Friday, August 10, 2012

Day 6: Donald Ross and Hidden River

Same routine this morning as yesterday. Leave at 545 to head to Boyne Highlands for breakfast (no Ian Poulter’s Mom sighting this time). Then, off to Country Club of Boyne to play Ross (all famous holes of course architect Donald Ross -- many know Pinehurst, Seminole). We haven’t played this course in a couple of rotations (I forget that two years ago we went to Wisconsin instead of Michigan).
Hole 1: Seminole #6 (North Palm Beach, FL)
Hole 2: Plainfield #4 (Plainfield, NJ)
Hole 3: Oakland Hills South #17 (Birmingham, MI)
Hole 4: Pinehurst 2 #14 (Pinehurst, NC)
Hole 5: Oak Hill East #13 (Rochester, NY)
Hole 6: Scioto #2 (Columbus, OH)
Hole 7: Inverness #18 (Toledo, OH)
Hole 8: Charlotte CC #11 (Charlotte, SC)
Hole 9: Bo O'Link #11 (Highland Park, IL)
Hole 10: Royal Dornoch #14 (Dornoch, Scotland)
Hole 11: Salem #13 (Peabody, MA)
Hole 12: Detroit North #3 (Detroit, MI)
Hole 13: Seminole #15 (North Palm Beach, FL)
Hole 14: Pinehurst 2 #2 (Pinehurst, NC)
Hole 15: Aronimink #11 (Newton Square, PA)
Hole 16: Pinehurst 2 #10 (Pinehurst, NC)
Hole 17: Wannamoisett (Rumford, RI)
Hole 18: Oakland Hills #16 (Birmingham, MI)

Little bit of history of Donald Ross, "the faother of golf course architecture in America." Born in 1872 in Dornoch, Scotland, he emigrated to the United States in 1899 and was involved in designing or redesigning over 400 courses. He displayed great attention to detail. Often he created challenging courses with very little earth moving (READ: EVIL). What you might not know: His brother, Alec, won the 1907 US Open.
All we can say is “ouch.” Even Tom, who regularly plays two a days on the weekends and is better conditioned than the rest of us. With that said, he’s also over 10 years older than all of us (I’d try to petition for 20 over me, but someone would call me on it). Rain is in the forecast, but it looks like it’s going to skip over us. Head over to the first tee early to watch others tee off. Group of guys in front of us look pretty good and are playing from the tips -- one is a lefty with a Georgia State bag.

At this point, we’re tired and sore, but still golfing. And, we’ve had plenty of “gay humor” with Bob and Pete. Maybe it’s because we have some great photo ops with Pete cracking Bob’s back that seem rather intimate. Tom and I think this is hilarious, calling this “Boyneback Mountain.” It’s amazing how a week together brings out the silly in some of us. Pete has been the object of much teasing -- mainly because he’s so easy to tease -- he just doesn’t seem to be able to roll with it. Bob we could get to do just about anything if we dared him to. And, he constantly makes an easy target as well.

Group photo op at Ross #1 Tee Box

Bob getting his back cracked by Pete (if you know them, you'll think this is hilarious).

My objective is to try to get the ball airborne as much as possible. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. We’re all adding a bit of extra club since we know our swing speeds are not our average. I even heard Pete say that he added club (Pete NEVER says he’s adding club).

Again, we’re golfing in Michigan in the 60s. I forgot about a lot of the holes on Ross until we showed up to them. And then they seemed either like old friends -- or enemies. Really good at telling Bob and Pete where NOT to go. Not necessarily remembering where they SHOULD go.

There were even a few holes that I finally played and made par -- or some holes that I actually played where I was supposed to be.
Finish up at Ross and load up in the van to play Hidden River Golf and Casting Club ( New course for me that has just been added to the Boyne “family.” Lunch on the patio right next to a “river” with people canoeing down it. Liked it when a golfer yelled down to one of them “no cellphones in canoes,” because she was on her cellphone while paddling.

Lunch is great on the patio. It was voted one of the best golf course restaurants in Michigan in 2008.

Of we head to the first tee. The group getting ready to tee off in front of us look familiar. I look at their bags -- Georgia State, left handed clubs. Yes, coincidentally they are playing again in front of us. I think this has happened a couple of other times on these trips.

Bob and I get off to a decent start and then both start teetering (me mainly). Tom’s doing the best of the group. Pete has moments and the MOMENTS. But, only think there was one club toss on this course (official tally to date is four tosses -- pretty good for Pete). There is a 600 yard par four on this course that seemed up hill and into the wind. Tom managed to make par. The rest of us didn’t. A lot of sand that I managed not to go into -- probably because I wasn’t hitting it far enough to make it into the sand. Hidden River is a nice track that I would like to return to when it is not round 11.

First robin is a push. Second robin Tom and Bob win. Third robin, Tom and I are up and then lose a couple of holes. Head to 18 all square. Guess if I really want to “try” while sore and tired, I can still turn it on. Good drive. Good second shot onto the green. Tom and Pete also hit good shots onto the green. Bob, he’s pretty much out of the hole after hitting the hazard and then hitting the road and then… Before heading to the green, I take my shoes off and pack stuff up and then plan on putting barefoot. Tom, Pete and I are all pretty close with pretty similar putts. I’m away. Pete’s already declared birdie. I have stayed silent because I get a stroke on this hole. While I’d like to make birdie (net eagle), odds are a par (net birdie) will seal the deal. I’m getting ready to putt and get Daigled because he’s decided to start taking off his shoes and socks. I stop my routine and wait on him (to those of you who know me, that’s pretty hard to do when I’m ready to go). I know you’re thinking I made the birdie. No. Easy par. Did Pete make his birdie to tie. No. So, Tom and I won the last hole (for me, this was a big deal because I haven’t done too great tee to green the entire week).

Load up and off to Bob In Again ( Bob groaned (he probably wants a sit down dinner with more than just “diner” food) but since he got on his phone, his vote doesn’t count. Tom ordered a Bear Claw -- even though he considered a banana split. Seeing that the flavor of the day was Lemon custard, I went with their Strawberry Shortcake with Lemon Custard. Pete gets a grilled cheese (had the same the day before). Can’t remember what I carried out to Bob, talking in the parking lot. There was a little girl’s birthday party right next to us, with one of the mothers taking pictures. Tom, Pete and I could be in a bunchy of them and when the kids see them, they could say “who are those old men in the picture?”
Back to the cabin. Last night here before packing up and heading to Saugatuck. We’re playing the Ravines at 130 and have a 3.5 hour or so ride (depending on traffic and the van). I’ve already packed up my stuff for the most part so it’ll be easy. We’ll load up the van in the morning, head to breakfast, check out (hope Logan is there, but doubt it), and head south to Saugatuck.
Two a days are officially over. Two more rounds to go.

Note: there will definitely be updated posts with more pictures. The photo upload feature is not being cooperative and I'm getting a lot of errors. May be the WiFi strength.

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