Opting out of antiquing for the day, I snooped around and found a sleepy little semi-private course. This here Catskill Golf Club is old school. No fancy on-line tee time bookings. You want a tee time here you'll have get it the old-fashioned way--pick up a "tele-phone", dial a number and ask for one.
This is a continuation of my new year's resolution to get out and play the world. I'm starting to get into kind of a groove with this. Being home(course)-less, it's not so bad. I'm finding a lot of charm in these old tracks, even the modest low-key ones designed by no-name architects. This one's no exception. It was built in 1928, and seems to be a tight knit club of golfers. Playing the course, you can sense the pride. And why not?
A perfectly good, typical old school Northeast wooded, mountainy course.
There are a few blind shots, but the scorecard is a really helpful, a nice touch.
This little hole-by-hole is a modest little gesture, but it goes such a long way. I consulted it on every hole. It was really there for me when I needed a bit of guidance or re-assurance. All you courses that don't have this on your scorecard, you ought to take a good hard look in the mirror and ask yourselves--Why don't we have this?
|Fun fact: the "C" is for Catskill. Word up.
Oh, okay there's the white tee. But where's the blues?
Aw jeez, I gotta walk up there?
That's pretty dang steep.
Well okay, I guess it was worth it. This is a nice vista, and my tee shot got about a minute of hang-time, and that is pretty cool.
Around that next turn, I have both feet on the brake, I'm white-knuckling the wheel.
Okay, got to the 16th hole. Say that's a nice looking par 3. But where are the blue...
This is some real-deal hiking my friends. It's taking all I have just to not have a nasty spill here.
OK let's wrap it up with a shot of the 18th tee shot. A really narrow chute. I didn't quite make it through, and I bogeyed, but it was a fun hole. I ended up riding the bogey train around and shooting 88. But I had such a good time, and the course was empty enough, so I went for the replay and managed an 83 while fighting off some heatstroke during the last four holes.
Now I hope that was enjoyable and all, but I'm sort of afraid of this blog becoming a quaint little travelogue. That was not the plan. See I've got to get down to the nitty gritty. What about the golf, man. It's been a rough year for my handicap--I'm around five strokes worse than last year--and even though I'm not getting out as much this year, I really ought to do something about that. I mean, where is this so-called legitimate golf, man?
Playing the 36 holes in succession, sans waiting, was good, it really helped me to finally feel what the swing was doing. Might be the first time all year I've felt that. I mean you rely on fundamentals to get you through most rounds, but I just don't see how you can play to your potential when you can't feel your (club) face.
So some ho-hum scores but a pretty good day for the swing. Couple things--I remembered that there is only one way to hit a tee shot--hard! It's easy to forget that when you're not playing often. Also, I played this 6482 yarder--that's longer than most of you chumps play probably--without hitting the driver once.
Yeah so that club is freaking me out lately--so what. It happens to the best. Tiger Woods is kind of scared of his driver lately too, and people are always saying how he is "number one". Only difference is, I will freely admit it. Why bust out driver on some tight and troublesome course that I've never seen before. Who needs that kind of stress. Anyway it worked out fine. I only had a couple of long approaches, and I couldn't really reach any par 5's in two but--I saved myself a bunch of consternation and nut-sack splitting. Which means more fun. And that, as we all know, is what it is--literally--all about.