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Don’t Judge A Book: Yeah, Yeah, Yeah…

The 518-yard Par 5 10th at Palmetto Golf Club. (
The 518-yard Par 5 10th at Palmetto Golf Club. (

I get it. I really do.

The old saying, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” It makes sense.

I found that out the hard way this week when my father and I took a drive up to Aiken, S.C., to try to qualify for the Palmetto Amateur.

On paper, Palmetto Golf Club measures a hair shy of 6,700 yards. Short by today’s standards no doubt. It plays to a par of 70 with a course rating of 73.5 from the tournament tees (a number I failed to notice).

So in driving up to the qualifier, I was excited. I can move a golf ball fairly well, averaging 285 to 290 yards off the tee. So when I saw a course shy of 6,700, my mouth started to water.

But as soon as I stepped onto the first tee, I knew I was in for a surprise. Aerial photos from Google Maps failed to do this place justice. The satellites failed to properly convey the South Carolina undulations, from downhill par-3s to elevated, triple-tier greens; the Palmetto Golf Club was more a Goliath than David. I made three bad swings all day and was rewarded with an 8-over 78 that missed qualifying by eight strokes.

Last year’s winning total at the Palmetto Golf Club was 5-under par. And that score was the only one under par for the 72-hole stroke play competition.
And now I understand why.


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