Friday, August 03, 2007

Wuskowhan Players Club




For anyone reading this who is a golfer, and avid one, you may want to read this blog. For the nongolfer, you probably won't care about this, and will think that we are daft to do this to ourselves. But, this is a golf vacation, so I'm going to write about golf and golf trivia when I have it.
This posting: Day 1 at Wuskowhan (http://www.wuskowhan.com/).
Bit o history: Wuskowhan takes its name from the Narragansett Indian word for “wanderer” – also the name that tribe gave to the passenger pigeon. Wuskowhan was the first course in Michigan to be designated as an Audubon Signature Sanctuary and in the design and construction of the course, all vegetation was either untouched or restored to its natural state. And, according to Frank, it's "hoity toity" -- no short shorts, no hats in the clubhouse -- but they do allow women. Oh, and no cussing (that will come in later, much to Frank's embarrassment).

Another bit o golf literature: Tom Hoak, acclaimed architect (golf course one), wrote an honest book about golf courses (The Confidential Guide to Golf Courses) he played. According to a review I read on the plane, it was so "honest" that he never republished it and a used copy may sell for $500+ online. Has nothing to do with this course.

Frank, Tom and I pull into the course. It has lots of tall grass -- hopefully that's just the landscaping. We're playing with Frank's former colleagues, his former boss is a member there. We warm up and Frank pairs up with Dick and Tim (I think). Tom and I are going to play with Jim. They are all 20+ handicappers. We decide on the game -- blind draw A/B players like at Woodbridge.

Like all of the courses in Michigan, this one is beautiful. It's a lot like Bay Harbour's Preserve course. Lots of carry, lots of "stuff." We have a great time, plotting to tell Jason on his birthday that this is the best course we've ever played in Michigan and it's too bad that he didn't get to play it.
The game is on. The best is on 18, with the green right below the clubhouse, Frank, Dick and Tim sitting out on the patio with a cold one. Tom hits his tee shot way left. Next shot in perfect position to the flag. Sticks it to 10 feet from the hole. Makes the birdie putt. Show off! Tom performs well under pressure and with an audience.
Now for the embarrassing bit. Reminder: this is a hoity toity club. Well, we're sitting on the patio, have done our blind draws on the sugar packets and explained the game to them (it's not as complicated as we make it out to be). I'm reading, Tom's writing. These guys have TONS of strokes. So, after reading what seemed to be quite a few net aces, the last one I came to -- out slipped the F-bomb in front of all of them (in a low tone, of course -- another f**king ace, I believe I said). Frank turned beet red, Tom laughed. I'll never live that done.
Off to dinner we went, to another one of Frank's haunts, the OBI. They want fish. I want beer. 45 minute wait, but they serve us pretty quickly. All of a sudden, Frank gets up. The guy he talks about teaching (or enticing him) into playing golf who owns this restaurant is at the bar. Sorry, Frank, but can't remember their names now. It's been too many rounds of golf! We say hi, talk a bit, and then back to Grand Rapids to check in before heading north in the morning. We're waiting on Jason to arrive.

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