I’ve managed to play golf in 17 states plus Canada and Mexico. I didn’t expect these anecdotes to become a tome; However, I just want to talk a little bit about some of the courses:
I’ve only played on a few courses where the pros play. Very beautiful.
But I do want to mention that these small town courses are usually the pride of the whole town. They are well maintained and not expensive to play.
When we visited my wife’s sister, she told me she thought the nearest town – Richmond, Mo. – had a golf course. So I got directions and drove over.
Richmond has a great little golf course in his hometown! They sent me out for a threesome. As it turned out, they were high school football coaches from Kansas City. An hour’s drive away, but they were only members there because of this class. What a place!
My wife and I called three families of her cousins who were also friends of mine from years past. We told them we weren’t sure when we would be there. They said, “I’ll see you when you get here.”
We arrived in Greencastle, Indiana in the late afternoon. In search of a motel we passed a golf course. After we settled down I told my wife I was going back – maybe I could play nine.
So when I pulled in there, I saw about 30 guys up on this big deck. It was obvious that they were going on some kind of excursion. When I walked into the pro shop the gentleman said they were just finishing their day. He invited me for a hot dog and a beer. I asked if I could play nine. He said, “Sure. Take one of those carts over there.” I grabbed my money clip. Nine dollars. He said I might as well play the back nine and the #10 tee is “right down there”. I get a cart, put on my golf shoes, get my clubs and drive around back to the tee. The sign reads, “Par 4, 280 yards, white tee.”
Looking out I see a nice little pond guarding the left side of the green. It also had a gargoyle in the center. I swing two clubs a few times to get ready while country music plays softly. I can’t hear much talking – I know they’re all watching me from this deck. I think just hit it. You’ll never see any of that
colleagues again. Try to make a good pass.
When I met him I said to myself, stay right there baby. He hit about 20 yards short and trickled onto the green. From where I’m standing, it looks like he’s standing at the flagpole. When I get to the green I have a 5 foot. This green is flat. As I later find out, the whole golf course is flat. I take out the flag. I don’t know the speed. I’ll just loosen it up there. Whatever may happen will happen. Arrived great.
I didn’t look back. I play a fast nine. When I’m done, I go to the pro shop. There’s still a few guys on deck. The pro asks, “How did you do?” “It looked like you got a 10.” I told him I birded #16 but had three bogeys – even a par 35.
The pro said: “You have to be an ‘A’ player. We’ve got a scramble in the morning. Will you be There? We have a shortage of A players.
I told him I needed to speak to my wife. When I got back to the motel, I asked my wife if she had called the cousins yet. She said no. I told her I was invited to play a scramble in the morning, would she mind? Of course she said, “Sounds like fun. I sleep late and then sit by the pool.” I told her to be ready by 2.
I come to the course. Get my stuff and get in touch. The pro says, “Hey, glad you made it. What’s your name again?” I don’t remember telling him my name last night. He calls out to one of the guys, “Hey, Erskine, that’s your ‘A’ player.” I don’t remember them Names of our other two players but I remember Erskine I never heard that name again until one of the guys who was being chased by Crocodile Dundee in that movie was named Erskine.
We shake hands, he introduces the other two players. We’ll start at 1, shotgun start. Everyone goes to their shirts.
We go to #1, par 5, 509 yards. This course is flat. I can’t see the green and told them so. I was told, “The green is over there, on the other side of those trees.” It’s to the left, 180 degrees. I was told we need to drive past that line of trees, hit the left at about a 45 degree angle, and then hit the third shot onto the green.
“How wide is that strip of trees?” I asked, and was told it’s about 75 yards long, and it’s 50 yards to the trees.” I can hit my 7-wood a little further, but that’s all , what I have.
I ask about the order they like to meet. They said what most scrambles do: “D” players, “C” players, “B” players, “A” players. When it’s my turn, I hit hard and high. We’re waiting for it to come down. Nobody sees it coming down. They have a crossover point about halfway down the fairway.
My ball is in front of the green. It felt strange to me that I was to the right of the green when I hit the ball, but when we got the ball it was in front of the green. So we get there, my ball is heading a bit over and 20 yards from the green. The pin is about 20 feet across. We have a 27 meter pitch.
I think a bit of pitch and run could be good. I am also considering a 4 inch high back swing. Like a bullet, 2 inches off the ground, it hits the pin dead center, takes a small bounce backwards, and stops 5 inches from the cup.
Erskine says to the “D” player, “You put it there, type it in.” The player starts over and Erskine says, “Not with your 6 iron! Use your putter!” The player said, “My putter is broken. I figured I’d take yours.”
We only had three other birdies. One of them came out at #10. I own this hole! Neat little 75.
I had a nice time. All nice fellows. But like I said to myself the night before at number 10: I won’t be seeing any of these guys again.