Golf on the Rough Links
By Chris Defalco
Have you ever played on a rough course? Most of us prefer to play well conditioned courses with nice fairways, manicured greens, pretty flowers everywhere, but some heartier golfers prefer what I would call tough golf, you take it as it is, rough around the edges. The greens are sometimes on the verge of being dead, but strangely you can still putt on them, the speed can vary a bit from green to green, but I find this is just another challenge presented to the golfer. I like playing this one particular course nearby although the course is pretty rough sometimes, but for just practice hitting the ball around its okay. The course was built by a family that bought the land in the country several years ago. They cleared the trees by horses and chainsaws, it took them 10 years to build it.
The course is plain but the scenery is great, large stands of pines, small creeks running through the course, a quiet on place to be early in the morning in the summer, wildlife like deer and fox are always around. The pro shop is a trailer, one of those large construction types, large enough to put in a small kitchen and a couple of tables in. Hot coffee, donuts, hot dogs are the menu, and of course cold drinks. There is a box for donations, golf balls and tees, the sign says thank you for your kindness, enjoy you’re round, come play again. The first hole is a par 5, 525 yards, it is like a roller coaster. You see the fairway goes uphill for the first half, then dips down into a valley then starts to go up another hill and over that one you go downhill again towards the green. The key on this hole is to get the drive to climb up the second hill and either roll down the other side a bit, or stay on top of the hill. What I like about this course is that you have to hit shots from uphill and downhill lies, that is good practice, although you normally won’t find that many extremes on most golf courses.
This course is different, the elevation change on hole number 2 is about 100-150 feet from tee box to green. The second shot is blind because you are on the uphill slope of the fairway, all you can see is the horizon and the blue sky, this is a good time to run up and take a look at where the flag is, just for insurance take dead aim when faced with a shot like this, keep your head down! This is not for everyone, but like I said, I enjoy variety and challenges at every opportunity, its just more fun! The next 4 holes are fairly straight forward, a par 3, par 4, par 5, par 3. On the par 3 holes I like to hit a couple of tee shots if there is no one around, just for fun, of course the practice is good as well. From 150 yards and in, that is the distance to practice second to putting I believe these approach shots are crucial.
Number 7 is a par 4, narrow fairway, pond on the left with a very large tree across from it on the other side of the fairway, makes this part of the fairway look 10 yards wide. The tee shot was okay, on the green and 3 putt for a bogie, oh well, next hole will be a birdie. The birdie never came, just crows off in the trees making strange noises, a downhill last par 4 is a nice way to finish, the hole is 400 yards but the ground is so hard the ball runs along the ground after the drive up to 25 yards, making for a 300 yard plus drive. A wedge into the green and two putts in the hole, you have to land the ball below the hole, severely sloped from back to front. You can always have a good time at this course, its what you make it. I always have fun at this course, but it is really just for practing the golf swing. I suppose that someday I would like to own a nice little golf course somewhere in the countryside, oh well we shall see.