Shot a 57 on my first 18, but I felt good and seemed to be just missing, so I played a second round.
Carded a 22 on the front 9 (-5). Given the course and the variety of shots I had to make (gently sloping downhill with Sidewinder, flick drive with Valkyrie, elevated right turn with Leopard, short cutting approach with Whippet, tight drive to penninsula with Roc and putting, putting, puttin), if it wasn't the best 9 holes of golf I've played, it was certainly a first ballot hall of famer.
How good were these nine holes, and how do I make the distinction between an "in the zone" round and merely getting better?
Over the preceding 8 rounds I played at Buckhorn, I averaged 29.52 on these holes, making my front nine a full 7.5 strokes below my average. Unheard of and unprecedented.
That I couldn't back it up on the back 9 with anything more than a +4 to finish -1 overall was mildly irksome (If I could have combined the back nine of my first round with the front nine of the second, I would have shot a 50, bettering my previous best score by 5 strokes) but not enough to cancel out the exhiliration of a half a round where everything was clicking. While this sort of improvement in score might happen if I returned to a course I've only played once several years ago, to have such a leap on a course one plays regularly is pretty heady stuff.
As it is, I took two strokes off my best score, even losing 1 to a water penalty by a measly 5 inches and another to an unfortunate roll after hitting a tree.
So maybe I'm getting better, maybe I'm learning the course, or maybe I just had a good day.