During the late 1990's and early 2000's I played La Purisima many times in PGA Tour Qualifiers with much success. Now “retired” from trying to make a living playing golf I can enjoy golf courses for other reasons.
My girlfriend and I played La Purisima as part of a holiday get away on a beautiful day in early January. Our intention was to go to out of the way places. Lompoc, CA is well off the beaten path that is Hwy 101.
We were treated to a windless day. Wind is La Purisima's great defense and most golfers try to play in the morning before the wind kicks up.
When I last played La Purisima my golf bag carried persimmon woods, steel shafts, and just one wedge with more than 50 degrees of loft. Now in my near mid 60's technology allows me to play golf courses in much the same way as I did way back when. Most of my iron shots into greens were the same as I had hit nearly 20 years ago.
The first memory that came back to me when playing the course was just how important it is to be below the hole when putting. The third hole is a short par three. 158 for me and 98 for Marlene. We both hit 8 irons. I had a tap-in. Marlene had an 8 foot down hill putt that caught the hole for a birdie. Had she missed she would have had an eight footer coming back.
La Purisima is a second shot golf course. Good driving is needed but to score you have to dial in your irons. The second shot into hole eight is a mid to long iron. The hills in the background add to the beauty of the green complex. The second shot on ten can be a short to mid iron depending on the hole location on the long narrow green. No room for error. Sixteen is perhaps the strongest par four on the course. Your drive must be long and straight in order to have a mid iron shot that must be right of the hole for a good chance at the putt.
To my thinking hole seven is the weakest hole on a very good course. The drive is too much of a down hill. Unless you can carry the trees on the left there is no real landing area.
For two golfers in their 60's La Purisima is a hard walk. The course has a fair amount of elevation change and most of the time you are walking on the slope of a hill. What make for a challenging interesting golf course means sore feet at the end of 18.
As with too many golf courses these days ladies and short hitters are limited to one choice from where to play. The red tees at La Purisima are 5763 yards. Marlene would be better served if she had the option of playing at something closer to 5200.
For me, I played the course at just under 7000 and had a great time while remembering back to a time when I was a pretty good golfer.
Date: January 06, 2020