shouldn’t pose much of a challenge, although #2, while on the card appearing to be a reachable par 5, has a very tight landing area to an uphill green.

The challenge really starts on the 4th hole, which is a par 5 protected to the left side by a giant tree (that unlike the giant tree protecting the second green at Maryland National, is still standing).  Shots to the left or into the gully offer no real chance of hitting the green.  The fifth hole (pictured below) is a tough par 3 with no bailout.

5th hole at Falls Road.  Don't miss long, left, right or short.

5th hole at Falls Road. Don’t miss long, left, right or short.

The seventh hole, for those who play there on occasion, has been toughened up with a hazard that runs the width of the fairway (for shorter hitters it doesn’t really come into play, but for longer hitters or for someone who tattoos one…you might want to give club selection some thought).

Falls Road 7th hole.  Note the hazard where there used to be fairway.  Jerks.

Falls Road 7th hole. Note the hazard where there used to be fairway. Jerks.

The back nine (or second nine if you prefer) is largely unchanged.  The 12th-15th holes remain as tough of a stretch of holes of any public course in the state (I’d put Blue Mash #1-#4 only because they start you with that crusher) before you get three relatively easier holes to finish the round (#16, while on the card appearing to be relatively easy, is anything but- the tee shot has to carry a hazard and the green is well protected with junk left and a giant bunker to the right).

Two issues- the greens were a bit soft (they were watering them yesterday morning) and the rough was pretty thick and lush (any shots that missed the fairway were dead).  I understand why they’re watering the greens because they don’t want to lose them especially with the spate of heat and humidity, but keeping the tall cabbage around grinds pace of play to a halt (it’s not like it rained Friday morning when they could have cut the roughs down).

Falls Road is still a pain in the ass to get to and pace of play can be brutal on a busy weekend, but once you’re there, you’ll find a course that still offers a pretty good setup.

In that note of “things I discovered in the late 90’s”, I discovered Everything But the Girl during a phase of enjoying the slightly less rage/angry music.  Not their biggest hit but for me, this was my favourite song:


I’m hoping to put together a US Open preview blog before Thursday where I’ll try to pick a winner…or most likely I’ll get it wrong beyond words.