LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN, Ga. - There was a lot of muttering about greens and three-putts as players walked off the course Friday at Lookout Mountain Golf Club.
On a course known for its greens that require more than a little local knowledge to gauge both break and speed with any consistency, the first round of the Chattanooga Men's Metro golf championship was largely about what the players did with the flat stick.
Defending champion Cody Godfrey, who won by five strokes last year at WindStone Golf Club, had three three-putts and a four-putt in his opening-round 75.
Godfrey, who will be a junior at Tennessee Wesleyan this year, said the Lookout greens are "a little kookie." And seldom do players have a flat lie after a drive down the middle of the fairway.
"You're always downhill or sidehill or standing on top of your head," Godfrey said.
At the end of the first round, leading the field of more than 90 players were Caleb Roberson and Joe Markham. They each shot even-par 70 for a one stroke lead over Walt Moffitt, Chris Schmidt and Patten Smith.
Tom Baird shot a 75 to lead the senior field.
Tournament director, and 1995 Metro champion, Richard Keene was in the eighth group and shot 73. He, too, had his share of difficulty on the greens.
"I three-putted three times, and all three of them, my second putt I thought was going to break left and it went right, or vice versa," Keene said. "You've got to strike the ball well, but this is a putting contest."
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men's golf coach Mark Guhne doesn't play a lot of tournaments, but he's trying to play more because he feels it makes him a better coach. Guhne was going along fine Friday, just a couple over par, when he hit the par-5 14th. A five-putt led to an 8 and a score of 79 for the round.
"The back side, I was playing really good and I tried on every single putt and still five-putted No. 14," he said, "I didn't have a three-putt. I was putting good, I always putt good up here, and [laughing] I don't know, I can't explain it."
That might be Lookout Mountain in a nutshell. If you don't know, don't really know like the members who play the course regularly, then anything can happen.
Contact John Frierson at email@example.com or 423-757-6268. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/MocsBeat.