Yesterday, I sped to the golf course as soon as my Evidence class ended at 2:30pm. I grabbed my phone and wallet off the car dashboard, slipped on my golf shoes without even a thought of tying them, and hurried into the clubhouse to pay my twilight fee – twenty-two bucks for all the golf I want and ten bucks for a cart. I don’t usually take a cart, but rain was imminent and I didn’t want to get stranded on the outer-reaches of the course without my umbrella, which was thoughtfully left in the closet at home.
Expecting the rain to shorten my round to nine holes or less and wanting to play the back nine for the fist time ever, I started on the tenth hole. The tenth hole was a par-5 with a slight dogleg right. I striped a driver down the center of the fairway with a slight fade. For not warming up on the range, it was a fluke shot. I laughed, and ran back to the gas cart and sped off.
Beaver Meadows is at best a mediocre golf course. It’s draw, for me, is its availability. On fall weekday afternoons there may be ten other people on the entire course besides me. It allows me to play one, two or as many as eight balls on each hole.
The front nine is boring, relatively unimaginative and open. Open is OK, if there is some definition to the holes. The only hole that catches my eye is the eighth hole, which is a par four with a right-to-left sloping fairway. The green is relatively large and has a closely mowed collection area to the front right. It’s bunkered on the left and back.
Playing the back nine was refreshing after having made several semi-loops around the front nine. The back nine was more wooded, which doesn’t make a golf course unless, like me, you grew up in Northern Lower Michigan and you’re used to courses cut through forests. The trees provided some definition, and gave me an idea of what type of shot to hit. More importantly, they challenged me to not hit certain types of shots, lest I wish my speeding golf ball meet a heavily wooded peril accentuated with that distinctive Titleist on bark click.
I birdied the fourteenth hole, an uphill dogleg right par-4 that measured 430 yards, by hitting a fade driver and an eight iron to ten feet. The putt, a slippery left-to-right breaker, made more difficult by the recently punched greens, poured in the front left of the cup. That was the best execution of three consecutive shots I’ve hit all year.
After fighting the wind, avoiding the rain, and trudging through thousands of fallen leaves, I completed sixteen holes. I skipped six and seven on the front to get around a slow walking couple. I flushed two two-irons of the tee on the ninth hole (my 18th). It was a strong finish to a fun round on a late fall day.