Creating the unstaged, visual story from a golfers round is something we're very proud of at Recounter - it almost becomes an obsession when we're out on the course. Naturally, the 17th hole on the Old Course - The Road Hole - offers up lots of emotion as golfers visibly react to making, breaking or shooting over par.
Carl Strelecki and friends recently scheduled Recounter for their Old Course round and we're delighted to have Carl give an account of his Road Hole Recounter, alongside the images we captured.
After negotiating THAT tee shot and hitting a solid approach I was still feeling confident as my caddie, John, and I were walking to my ball that had gathered into The Road Hole Bunker (as it does!). It was tough going out but we were making hay on the way in with three birdies out of my last five putting us at one over par.
My chance at shooting even par on the Old Course was still within reach. All hopes were dashed as we walked up and found my ball a foot from the face. As John and I looked down into the legendary bunker double bogey stared back and even par was no longer in sight. We gazed quietly each of us trying to come up with a shot as the rest of my foursome neared the green. John was pointing back and left towards the eighteenth tee which would have left me a dicey lob back over the bunker. Forward was not an option as the distance between my ball and the face prevented any kind of swing. Looking like I would do well to escape with six I mentioned my plan to John. He looked at me curiously and I could tell by his face that he wasn't sure as I took the cover off of my putter and handed it to him. I had gone an entire week in Scotland not having to escape sideways or backward out of a bunker and here I was in one of the most famous hazards in all of golf about to putt my ball back into the middle and then attempt to blast out. My putt in the bunker left me a slim chance of making at least bogey.
All I have to do now is execute "I told myself. I judged the blast well and my ball left the sand true. It landed just short of the hole however released a little further than I wanted. John handed back my putter and gave me a "good shot" with a nod. Now 15ft to save bogey. With a quick read John suggested "one ball right, firm". "No reason to second guess, he's been right all day" I thought to myself. I could see the Swilcan Bridge and the Royal & Ancient Clubhouse in the distance as I placed my ball on the green and drew in the spirit of the place with a cleansing breath. A perfect putt is one that goes in the center of the hole with a little speed as this one did. I started after it before it fell and gave a small fist pump. John reached for my putter, gave me a wink and said, "best bogey I've seen all year."
Even par didn't work out for me but I'll take two over with a world class bogey from The Road Hole Bunker.
Thanks to Recounter I have a beautiful handmade book as a photographic story to share with my friends back at my club in Dallas. I was recommended Recounter and I was overly impressed with their professionalism and willingness to tailor a custom package for us. Kevin (our photographer for the day) met us promptly twenty minutes before our tee time and told us to "enjoy your round - you shouldn't really notice me out there". From there, apart from some predetermined Swilcan bridge shots I rarely noticed him! Now, back on the other side of The Pond, as I enjoy a wee dram of the malty stuff all I need do is lift my Recounter off of the table and be transported back to that magical place and time.
Written by Carl Strelecki, June 2015.