Story/Photos by Chris Yucus
As Ricky Wysocki approached the treacherous canyon drive on Hole 8 at the newly constructed Northwood Black course in Morton, he made a spur-of-the-moment pronouncement.
“Wow!” said the 2020 Ledgestone Champ, “Hit the gap or die!”
There’s not a whole lot of playing it safe on the tree-guarded gap across the ravine-split 389-foot Par 3 -- that’s what the drop zone is for.
Defending Ledgestone Champ Ricky Wysocki smiles as he talks about Hole 8 at Northwoods Black with his practice round partners James Proctor and Greg Barsby.
But the defending champ said that when he takes on a course for the first time he’s looking at how to keep things clean.
“I’m just thinking of the highest percentage shots I can throw at a high-pressure situation during a tournament,” Wysocki said. “Where can I land a high percentage of the time? And then I focus on that second shot from the landing zone that I know I can hit.”
Wysocki said that he’s always looking out for where he’ll be when the bright lights are shining.
“If I throw a perfect drive, I back up maybe 20 or 30 feet, where I know there’s a realistic spot I can land. Then I dial in the distances from there.”
Wysocki said he likes to play a bunch of shots off the tee when first learning a course.
“My strategy is to throw a lot of shots, get a bunch of muscle memory going. Even if I throw a bad shot I’m learning what I can do differently.”
Early in his first trip through Northwood Black, Wysocki liked what he was seeing.
“It’s great, lots of great variety of shots, and a lot of shaping and fairways that require different disc choices,” Wysocki said. “You have to make sure to control your angles and hit the fairways. When you don’t -- because it’s going to happen -- you have to take your medicine and chip out and sometimes be okay with a par or bogey on a hole, because it’s going to happen.”