Saturday, August 16, 2014

Roadgolf: Catamount Golf Club, Williston, Vermont


After a full day of wandering around Burlington, then hiking around a place called Niquette Bay State Park, there was still a bite of daylight left. So we found a quiet little semi-private 9-holer in tiny nearby Williston. This was the view that greeted us as soon as we got out of the car, but that didn't keep me from interrogating the lonely pro shop guy about whether "it was busy out there", hopeless gutter-rat that I am. I felt so out of place as soon as that came out of my mouth. Here we are well into the super-twilight hour, certainly don't see much of anyone out there and yet, I cannot stop myself from stressing about a crowded course. In a remote town with population under 8,000. In the 2nd least-populated state in the goddamn union. The only crowds here are the ones in my cluttered mind. Sad. I wonder if there is any hope for the likes of me.



Typical ghetto golf style tee-off--no warmup whatsoever. But #1's a short par 4, which gives me the chance to lean on the trusty 5-wood, one of my best friends in the bag.


I have to sing the praises of this 5-wood again. It sees me through a lot of unfamiliar roadgolf holes. I don't make a lot of golf gear recommendations but reader, if you happen to find yourself adrift in a sea of confusing modern, here-today-gone-tomorrow technology, and you are longing for a classic club that has stood the test of time, a club you can believe in, look no further than the TaylorMade V-Steel, from that golden era of golf, the early 2000s.


This might've been a cool action pic for the ages if it wasn't for the belly slopping out of untucked t-shirt and douchebag cargo shorts.

Some serious rough here. The grass all over Vermont seems extra green, and grassy. Great place to be a dairy cow I am thinking.

It's a rustic, barebones track--2844 yards from the tips--but it's charming enough, and super-quiet. When you live in a city you think you know what quiet means, but then you come out to the country and realize that you have no friggin clue.



It's a pretty flat property. The rolling mounds provide a bit of visual variety.

This course might be a bit utilitarian, but it's not short on natural rural beauty.

I had a tidy round going until the par 5 5th. With the green tucked behind this narrow chute, I yanked it into the trees and assumed it to be lost within the red stakes. The ball had come out the other side, I would later find out, but not knowing the lay of the land I dropped a ball where it crossed the margin and made a triple.



With the sun setting on the last hole and fatigue from a long day setting in, we tried to buckle down and hit a couple of good tee shots.

Approaching the green, with a stock P-wedge distance to the pin, for me there was no choice but to go right at it, try and lay waste to the hole. I was able to scare it, at least. Ms. L on the other hand followed her own course management plan, one that was wisely suited to her current novice ability. She made a decisive aim at the big wide opening on the right, well away from that bunker, managed to put it on the fringe, a long way from the hole but from where she was able to two-putt for a solid par. I was really impressed with all that. Couple of pars, nice way to end a busy day of tourism.

5 comments:

  1. Legit, Glad to see you've found the Green Mountain State. I grew up at a boarding school where my Dad was a teacher in this general rural paradise - actually in Massachusetts a few miles from where Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire all meet in a town named Northfield. This part of the world is littered with little nine holers and you can find some really lovely tracks. Don't know your itinerary but If you travel south on Route 91 on your way home, there is a formidable and testing challenge off of the Bernardston, MA exit (the first exit in Massachusetts) known as Crumpin Fox. Fire up your GPS and find it! It is roughly 2 miles off of the highway and while usually ranked in the top 10 or 20 courses in Massachusetts, you should have little challenge getting on the course. Just as you found at Catamount, thin populations make walking on a cinch...

    http://golfthefox.com/crumpin-fox/

    Thanks for sharing your tour - From the northern tip of VT to the south of central and western Massachusetts, there are a ton of these unassuming, little courses that make golf a pleasure to play...

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    1. You are lucky to have grown up here. Critics and know-nothings especially those on the west coast like to point out the cold snowy winters of the Northeast, but I now understand fully why this is the cradle of America and why people love it here. Winters can be hard, but four seasons is the superior way to experience life on Earth, you know it and I know it. I come from dry, scrubby southern California. The temps might be mild year-round, but once you look past all the man-made greenery it is rather brown, desolate and stagnant.

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  2. Ahh, the smell of cow manure wafting through the car windows as one enters the Green Mountain State. Spent many a weekend in Vermont growing up. We had a ski house in the central part of the state near Killington. Played a handful of courses there, too, though never Catamount.

    Burlington is a cool city. Nice trip and write up. I am jealous.

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    1. Is that what it is? To us Vermont smells of nothing but fresh and clean. It smells like life. Bear in mind where we are coming from--our hometown signature scent in the summer is urine plus garbage. No exaggeration.

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  3. I have a son living in Stowe,Vt. Stowe country club is a beautiful layout as is the Country Club of Vermont. Good to see you broadening your horizons. CeeBee

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Don't spam me bro.