I feel awesome. I had nine of the deepest hours of sleep I have ever had last night, and I woke up feeling great this morning. I was at breakfast by a quarter of 7 local time, and after a relaxing morning, arrived at the golf course around 8:30. I played the whole course today with a couple of buddies, and I really had a good practice round. After the round, I had a long session on the driving range to further sharpen my ball-striking before ending the day with a very good hour on the putting green. I got back to the hotel at sundown, with just enough time to get in a quick workout before dinner. I had hoped to see some of the town of Marrakech today, but the day of productivity I had on the golf course was well worth putting that off for a later day. I feel really good about the status of my game right now.
The course, which is called Samanah Golf Club, is really cool and pretty darn good. It's a desert style course with wide fairways that are bordered by a very small bit of bermuda rough before giving way to desert sand and cactus bushes. The tee-shot landing areas are generous, but wide misses will find more than enough trouble to keep things interesting. The golf course is very long, but the fairways are absolutely rock-hard, which means that any straight drive will roll a long way, effectively making the course play much shorter than the scorecard yardage of nearly 7,500 yards. The greens and areas surrounding them are awesome. The turf around the greens is so bare and tight that errant shots can run well off of the greens and recovery can be difficult and require a great deal of creativity. The greens themselves are very good. They are pretty large, have great speed, and are very undulating. Precise iron and wedge play will be required in order to get approach shots into the correct area of the severely sloping greens, and great touch will be needed with the putter. The course is certainly not difficult, but it does demand a lot of good shots and some creativity in order to be successful. I think the course sets up well for me, and I know that with a firm commitment to a good strategy and some decent execution, I can tear it up.
Tomorrow will likely be "all golf" again, as I am playing in the pro-am for the event at 11:00 a.m. I think I will have a short run (indoors, on a treadmill, don't worry) before breakfast and will head to the course for a little bit more practice before the pro-am starts. The pro-am should be really interesting because I'm playing with three local citizens, and I have no idea if they will speak any English at all. I'm not too worried about it though. I'll still talk to them even in they can't understand a word I say. There is some kind of competition associated with the pro-am, so even though I don't know what the format will be, I know that I will have some motivation to be focused and to play hard, which is always fun for me. Tomorrow should be a great day of final preparations before Sunday's first round of the tournament.
I definitely want to experience a little bit of Marrakech before we leave here, too. I'm excited because My friend Billy Hurley and I both have very early first round tee times (I play at 7:50), and I think we are going to buddy-up and check out some of the sights in downtown Marrakech on Sunday afternoon. I spoke with a rather wealthy lady today from France who has a vacation home on the golf course we are playing and she told me some of the places to go and assured me that they were safe, so I feel very good about heading out for a very little while with Billy on Sunday.
I took a few pictures from the golf course today, but it more or less looks like a good golf course. I will post some cool pictures from Morocco soon.
Everything is going great. I'm feeling well, eating well, and my golf game is really on track. I'll be back with more info again soon--tomorrow probably. Thank you for keeping up with me!